Avril Lavigne has been making snotty records about skater boys and bitchy girls for almost a decade now. On her fourth album, she grows up. Being a 26-year-old divorcée will do that to you. Written and recorded as she was splitting from one of the Sum 41 dudes, Goodbye Lullaby trades brassy kiss-offs for a sobering dose of introspection. The music is more grown-up too: strings, down-tuned piano notes, and soft-strummed acoustic guitars. Lavigne and her collaborators go for a more direct line to traditional pop here, filling songs with big, hooky choruses. After the pushy throwback "What the Hell," Goodbye Lullaby probes Lavigne's messy personal life in "Push," "Wish You Were Here," and "Goodbye." And she thought things were complicated before? — Gallucci
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