Smile (Avril Lavigne song)

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"Smile"
Single by Avril Lavigne
from the album Goodbye Lullaby
Released 6 May 2011 (2011-05-06)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2010; Maratone Studios, (Stockholm, Sweden)
Genre Pop punk[1]
Length 3:28
Label RCA
Writer(s) Avril Lavigne, Max Martin, Shellback
Producer(s) Max Martin, Shellback
Avril Lavigne singles chronology
"What the Hell"
(2011)
"Smile"
(2011)
"Wish You Were Here"
(2011)
Goodbye Lullaby track listing
"Wish You Were Here"
(4)
"Smile"
(5)
"Stop Standing There"
(6)
Audio sample
file info · help
Music video
"Smile" on YouTube

"Smile" is a song by Franco-Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne, taken as the second single from her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby. Written by Lavigne with its producers Max Martin and Shellback. "Smile" was released on 11 April 2011 to Australian radio stations and then on 17 May to U.S. radio as the second single. The song received favorable reviews from music critics, who described the track as a "sassy and catchy pop song".[2] A music video directed by Shane Drake was filmed in April 2011 and released on May 20. It has charted inside the top-thirty on the Australian, Japanese and New Zealand charts.

Background[edit]

Lavigne wrote the song with its producers, Max Martin and Shellback.[2] "Smile" pays tribute to the special someone who was able to win her heart and put a grin on her face.[2] Backed up by a punchy drum rhythm and electric guitars, Lavigne offers even more reasons why most normal guys would run in the other direction, then praises her guy for sticking around.[2] Lavigne asked her fans via Twitter what the next single from Goodbye Lullaby should be, giving the choices between "Push" and "Smile".[3] Lavigne confirmed that "Smile" was to be the second single from the album though reports suggest Lavigne was fighting for a "Push" release. The singer's record label, RCA Records, announced that "Smile" will be sent out to Polish radio in April, with the same expected to happen in other territories such as Canada, New Zealand, Asia, and the UK.[4] She posted photos to her Twitter of the set of the music video, filmed on April 21.

Due to the many uses of profanity in the song, different clean edits have been released. The official clean edit which is played on most radio stations replaces "Crazy bitch" with "Crazy chick", removes "Shit", and replaces "You're fucking crazy" with "You like it crazy". Another edit is the same, but instead of removing "You don't really give a shit", it is replaced with "You don't really give it up." Finally, the iTunes edit completely blanks out all profanity, as well as "Blacked out". Some radio stations and music channels also remove "What did you put in my drink?"

Critical reception[edit]

Lavigne performing in Florida during her Black Star Tour, May 2011

Nadine Cheung from AOL Music said positively: "The new song represents Lavigne's best qualities as a pop star, while the tune incorporates talk-singing as well as the bold melodic choruses for which the 26-year-old is known."[5] Andy Greenwald from Entertainment Weekly said that: "The sassy "Smile," with its talk of doctored drinks and blackout tattoos, restore Avril to her rightful place ahead of Katy Perry and Ke$ha."[6] Scott Shelter from Pop Crunch was largely positive, rating it 9 stars (out of 10), saying that: "'Smile' is yet another catchy pop song from Lavigne, who's been scoring hits for nearly a decade now, far longer than most would have predicted when she hit the scene as a spunky teen with songs like 'Complicated' and 'Sk8er Boi.'"[2] Another positive reaction came from Lewis Corner editor of Digital Spy, who rated it four stars out of five.[7] He commented that in the lyrics, she still maintaining her teen-brat persona rather worryingly at the age of 26", while naming the chorus "electric guitar-driven power-pop".[7] He concluded that the song is "another effortlessly catchy soft-rock chant-along that is a welcome return to form".[7]

Josh Langhoff from PopMatters was more mixed, saying that: "More problematic is "Smile" and its bold pro-roofie stance."[8] Marcus Gilmer from The A.V. Club was positive, saying that: "Lavigne exhibits some of the old spunk on "Smile," dropping a litany of curse words and asserting her right to be "a crazy bitch" who does "what I want when I feel like it.""[9] Robert Everett-Green from The Globe and Mail said that: "Smile would have us believe that Lavigne is still ready to be really bad and kiss the wrong guy and maybe not even wash her hair for a day."[10] Jon Pareles from The New York Times commented that: "In "Smile," she slings four-letter words through a tale of rock craziness and love at first sight."[11]

Margaret Wappler from Los Angeles Times explains that "On "Smile," Lavigne celebrates black-out nights, possibly with her ex-husband Deryck Whibley, the kind that result in a new tattoo. She proudly calls herself crazy and out of control, before leading into a chorus that’s all gushy about love.[12] Al Fox from BBC Music said that: "the spiky, unstable Smile, shoehorns in more needless swear words than a week’s worth of late-night Hollyoaks."[13] Dan Weiss from The Washington Post commented that "'Smile' is the only other Lullaby tune where she fully savors her role as the estranged divorcee godmother of the Keshaverse."[14] Chris DeLine from "Culture Bully" explained that: "the song is energic and have a pop hook". While opining that: "The energetic track pales in comparison however, picking up on a trend that persists throughout the entire recording."[15]

Chart performance[edit]

After officially being released as a single, "Smile" debuted on the Australian Singles Chart and New Zealand Singles Chart. In Australia, it debuted at number forty-two on 2 May 2011 and has peaked at number 25.[16] The song has sold over 100,000 units of digital copies in the Australia. In New Zealand, the song debuted at thirty-three on 25 April 2011 and peaked at number thirty. In the United States, the song debuted at 94 on the Billboard Hot 100 the charting week of July 16, 2011,[17] rising to number sixty-eight in its fifth week. The song has sold over 500,000 units of digital copies in the United States. The song peaked at 186 on the UK Singles Chart after her Britain's Got Talent performance, then fell out of the chart the next week, making it her lowest charting single to date in the United Kingdom. It was never released on radio in the United Kingdom, Germany and some other European countries.

Live performances[edit]

Lavigne performed the song, while promoting the album, on Walmart Soundcheck,[18] on "2DayFM",[19] and also on T4.[20] Lavigne has performed the song on the German show Schlag den Raab on 4 June 2011.[21] The song was also recorded on Lavigne's concert on the aol.com website, to the AOL Sessions, with no release date announced yet. Lavigne performed a medley of the song and her previous single "What the Hell" on the British show Britain's Got Talent on June 1, and at the America's Got Talent 6th session on July 13.[22]

She then flew to Japan to perform the song at TV Asahi’s weekly music program, Music Station, on February 3, 2012.[23]

Music video[edit]

Background[edit]

The music video was shot on April 21, 2011, and was directed by Shane Drake. Lavigne uploaded videos on her YouTube account of the set of the video. On May 16, she posted a video titled "Ready, Set, Smile!".[24] On May 17, she posted another video, titled "Smile & Style".[25] On May 18, she posted the third video, titled "Graffiti Guitar", and the fourth video, "Avril Lavigne - "Smile" Behind the Scenes" was viewed more than 120,000 times in less than 24 hours. Lavigne premiered the music video on May 18, 2011 on her VEVO account.

Synopsis[edit]

"Avril's serving as an unseen muse in the brokenness of life, and she sees the broken scattered remnants of hearts around the city, displayed by glass, and removes those pieces from people's lives [...] causing them to feel as though there's hope again."

—Shane Drake (director), Smile (Behind the Scenes)[20]
Lavigne performing "Smile" in a white room. The walls are plastered with posters and spray painted words.

The video begins with Lavigne in a white room. She shakes a can of spray paint, and sprays a smiling face on the camera. Lavigne decorates the walls around her with The Black Star Tour posters, and various miscellaneous words and designs. She plugs a red electric guitar into an amplifier, and begins to sing the first verse. She makes her way outside into New York City. Lavigne walks over to people looking upset or distressed, and takes a piece of a broken heart represented by glass lying by them. When she takes the piece, they begin to smile. The video switches between those locations; Lavigne in the white room and in the city, the same theme recurring throughout the duration of the video.[26]

Reception[edit]

Jeff Lapointe from MTV News was positive and says that "Lavigne is back to her heavy mascara and punk-like teenage look on a studio set which she decorated herself with color spray bombs, posters and a few props."[27] Lapointe also says that the video is "energetic and love struck."[27] Jamie Peck from MTV Buzzworthly commented that Lavigne is "learning to deal with things in a more grown-up fashion."[26] Robbie Daw from Idolator wrote that "she’s a foul-mouthed pop tart with a heart of gold!."[28] Daw perceived that "those couple-breaking-up-at-a-cafe references to Debbie Gibson’s 1988 “Foolish Beat” video."[28] A positive response came from Billboard's writer Jon Blistein, who says that "It's simple, sweet, and unlike "What the Hell," wonderfully void of blatant product placement."[29] The website Terra was mixed, saying that Lavigne is stuck in the year 2000 in the video and that "she is still trying to play dress-up like she did back when "Complicated" made her peak."[30]

Track listing[edit]

iTunes Store digital download[31]
  1. "Smile" (Radio Edit) – 3:29
UK digital download / CD single[32]
  1. "Smile" – 3:29
  2. "What the Hell" (Bimbo Jones Remix) – 4:10
  3. "Smile" (music video) – 3:36

Credits and personnel[edit]

Source:[33]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia[50] 11 April 2011 Radio airplay Sony Music
Norway[51] 6 May 2011 Digital download
France[31]
Belgium[52]
Denmark[53]
Finland[54]
Greece[55]
Ireland[56]
Italy[57]
Luxemburg[58]
Netherlands[59]
Portugal[60]
Spain[61]
Sweden[62]
Switzerland[63]
United States[64] 17 May 2011 Top 40/Mainstream airplay RCA Records
Germany[65] 3 June 2011 CD single
United Kingdom[32] 3 July 2011 Digital download

Awards[edit]

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
2011 EVMA 2011 Best Alternative Video Nominated
2012 MuchMusic Video Awards International Video Of The Year by a Canadian Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Avril Lavigne: Goodbye Lullaby Review Washington Post Retriev ed 2011-05-19
  2. ^ a b c d e Shelter, Scott (May 10, 2011). "Avril Lavigne, ‘Smile’ – Song Review". Pop Crunch. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ok guys... I have a big decision to make today and I want my fans to help me. Do u guys want PUSH or SMILE to be my 2nd single??". Twitter. Twitter Inc. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Avril Lavigne announces new single". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Cheung, Nadine (May 4, 2011). "Avril Lavigne, 'Smile' -- New Song - AOL Radio Blog". AOL Music. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ Greenwald, Andy (March 9, 2011). "Goodbye Lullaby (2011) Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Corner, Lewis (June 23, 2011). "Avril Lavigne: 'Smile' - Digital Spy Review". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  8. ^ Langhoff, Josh (March 16, 2011). "Avril Lavigne: Goodbye Lullaby". PopMatters. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ Gilmer, Marcus (March 8, 2011). "Avril Lavigne: Goodbye Lullaby". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  10. ^ Everett, Robert (March 8, 2011). "Goodbye Lullaby Review: The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  11. ^ Pareles, Jon (March 8, 2011). "Critics’ Choice: New CDs - Avril Lavigne, R.E.M and more - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  12. ^ Wappler, Margaret (March 8, 2011). "Album review: Avril Lavigne's 'Goodbye Lullaby' | Pop & Hiss". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ Fox, Al (March 7, 2011). "BBC - Music - Review of Avril Lavigne Goodbye Lullaby". BBC. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  14. ^ Weiss, Dan (9 March 2011). "The Lost Youth of Avril Lavigne". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  15. ^ DeLine, Chris (28 February 2011). "Avril Lavigne "Goodbye Lullaby" Review". Culture Bully. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Avril Lavigne – Smile". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chart #1770 – Monday 25 April 2011: Top 40 Singles Chart". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. April 25, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Avril Lavigne: Smile (Live at Walmart Soundcheck)". YouTube. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Smile (live 2DayFm) - Avril Lavigne". YouTube. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  20. ^ a b http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I385v8QfLfo
  21. ^ "Avril Lavigne kommt zu "Schlag den Raab"". szene.ag. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  22. ^ Daw, Robbie (July 14, 2011). "Avril Lavigne’s ‘Got Talent’, Performs "What The Hell" And "Smile"". Idolator. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Performances from February 3rd’s ‘Music Station’". 3 February 2012. Tokyohive. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Lavigne, Avril (May 17, 2011). "Ready, SET, Smile!". Twitter Inc. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  25. ^ Lavigne, Avril (May 17, 2011). "Smile & Style". Twitter. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  26. ^ a b Peck, Jamie (July 16, 2011). "New Video: Avril Lavigne, 'Smile'". MTV. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  27. ^ a b Lapointe, Jeff (May 23, 2011). "Avril get's raw and fun like her glory days of "Let Go" yet can she remain young forever?". MTV. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Daw, Robbie (May 20, 2011). ""Smile"! It’s Avril Lavigne’s New Video". Idolator. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  29. ^ Blistein, Jon (May 20, 2011). "Avril Lavigne Gets Warm and Fuzzy in 'Smile' Video". Billboard. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Avril Lavigne Is Still Trying To Be 'Punk' In Her New 'Smile' Video". Terra. May 20, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b http://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/smile-single/id434598511
  32. ^ a b "Smile - Single: Avril Lavigne: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  33. ^ Smile (liner notes). Avril Lavigne. RCA Records. 2011. 
  34. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Avril Lavigne – Smile". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  35. ^ "Avril Lavigne – Smile – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Avril Lavigne – Smile" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  37. ^ "Ultratop.be – Avril Lavigne – Smile" (in French). Ultratip.
  38. ^ "Brasil Hot 100 Airplay". Billboard Brasil (Brasil: bpp) (2): 98. July, 2011. ISSN 977-217605400-2
  39. ^ "Avril Lavigne Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Avril Lavigne.
  40. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201131 into search. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  41. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  42. ^ "Lebanese Top 20 chart - October 9, 2011". 2011-10-09. 
  43. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Avril Lavigne – Smile". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  44. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201129 into search.
  45. ^ http://gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/online/download/list.gaon
  46. ^ "Smile - Avril Lavigne - Billboard Charts". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc) 123 (23). 2011-06-25. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Chart Highlights: Dance, Alternative Songs & More - 13 June 2011". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  48. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2011 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  49. ^ "American single certifications – Avril Lavigne – Smile". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  50. ^ "Australian Media Release Date". The Music Network. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  51. ^ "Smile - Single". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  52. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/be/album/smile-single/id434598511
  53. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/dk/album/smile-single/id434598511
  54. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/fi/album/smile-single/id434598511
  55. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/gr/album/smile-single/id434598511
  56. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/smile-single/id434598511
  57. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/it/album/smile-single/id434598511
  58. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/lu/album/smile-single/id434598511
  59. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/smile-single/id434598511
  60. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/pt/album/smile-single/id434598511
  61. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/es/album/smile-single/id434598511
  62. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/se/album/smile-single/id434598511
  63. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/ch/album/smile-single/id434598511
  64. ^ "All Access". All Access. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  65. ^ "Smile - Single: Avril Lavigne: Amazon.de: Music". Amazon.de. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 

External links[edit]