I don’t know about you, but when I think of 2000s Pop-Punk female musicians, I immediately think of Avril Lavigne. This Canadian singer-songwriter took the world by storm when she was just 18 with her debut album, Let Go. To this day, it’s the best-selling Canadian album of the 21st century.
Since then, she’s been nominated for Grammy Awards, made videos, recorded seven studio albums, and toured the world. Not bad for a gal from a small town in Canada. But which are the Top 10 Avril Lavigne songs ever? It may be controversial, but I’ve got my list ready. Check it out.
Avril Lavigne Bio
Avril Lavigne was born and raised in small towns in Ontario, Canada. She grew up as a tomboy, playing hockey and skateboarding. But she was also intensely focused on singing since she was little. Discovered at age 16, she was given a huge recording contract, and at 18, she put out her debut album, which was a massive success.
She followed this up with 2004’s Under My Skin and 2007’s The Best Damn Thing, and both albums achieved huge success as well. Following this initial period, she moved into Pop-Rock and recorded two more albums before returning to her edgier, Punk-inspired roots.
Avril Lavigne’s latest album, Love Sux, came out in 2022, and she continues to write, record, and tour. Avril (which means ‘April’ in French) writes or co-writes all her music and has played with a Pop-Punk backing band since her first record.
Top 10 Avril Lavigne Songs
When Avril Lavigne’s debut album came out in 2002, she was just about 18. But, the music on Let Go seemed more mature than her age. There was tons of youthful energy there, but also some more involved themes and emotions.
The lead single on this album, “Complicated,” is a mid-tempo rock song about a complicated relationship with someone who can’t seem to be their true self, which is a pretty universal topic. This song is very Pop-Rock oriented and has a great bouncy feel.
Lavigne’s vocals here are strong and forceful in places, laid back and flippant in others, and sugary sweet in other spots. This really gives us a feel of things to come.
Not that we had to wait, of course…
This track blew up, making it to #2 in the charts and selling over a million copies as a single. The song also brought Lavigne two Grammy nominations. And although she didn’t end up winning either, this cemented her place in music history.
“Sk8er Boi” (2002)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIy3n2b7V9k[/yt]
Also, from her debut, Let Go, the song “Sk8r Boi” was a very different track indeed. While “Complicated” seemed more adult (and indeed hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts), this fast, Pop-Punk song was about something a lot closer to home for the teenage singer. In “Sk8r Boi”, Lavigne tells a story as old as time – the impossible divide between people in different high school cliques.
This song hit right when the skateboarding culture was becoming big in the mainstream, and the lyrics and the video took full advantage of Lavigne’s skater image. The song is fast and bouncy and a whole lot of fun. Her singing is strong and bright, and this whole song is just a high-energy fun fest.
“I’m With You” (2002)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGR65RWwzg8[/yt]
Another song from 2002’s Let Go is the slow Rock ballad “I’m With You.” Once again, this song presents a very different side of the singer. It’s not angry and angsty; it’s not high-energy and full of fun. This song is a slow burner. And, it’s a sad song.
In it, Lavigne sings about sadness and loneliness, feelings of isolation, and longing for someone to bring her out of these feelings. It’s not a love song in the purest sense. The lyrics could be applied to a friend as much as a lover.
This song is very beautifully orchestrated with strings and an acoustic guitar worked into her normal electric 4-piece sound. It also shows her range as a singer, from soft and cute to a full and impassioned voice full of emotion.
“Nobody’s Home” (2004)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGFSNE18Ywc[/yt]
After Avril Lavigne’s massive debut album success, critics wondered if she could do it again. With her follow-up album, 2004’s Under My Skin, she proved that she could. Furthermore, she proved that she’d only just been getting started as a songwriter and performer. This record was heavier, darker, and had a less bubbly, bright teenage sound.
She was, after all, almost 20 when it came out…
The song “Nobody’s Home” is a strong example of this change in sound. It has a heavier, almost Post-Grunge feel to it. However, Lavigne’s vocals are high and bright, and that gives it a unique sound that no one else was able to create. The song is about hurt and trying to hide pain without anywhere to go to express it. This represents another mature subject that made Lavigne seem older than her years.
“My Happy Ending” (2004)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8QYxmpuyxg[/yt]
On the same album, 2004’s Under My Skin, Lavigne showed us that she still had the passion and energy to sing songs that truly rocked. She sings “My Happy Ending” with power and intensity, set to music that is full of heavy guitars and smashing cymbals.
This is a song about a painful breakup. The happy ending in this song is what was lost when the relationship fell apart. So, this is a really strong breakup song. It’s dripping with pain, angst, and even a whole lot of sarcasm. And it’s not a tearjerker. This is meant to be an empowering song to help people move on from toxic relationships.
Avril took a few years away from recording and focused on touring to promote her first two albums. But, in 2007, she was back with another album, her third, called The Best Damn Thing. The 1st single from this album is the song “Girlfriend.”
This is a song all about wanting a love interest to change girlfriends. This idea must have resonated since this single became Avril Lavigne’s most successful song so far. It shot up to the #1 spot in the charts, was certified platinum, and became the first video in YouTube history to reach 100 million views. Not too shabby!
This song is fast and peppy, but it has little of the Punk influence of her earlier work. Instead, it’s bubblegum sweet and reminiscent of 80s Doo-Wop/Rock revival, like “Mickey” by Toni Basil. Lavigne adopts a sort of teeny-bopper persona for both this song and the video, making it seem almost like she has gone back in time herself.
“When You’re Gone” (2007)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G3_kG5FFfQ[/yt]
A different song from The Best Damn Thing is “When You’re Gone.” This is a power ballad that has a way more mature feel to it. Even if Lavigne’s voice is still as sweet as sugar. This is a song about pining for someone you love who’s far away, which is a far more mature topic than wanting to be someone’s girlfriend.
The song features piano and strings to give it a deeper, more orchestral feel. Lavigne sings over top with her sweet voice but manages to sound fragile at times as well. This song might remind you of Shania Twain (with a little less twang), who was one of Lavigne’s childhood idols and one of the first singers she shared a duet with.
“Keep Holding On” (2007)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyzBOH24oZA[/yt]
The last track on The Best Damn Thing is another of the Top 10 Avril Lavigne songs ever. This song has a slow burn to it, even though it has a fairly peppy beat. Again, we’re treated to strings, piano, and fat synth sounds to flesh out the music. And the sentiment in this song is melancholy but sweet. It’s a song about carrying on through tough times and supporting someone with love.
This song is an Adult Contemporary power ballad that was a radio darling, hitting the Top 20 in Canada, the US, and Australia. It was also used as the theme song for the 2006 fantasy film Eragon. Although, even this pretty song couldn’t do much to help that movie succeed.
“What the Hell” (2011)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQmEd_UeeIk[/yt]
It took Avril Lavigne four years to get her next album out. It was delayed by changes in style and tone. But, the biggest reason for the delay was the emotional turmoil she went through during her 2009 divorce from Sum 41 singer Deryck Whidbley. The album, Goodbye Lullabye, is mostly serious and heavy. However, she added the song “What the Hell” to balance it out.
Luckily she did…
This turned into one of Avril Lavigne’s most fun songs ever. It’s a high-energy Pop-Rock song that Lavigne has said is her personal freedom anthem. The lyrics are all about having fun and not being weighed down by stress and relationship pressure. It’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with a 2010s twist, and it worked out perfectly.
“Here’s to Never Growing Up” (2013)[yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXd2WxoOP5g[/yt]
The last song that deserves a spot on Avril Lavigne’s Top 10 list is “Here’s to Never Growing Up.” This track comes from her 2013 Avril Lavigne self-titled album. On this album, Lavigne returned to her earlier sound with a harder edge and more uptempo music compared to her previous two albums.
And, this is the sound we love her for…
This song is a real anthem. Lavigne’s voice is still as bright and sweet as ever and cuts through the Heavy Rock guitar that drives this song along. The group vocals in the chorus are fun and impossible not to sing along to. So, if you’re not ready to grow up, at least not today, this song’s for you.
Want More Fantastic Female Artists?
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The Top 10 Avril Lavigne Songs Of All Time – Final Thoughts
From her explosive debut in 2002 to her latest album 20 years later, Avril Lavigne has proven that she has staying power. Her style and lyrical content have changed and changed again over time. But her high, bright voice and fun and irreverent attitude have always been consistent.
Avril Lavigne’s music represents her personality – a tough woman who no one can hold down. So, whether she’s singing a mournful ballad or an in-your-face rocker, her music is inspiring, empowering, and just a whole lot of fun. And since she’s still making music, I can’t wait to hear what she’ll do next.
Until next time, happy listening.