Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Avril Lavigne: A Life in Videos 

It’s Avril Lavigne‘s birthday today! Or so VH1 reckons and we have no reason to doubt them, even if their judgement can be considered to be somewhat skewiff as they do insist on employing Jo Whiley and treating her as if she actually knows what she’s talking about. But either way Avril’s continued aging proves once again what does not need to be proved. Namely that there is Nothing Wrong with us having a crush on her. OK? Good.

Anyway, to celebrate here is a very brief look at Avril Lavigne: A Life in Videos:-

Complicated - In which Avril, along with her ‘punk’ band, who have clearly been supplied by Central Casting, run around a shopping centre, or ‘Mall’, causing havoc, shoplifting and generally acts like a brat whose parents didn’t instill into her the proper respect for authority and public decency that might be expected of a Canadian citizen., or at the very least someone who thinks that jumping into a fountain is the very height of rebellion and wildness. It does however reveal that Avril does use deodorant, which shows she is prepared to Not Smell, even if she’s not actually prepared to pay for the privilege.

Sk8r Boi - In which Avril puts on a guerrilla gig along with the help of her street team, who happily ignore all the rules that normally comes with being on a street team by graffitiing the venue all over town, using their flyers to indulge in what can only be called littering and causing a public obstruction by performing in the middle of a busy intersection, performing on top of some parked cars, so we can add criminal damage to the list too. Tsk! She then trashes said car with her guitar as a police helicopter hovers overhead. Perhaps now she will appreciate the gravity of what she’s done.

I’m With You - One thing that can be said about Avril’s videos is that if they have a chance to offer a literal interpretation of the song’s lyrics then they grab hold firmly of that chance with both hands, never losing grip - arf. Here, for example, Avril sings about it being a damp cold night while walking along a street on a damp cold night, at one point with snow behind her, lest the big thick jacket she’s wearing not be clue enough that it’s a bit chilly out. We should probably consider herself lucky that the vid for Complicated didn’t consist solely of her attempting to do a sudoku. As she walks we see her band, no longer the punky types of Complicated, have now been replaced by some more mature looking muso types as befit’s the more ‘serious’ nature of the song. Of course, we say band, as they mainly seem to be hanging around the street corners as Avril walks past they could well be just some hobos that the director thought would add some colour to proceedings. The rest of the vid shows Avril being a bit moody at a party because she doesn’t know anyone there. Then she leaves and meets her friends and is happy again. Tolstoy this ain’t. It’s not even up to Katie Price level.

Losing Grip - A ‘live’ video of her doing the song. But just when you think it’s going to be as unimaginative as this all the way through, you’re, umm, right. The nearest the director gets to inspiration is having another Avril in the crowd who gets a bit pushed around by some other people in the crowd. And that’s it. She does wear a nice green camo t-shirt in it, however. Which is nice.

Knocking on Heavens Door - This is a Serious Video about a Serious Subject - this is from the War Child album - and as befits all Serious Videos about Serious Subjects the video consists of nothing more than shots of the Serious Subject intercut with shots of Avril in the studio, looking thoughtful and emotional as she sings with one hand on her headphones, pondering on how totally amazing it is that she’s like totally saving the world.

My Happy Ending - Avril here plays the piano, smiles and wears a skirt. Three things that were previously thought to be so unlikely for Avril to do that Turning into a Rabbit Before Exploding into a Shower of Glitter would get you shorter odds at the bookmakers. This follows the ultra literal tradition of Avril vids by taking the lyrical tale of a relationship that Avril thought was going grand but turns out to be less than perfect by visually showing a tale of a relationship that Avril thought was going grand but turns out to be less than perfect, with a few shots of Miss Lavigne running down a street for no apparent reason, but appear to be from the same shoot as I’m With You so it’s probably to do with cost.

He Wasn’t - More tutu action from Avril as she dresses up in both devilish and angelic guises, and there’s also more literal interpretation action from the director here as the “He wouldn’t even open up the door” line is illustrated by someone closing a door in the Lavigne’s face and the “This is where I bite my nails” line shows our heroine biting nails, although in a crazy twist it’s someone else’s nails she’s biting! Our mind is bending under such bizarre trickery. The also trash the set of the video, perhaps in anger at the directors lack of imagination or perhaps because they’ve been to told to do so by the director in an attempt to give off a spirit of faux rebellion. Which can also be blamed on the director’s lack of imagination.

Girlfriend Three Avrils for the price of one! Be still our beating heart. Here Avril plays both herself, a goody-two-shoes character and an emo girl who reckons that she would be a better girlfriend to the goody’s boyfriend. You know, just like it says in the song, for those who are imbecilic enough to be unable to understand lyrics without being visually prompted. This she mainly does by bullying the goody and dressing the same as the object of her desire, which doesn’t strike us as good girlfriend material. Not, of course, that we’d turn her down. More importantly Avril finally does a proper dance routine. About bloody time.

When You’re Gone - In which Avril wears a nice dress and we have a “boyfriend going to fight in Iraq” subplot, proving if nothing else that it’s better when the directors take approach of translating the lyrics literally to screen as otherwise they just offer rehashes of the video for Green Day‘s Wake Me Up When September Ends which is nigh on the same as this. Although we don’t think Billy wore a nice dress for his vid.

So after all that what have we learnt? Only that Avril seriously needs to be given an Asbo. Oh well.

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