Avril Lavigne performs May 4 at Fair Park Coliseum, with Simple Plan and Gob.
Look, I'm as big an Avril Lavigne supporter as the next ninth-grade girl for whom Christina Aguilera has ceased to be a positive role model; I mean, I've never hung out in a dingy Singaporean brothel with oversized stuffed animals and lubed-up bodybuilders running around either, so I can certainly relate to a young person wearing a necktie and mourning the one that got away and becoming a big rock star instead of sticking around and starting a family. (I miss you, Rivers!) But what kind of a letdown is "Losing Grip," Lavigne's current radio single (the fourth to be taken from her over-5-million-selling Let Go)? What's great about "Complicated," "Sk8er Boi" and especially "I'm With You" is their duality, the sense that Lavigne's not anymore of a toughie than you are, but that she sometimes feels like one--in "Complicated" she cops to being frustrated, not enraged or inflamed or possessed by the devil. Just frustrated, in a way that those sprinkly keyboards can pretty much soothe. There's none of that in "Losing Grip"; it's plain old nü-metal bluster that I could get as easily from Evanescence, well choreographed but lacking Lavigne's usual gesture toward the true smell of teen spirit. I know we all need to vent sometimes, but don't sell us out now, Avril. Please?