The Problem With... Avril Lavigne's "What the Hell"

Man, just seeing the name Avril Lavigne on the charts again takes me back to my teenage years. Back then, I loathed her singles "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi" for their obvious pretense toward skater punks. Seems little has changed.

Today, as I look back at Avril's career, it seems she was always misbranded as a skater punk. Her songs were more poppy than anything -- with even maybe a little country-pop thrown in.

And yet, while Avril has branched out her talents since her 2002 debut Let Go -- she even performed duets with fellow Canadians Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette -- she's still dragging around that bratty punk brand. We can see as much with Avril's latest single "What the Hell," a cotton-candy, Disney Channel-like pop track with some indie-pop influences.

Surely, at this very moment, Miley Cyrus must be raging red as she shouts, "What the hell?! That's my sound!"

Except that, well, this has always been Lavigne's sound. This song's beat sounds like it was essentially recycled from her single "Girlfriend" from a couple of years back. And the chords at the chorus, while catchy enough, seem recycled, too -- they're suspiciously similar to the chords from Miike Snow's "Animal."

So the sound hasn't really changed. But what about the subject matter? Uh, sorry, folks.

Once again, Lavigne's bitching about a controlling-yet-open boyfriend here. Which is it? Hmmm. Does it matter? Either way, there is a gross lack of communication in this relationship. Seems that Avril needs to make up her mind -- maybe's she's to blame for everything in her life being so compli-cay-ted.

Get with it, Avril! You're about the same age as I am. And I've learned some stuff in my years, I like to think.

It's clear, though: You have not.

What the hell?