April 3, 2005

Is Avril Lavigne a Poser?

So perhaps you’ve heard about Avril Lavigne. She burst into the music scene on 2002 with her debut album Let Go. Her first single, Complicated made her household name the world over. With the release of her next single, Sk8er Boi, her songs were classified as skater punk. And since punk is under rock, the metalheads around the world accused her of desecrating the holy name of rock n’ roll.

A poser is someone who makes you believe that she belongs to a certain group, but reality, that person’s personality and character is overly different. That person claims to be a part of a group but the majority doesn’t accept that person.

Americans have animosity towards Canadians, and vice versa. Americans hate Canada. Canada used to prevent Fox News from airing on their country. And you know what? Avril Lavigne came from the Land Up North. If she was American it would take a SNL messup before she would condemned with all of her CDs burned on a large bonfire (sounds familiar?).

There some allegations that punk is too melodic, too rhythmic. It sounds poppish. Bland. And with the long list of great rock bands of the past decades, metalheads are outraged of what they say punkers posing as rockers.

Should rock have heavy rhythms? Noisy beats? Unintelligible lyrics? Songs about sex, drugs and violence? Music for adults? Rock was as counterculture during the 1970s (Remember the Vietnam War?). However, during the onset of the 80s, rock became a part of the mainstream. Aritsts such as Elvis Costello sang pop tunes that were considered rock hits. Heck even Madonna was a rock star.

And how about Nirvana? Where were they classified? Since they come from Seattle (a few kilometers south of the Canadian border), there was some confusion of what kind of rock they were doing. As time went by, Nirvana became the pioneers of the so-called alternative sub-genre. And with Kurt Cobain’s suicide, the rest, as they say, is rock history. More alternative bands came upon the scene, each with its own personality, its own followers, and critics.

Punk arose as a lighter brand of rock. Something girls can understand. However, the hardcore metalheads saw this as an infiltration of pop into their world. Enter Avril Lavigne. She’s Canadian, she’s eighteen, and she’s from Arista. She was ripe for the metalheads’ criticism. On message boards all over the World Wide Web, when an Avril Lavigne thread/topic was created, the second reply would be “She’s a poser!” And the posts were mostly from girls (ask Hilary Duff). Girls hate each other. Dudes would join the bandwagon and voila, Let Go went multiple platinum and Avril had her own nationwide tour.

Eminem is white when he started rapping. Conservatives were outraged. But where were the hip-hop guys? They embraced Eminem with open arms, even though he’s White (though Briton Craig David had a tougher time, because, gasp!, his not American!). Should I add Michael Jackson?!

The bottom line is, you can’t please everybody. And you can’t classify everyone on a single category. Even Johnny Cash is both in the Country and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. If Avril Lavigne isn’t a rocker, then she’s something else, but to argue against record sales (or is it sales records?) is tough.

Jealousy won’t get you somewhere. And Avril Lavigne made recording executives rich. Rocker? Maybe not. Cash cow? Yes.

1 comment:

  1. The thing is... Avril obviously isn't what she's trying to be. She goes on about not caring about the clothes she wears but, she follows a certain 'punk' look. She says she hates pop and pop artists like Britney Spears but she generates pop music. She holds that guitar during her concerts and music videos, but the pick hardly touches the strings. To top it all off, Sk8r Boi (I hate spelling that) is a horrible song. Just my 2 cents.


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