Single Review: Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water

Avril Lavigne
  • Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water
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Editor's Review

Avril's back and she's brought her iconic haunting piano melodies with her. 'Head Above Water' proves that the battle she's been through won't keep her down, with her voice sounding as beautiful as it's ever been in this powerful, heart-wrenching ballad.

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Fans have been clamouring for this moment for nearly half a decade, and it’s finally here. The pop-punk princess has returned.

Yesterday, Avril Lavigne returned from a five year hiatus in epic fashion, with the release of her latest single ‘Head Above Water’. Not shying away from the truth, the newest addition to her catalogue revolves around her struggle with Lyme disease, and it’s bottled up in a heart-wrenching tune that is equally emotional and inspirational.

Previously, Lavigne had posted a letter to her fans on her official website, opening up about her battle for the first time. “One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed, ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the songwriting of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.”

Learning about the pain she went through and now realising how she was able to tackle the situation and overcome it against all odds only serves to maximise the emotional impact behind ‘Head Above Water’. By adapting such a real, horrifying situation to her music, she’s created a relatable song that is sure to attract old and new fans alike.

The iconic haunting piano returns, providing a stunning background to Lavigne’s beautifully unique voice we’ve grown to know and love. On that note, the final chorus features what feels like a throwback to Avril’s earlier rock-pop sound, with booming drum beats and electric guitar chords that drown out the piano while creating the perfect climax to such a stellar track.

While I can’t help but wonder whether or not the fun-loving pop-punk princess is now gone, ‘Head Above Water’ is the perfect return for Avril Lavigne. Her ballads seem to go from strength to strength, and this one may just be her best yet. She’s rumoured to be working on a full-length follow-up to her 2013 self-titled album, and if this is anything to go by, it’s going to be gorgeous.

One thing’s for sure – it’s damn good to hear her voice again.

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