Avril Lavigne is Back!

One of the artists I have long been waiting to come back is Avril Lavigne. 3 years after the release of her last effort, "The Best Damn Thing", the pop-rock queen is back with a brand new album dubbed as "Goodbye Lullabye" out on March 8, 2011.

Her new single called "What The Hell" will premiere on New Year's Eve with a performance on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. The song, written by Lavigne, Max Martin, Shellback (who's also worked in the past with pop superstar Britney Spears) is an uptempo pop-rock track reminiscent of Avril's previous hits "The Best Damn Thing" and "Girlfriend". Lavigne describes it as "a broad message about personal freedom", calling it her "most pop track on the record" and the least personal song from the album.

Checkout the preview of "What The Hell" below!

STM Album Review: Loud - Rihanna


1. S&M
 2. What’s My Name (featuring Drake)
 3. Cheers (Drink To That)
 4. Fading
 5. Only Girl (In The World)
 6. California King Bed
 7. Man Down
 8. Raining Men (featuring Nicki Minaj)
 9. Complicated
 10. Skin
 11. Love The Way You Lie [Part 2] (featuring Eminem)

A year after the release of her dark-themed album, “Rated R” and a series of public fiascos, R&B diva, Rihanna is back with another record which she calls “Loud”. With this effort, Ms. Fenti worked with some of today’s hottest record producers, including StarGate, The Runners, Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart and Alex da Kid which kinda explains the R&B-Hip Hop-Dancehall feel of the CD.

Critics claim that “Loud” brings back Rihanna to her dance roots, but STM says otherwise. There may be a few dance-inspired songs but most of the tracks in this effort are slow jams and R&B-driven love songs. Nonetheless, this effort is a big improvement, music-wise, from her lackluster album, “Rated R”. A number of tracks in “Loud” are single material and radio-friendly, most of them are at the first half of the CD. My only concern though is that there is a tendency to lose the “magic” of listening to this effort as mediocre tracks are all found in the second half of the album.

Personally, the best tracks in this effort are the slow jam “What’s My Name?” featuring rapper Drake; “Cheers (Drink To That)” which interpolates Avril Lavigne’s “I’m with You”; “Fading”; the tear-jerker ballad, “California King Bed”; and, the album’s explosive dance tracks, “Only Girl (In The World)” and “S&M” which are both reminiscent of Rihanna’s previous effort, “Disturbia”. And how could we forget “Love The Way You Lie (Part 2)” which is undoubtedly a lot better, lyric-wise, than its previous version. This new rendition features more vocals from Rihanna, not to mention the brand new lyrics and rap verse from Eminem.

Overall, STM finds this album “loud” but not quite. It is definitely a step-up from the mediocre sound of “Rated R” but not as awesome as “Good Girl Gone Bad”, which is arguably her best effort to date. I was actually expecting something that would best “Good Girl Gone Bad”, as the album title suggests that this effort would contain more of Rihanna’s signature dance-R&B-inspired jams but it just didn’t turn out that way. Nonetheless, Rihanna’s newest effort delivers but kinda lacks the solidity and club-friendly hits that “Good Girl Gone Bad” has.

REPEAT: S&M, What’s My Name?, Cheers (Drink To That), Fading, California King Bed, Only Girl (in The World), Love The Way You Lie (Part 2)

SKIP: Man Down, Raining Men, Skin

SINGLE-WORTHY TRACKS: Cheers (Drink To That), Fading, Love The Way You Lie (Part 2)



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