CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF AVRIL LAVIGNE'S 'LET GO'

written by Meghan Ianiro

 

The late 90s and early 2000s were the height of the “popstar” era. The likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera—NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys—were the center of American culture. ...That was, until June 4th, 2002, when a Canadian singer with backwards hats, heavy eyeliner, and studded wrist cuffs rocked our world with the release of her debut album, Let Go.

YE

 

For many of us, Avril Lavigne’s Let Go is an album we grew up with and, 15 years later, continues to be an album we’re still growing with. There’s no doubt that the themes in this album probably made far less sense when we were younger and dealing with adolescent “issues,” so let’s celebrate 15 years of Let Go, give it a thorough listen, and revisit all those feelings, shall we?

 

TRACK 1 - 'LOSING GRIP'

Why should I care?
'Cause you weren't there
When I was scared
I was so alone

 

What an opener! ‘Losing Grip’ sets the tone for the entire album… Dealing with an awful guy and realizing your worth? You go, girl! If he doesn’t care, you shouldn’t care either! Also, that “crying out loud” bridge used to get me pumped every time. I vividly remember jumping on my bed to this one and feeling like a total badass.

TRACK 2 - 'COMPLICATED'

And you're, talking to me one on one but you become
Somebody else, 'round everyone else
You're watching your back, like you can't relax
You're trying to be cool, you look like a fool to me

 

‘Complicated’ is one of Avril’s most well-known tracks so I don't have to say much, do I? It’s difficult to find anyone who doesn’t know the lyrics to this one. Also, this is the first time we got a taste of Avril’s punk-chic style. “Take off all your preppy clothes?!?!” What?!?! You want him to take off those $100 Abercrombie jeans? Wow. Yes. Claire's also totally started selling ties for girls at this point. Groundbreaking.

TRACK 3 - 'SK8ER BOI'

He was a skater boy, she said "see you later, boy"
He wasn't good enough for her
She had a pretty face, but her head was up in space
She needed to come back down to earth

 

I loved everything about ‘Sk8er Boi’ growing up. The song, the video, this one made us all want to be Avril. This was the definition of "punk rock" to a young girl growing up in 2002. This song made me want to try "skateboarding" (celebrate when I successfully rode my cousin's Toys 'R' Us skateboard across her driveway). This song inspired our AIM screen names. This song made skater boys seem super cool. It was so good that we didn’t even care that the story doesn’t make much sense (skater boy=rockstar???). 'Sk8er Boi' is a piece of early 2000s history.

TRACK 4 - 'I'M WITH YOU'

I'm looking for a place
I'm searching for a face
Is anybody here I know
Cause nothing's going right
And everything's a mess
And no one likes to be alone

 

None of us knew if She was saying “damp cold night” or “damn cold night,” but we went with “damp” so we wouldn’t get in trouble with our ‘rents. This jam still makes me want to run outside in the rain without a jacket and walk across a bridge in slow-mo. The opening chords still bring back that hollow nostalgia and the “I’M WITH YOOOUUUUU!!!” at the end is still incredibly fun to sing. I always get the urge to sing this when I'm alone in social settings.

TRACK 5 - 'MOBILE'

Everything's changing
When I turn around, all out of my control, I'm a mobile

 

‘Mobile’ is so underrated. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album, and the melody in the chorus is so catchy! This is one of those songs that I can listen to once and have stuck in my head all day (or week) long. You’ll probably get it stuck in your head too. If you don’t remember the lyrics, that’s okay—you’ll still probably get “lalala...” portion stuck in your head.

TRACK 6 - 'UNWANTED'

You don't know me
Don't ignore me
You don't want me there
You just shut me out

 

Much like, ‘Losing Grip,’ ‘Unwanted’ is one of the angstier tracks on the album. This is a little more raw than the other tracks as well, focusing less on the melody and more on the emotion—almost as if she’s talking directly to this person. Avril didn’t care about making the song pretty. In fact, she didn’t care about making anything pretty. That’s why we loved her.

TRACK 7 - 'TOMORROW'

And I wanna believe you
When you tell me that it'll be ok
Yeah I try to believe you
Not today

 

Mellowing down with ‘Tomorrow,’ this track is definitely a “lie-in-bed-and-reflect” go-to. The tone is bright, but you can hear the emotion in Avril’s voice—she’s not pushing her vocals, but they flow out effortlessly. Who knew a song could be sad and uplifting at the same time? Avril did, clearly.

 

TRACK 8 - 'ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY'

Sometimes I get so weird
I even freak myself out
I laugh my self to sleep
It's my lullaby

 

This was every weirdo's anthem! Didn’t fit in? That’s okay, Avril was on your side. Love her or hate her, Avril was shamelessly herself, and encouraged all of us to be ourselves, too. That’s pretty rad.

 

TRACK 9 - 'THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY'


I want to see you go down on one knee
Marry me today

Guess, I’m wishing my life away
With these things I’ll never say

 

Why do I remember so many chicks I know covering this song acoustically way back when? Just me? Anyway, this song is pretty cute. I think it perfectly explains how it feels to have an insane crush on someone but being too shy to do anything about it. Come on, you know you would blush thinking about Mikey (or Molly) smiling at you during lunch whenever you’d listen to this song!

TRACK 10 - 'MY WORLD'

Can't help if I space in a daze
My eyes tune out the other way

I may switch off and go in a daydream

 

I have to say it: this is probably the weakest track on the album. I always remember skipping it, and I still don’t know what a “fried chicken ass” means. I suppose the lyrics show off her down-to-earth, relatable personality, though?

TRACK 11 - 'NOBODY'S FOOL'

If you're trying to turn me into something else
I've seen enough and I'm over that
I'm not nobody's fool
If you wanna bring me down
Go ahead and try

 

Yes! ‘Nobody’s Fool’ is the jam. More specifically, it’s unapologetic, in your face, and quintessential Avril. This track makes me grateful that we had celebrity role models like Ms. Lavigne growing up.

TRACK 12 - 'TOO MUCH TO ASK'

Every time I try to make you smile
You're always feeling sorry for yourself
Every time I try to make you laugh
You can't
You're too tough
You think you're loveless
Is that too much that I'm asking for?

 

Whomever Avril was writing songs about for this album was a clearly a douchebag, but we have him to thank—he actually brought out her best. Anyone who’s ever been a one-sided relationship with an awful person will be able to relate to this song, almost to the point of instant sadness. It’s okay, though, ‘Too Much To Ask’ is a hit.

TRACK 13 - 'NAKED'

Because I've never felt like this before
I'm naked
Around you
Does it show?
You see right through me
And I can't hide
I'm naked
Around you
And it feels so right

 

‘Naked’ is another one of my favorites from Let Go. I used to pretend it wasn’t, though, because I was barely 9 years old and took the whole concept literally… Obviously, the song goes way beyond that: it’s vulnerable, beautiful, and it sounds like Avril finally found a guy worth writing songs about—a full-circle journey.