We do a lot of ridiculous stuff here at the Sleeping Village--that, I can not deny. However, this mammothian effort on the part of Ancient Hand serves as a response to said frivolity. Nothing--and I mean nothing--is more serious than dissecting, in painstaking detail, the seminal debut of early 2000's pop-punk monarch Avril Lavinge. This, dear readers, is a magnum opus. Also, for the haters: Avril is metal as fuck. There. I said it.
The miniseries before ye is divided into a glorious fifteen parts. Today marks the second installment: "Losing Grip." If you missed last week's introductory statement, check it out here! - Ed.
Written by: Ancient Hand
The introductory track to one of the most important pieces in the artistic realm of music begins with a delayed bassy beat that leads in to Avril’s vocals smoothly. This small introduction tells the listener a few things: electronic elements are present on this record, Avril is adaptable and capable, and her lyrics are incredibly commanding. We start off with a simple and concise question: “Are you aware of what you make me feel, baby?” Lavigne’s incredible knack for storytelling is abundantly obvious on this song as we transition into the real story behind her and this “baby” she refers to. She thrusts the narrative forward by making the lyrics more first-person oriented, focusing on her own feelings in this relationship: “Right now I feel invisible to you, like I’m not real.” These lyrics slowly build with lines discussing the issues present in this relationship, and then…the album really starts.
Drums pound away momentarily before the rest of instrumentation comes soaring in and lands like a winged angel in front of you, kicking up dust and gravel that hang hazy in the air as the track becomes a rock ballad of the ages. “That’s when I decided WHY SHOULD I CARE!?” Lavigne belts over beautifully toned guitars that grind as much as they wail. The chorus on this song soars higher than most other early-2000s choruses. Interestingly enough, it is easily the heaviest part of the song. The verses bring things back down to ground level, allowing you a glimpse into the sensitivity Lavigne is showcasing on this song before the track takes off to the stratosphere again with another soaring exploration of this fantastic chorus.
Worth special note in the lyrical department is the infectious and rhythmic pre-chorus we are treated to, which allows the instrumentation to build behind Lavigne’s vocals with precision and ease. Her singing of the pre-chorus is damn near Bar Status with the subtle rhyme scheme and her ability to let the words simply flow together. Lavigne builds her anger by singing “I was left to cry there/Waiting outside there/ Grinning with the lost stare/That’s when I decided…” She then launches into a chorus that is an anthem for anyone that has ever been hurt or abandoned by anyone else--in a romantic capacity, or otherwise.
The bridge of this song is easily another highlight (although, how do you measure highlights when the entire track is one?) We get soft crooning with Lavigne divulging that she’s “Cryin’ out loud, I’m cryin’ out loud.” This profound sensitivity for someone who many perceive(d at this time) to be a tough girl does something vital that this record required; it makes Lavigne human. And, with a record this well composed and performed, it would be difficult to see Lavigne as a human. Her talent and knack for crafting some of the most infectious melodies of the past thousand years are hard to connect with on a human level. This bridge, however, shows that Lavigne is indeed human, and she is hurting. She manages to turn this pain on it’s head when she turns some of the responsibility over to the other party in this song: “Open your eyes/Open up wide!” These lyrics are accompanied by a ramping up of the instrumentation. It feels like the aforementioned angel has grabbed you and is planning on taking you with it for another trip above the world.
Just as takeoff is about to occur, however, things become the gentlest we have heard so far. Softly, delicately, and contemplatively, Lavigne mulls over the chorus of this song. Repeating, “Why should I care?” as though this question had been asked rhetorically, Lavigne truly seems to contemplate it’s answer. Seeming like she has made up her mind, Lavigne decides that she doesn’t care, and she’s not going anywhere. We launch again into this expertly crafted chorus for a final time, flying as close to the sun as we damn well please with no repercussions. This theme is going to continue over the course of this album; Lavigne is going to make the choices she wants to and not care at all about the opinions of others. This will end up benefiting her in the long run, as this song that introduces her debut album leads listeners in to what may very well be one of the greatest pieces of music we have ever been lucky enough to receive.
Tune is next week as we dive deep into the second track on Let Go: the unforgettable "Complicated"
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
What are ye