Album Review: Avril Lavigne - 'Head Above Water' 1

Album Review: Avril Lavigne – ‘Head Above Water’

If you’re looking for a bigger wow, look no further than Avril Lavigne’s phenomenal new album ‘Head Above Water’. The Canadian superstar has made a glorious comeback with a stunning collection of raw tracks that you are sure to love insane!

Following a traumatic battle with Lyme Disease, Avril recounts some of the darkest times in her life as well as some of the happiest. The record, which is the singer’s most vulnerable to date, aims to empower you and lift you up rather than bring you down.

Avril’s vocals have always been incredible but she sounds better than ever before on her hard-hitting new album. By pouring her heart out, the songstress showcases the strength of her voice and her growth as an artist. It’s a masterpiece from start to finish.

Head Above Water

It’s only right that Avril’s new album opens with ‘Head Above Water’. As well as being the title track and lead single, the epic power ballad is one of the first songs Avril wrote for the record. She came up with the concept at a time when she feared death and you can hear the pain and passion in every word sung. The beautiful ballad is about the singer’s fight with Lyme Disease and it never fails to pull on our heartstrings. Music doesn’t get much more personal than this.


At its essence, ‘Birdie’ is an empowering tale of liberation. The song begins with a timeless piano and soft vocals before bursting into a soaring chorus. By using a symbol of a bird trapped in a cage, Avril delivers a powerful message of making a stand and not allowing something to hold you back as a prisoner. The confident track is sure to resonate with listeners around the world.

I Fell In Love With The Devil

If we had to pick our favourite song from Avril’s new album, ‘I Fell In Love With The Devil’ would be it. Despite referencing Satan himself, Avril’s vocals sound angelic throughout. We’re underneath her spell. The majestic track, which features intricate strings, is about the conflict of head versus heart and the difficulty removing yourself from bad situations. The final minute is particularly haunting.

Tell Me It’s Over

‘Tell Me It’s Over’ was the second single to be lifted from Avril’s new album and it’s an ode to all those out there in a doomed relationship. Even though it may be hard, you sometimes need to close the door on someone if they aren’t treating you right. The soulful track is delightfully retro in sound and it was inspired by the likes of Etta James and Aretha Franklin.

Dumb Blonde (featuring Nicki Minaj)

Without a shadow of doubt, we can safely say that ‘Dumb Blonde’ is the most energetic song on Avril’s sixth album. It packs a punch. Sonically, it does seem slightly out of place in context to the rest of the record but it’s a great tune nonetheless and features a strong message which needs to be heard. It’s about sticking up for yourself and not letting anyone tear you down. For the track, Avril enlisted the help of Nicki Minaj who adds extra fire and perspective.

It Was In Me

Lyrically, ‘It Was In Me’ is about the search for happiness and the realisation that it’s something which is actually inside yourself. If you’re content with who you are and have trust in your life decisions, other people’s opinions won’t matter and neither will material possessions. Avril’s vocals really are at their purest on this inspirational track about self-fulfilment. We absolutely adore it.


‘Souvenir’ is an incredibly dreamy love song with sweet lyricism. With light-hearted instrumentation, Avril sings about cherishing the special moments of a relationship and savouring the memories. The lyrical content relates to taking a chance on love and hoping that it won’t be short-lived. This cute little number wouldn’t sound out of place on Avril Lavigne’s eponymous fifth album.


When you have a crush, the last thing you want is to feel crushed if or when things go wrong. Previous heartbreak can make it hard for you take down your barriers and fall for someone again. That’s exactly what the concept for ‘Crush’ is. The ethereal song features: clever lyrics, some of Avril Lavigne’s strongest vocals to date and a soothing instrumental which is very pleasing to the ear.


Singing over a lonesome acoustic guitar, Avril mentions feelings of true bliss and appreciation in ‘Goddess’. The stripped back track pays homage to someone special who makes you feel like the most beautiful person in the world. By experimenting with the intonation of certain words, ‘Goddess’ is unlike anything that Avril has released before and it’s sure to be a pleasant surprise for fans.

Bigger Wow

‘Bigger Wow’ begins with Avril listing some of the crazy things she’d like to do in life. It’s about making the most of every moment and living to the extreme rather than settling for average. With that in mind, it’s lyrically a follow-up to ‘Anything But Ordinary’ from Avril’s critically acclaimed debut album. The upbeat track has the same concept but a completely different sound. We love both.

Love Me Insane

Like on ‘Tell Me It’s Over’ and ‘Crush’, Avril takes us back in time with old school vibes on ‘Love Me Insane’. The chilled out track has an irresistible retro sound and it’s bound to be a favourite with fans. On the song, Avril sings about being completely besotted and smitten by someone she wants to be a huge part of her life. We have those same feelings of adoration for the mesmerising tune.


Avril closes her sixth album with a stunning song of survival. She won’t bow, she won’t break, she’s not afraid to do whatever it takes. ‘Warrior’ is an empowering anthem about overcoming adversities in life and we can imagine it being sung in stadiums across the world. It features beautiful similes. Like the title track ‘Head Above Water’, it was inspired by Avril’s battle with Lyme Disease.

From track one to track twelve, ‘Head Above Water’ tells an inspirational story of the journey to a better life. Avril starts by praying for recovery before: breaking free, removing herself from a toxic relationship, shutting down people’s negative opinions, realising happiness starts from within, finding love and ending as a fighter. It’s perfect.

To conclude, we’d certainly recommend ‘Head Above Water’ by Avril Lavigne. It’s another fantastic album by the gifted musician and adds to her remarkable discography. We give the record five stars out of five and it’s an early contender for album of the year.

What do you think of ‘Head Above Water’ by Avril Lavigne? Which are your favourite tracks? Make sure you let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix!

Written by Mark Willis

When I'm not writing articles or travelling through time and space in the Tardis, I love singing along to Avril Lavigne and other pop/rock music. I also enjoy hunting demons with Sam and Dean Winchester! Twitter: @MarkWillis1993