This cover image released by DTA Records shows "Love Sux" by Avril Lavigne. (DTA Records via AP)

Review: Pop-punk queen Avril Lavigne reigns on ‘Love Sux’

Review: Pop-punk queen Avril Lavigne reigns on ‘Love Sux’

“Love Sux” Avril Lavigne (DTA Records)

Avril Lavigne is known for being a pillar of pop-punk in the early 2000s, who paved her own path in the male dominated alt-rock world. It’s been almost 20 years since her debut album “Let Go,” was released in the summer of 2002. But the Grammy Award-nominated artist is reminding everyone that she is still the master of the genre in her new seventh album, “Love Sux.”

This new album transports us back to those days when teen angst was palpable and alt-rock was playing on your MySpace page.

Lavigne is not trying to appease anyone. Many of the tracks on the album explore an edge to pop-punk that’s not typical to mainstream Top 40 radio. Electric guitars are blasting through almost every track. The first song, “Cannonball,” you hear feedback amp and an electric guitar, then she sings, “Like a ticking time bomb I’m about to explode.”

You can hear the punk-rock sounds all over the album, the power chords and loud riffs. But Lavigne is still very much a pop star in all the best ways. “Bite Me,” “Love Sux” and “Love It When You Hate Me” with blackbear lean into the alternative rock vibe, but they still have catchy addictive pop hooks.

The whole album is light-hearted, but it’s about self-worth. Lavigne’s rebellious attitude is all over her lyrics and she makes it clear in “FU” and “Bois Lie” featuring Machine Gun Kelly, both true break-up anthems. She also shows off her range with “Dare to Love Me,” a ballad that starts with a soft piano and shows her vulnerability in her lyrics.

Lavigne has played with her sound and delved deep with her lyrics over the course of her career but with “Love Sux,” it’s a true reintroduction to the pop-punk genre.

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Karena Phan, The Associated Press

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