Under My Skin (Avril Lavigne album)

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Under My Skin
Studio album by Avril Lavigne
Released May 25, 2004
Genre Post-grunge,[1][2][3] alternative rock,[4][5][6] pop punk[7][8][9]
Length 40:58
Label
Producer
Avril Lavigne chronology
Let Go
(2002)
Under My Skin
(2004)
The Best Damn Thing
(2007)
Singles from Under My Skin
  1. "Don't Tell Me"
    Released: 1 March 2004 (2004-03-01)
  2. "Take Me Away"
    Released: 24 May 2004 (2004-05-24)
  3. "I Always Get What I Want"
    Released: 24 May 2004 (2004-05-24)
  4. "My Happy Ending"
    Released: 7 July 2004 (2004-07-07)
  5. "Nobody's Home"
    Released: 4 November 2004 (2004-11-04)
  6. "He Wasn't"
    Released: 28 March 2005 (2005-03-28)
  7. "Fall to Pieces"
    Released: 7 June 2005 (2005-06-07)

Under My Skin is the second studio album by Canadian singer Avril Lavigne. It was released on 25 May 2004; It was her last album with Arista Records, and her first album with RCA Records.[10] Under My Skin debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart and according to Billboard magazine, was ranked number 149 on the list of top-selling album of the 2000s.[11] It has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, 3 million of which were sold in the United States, ranking the album No. 149 on the Billboard 200 Decade End Chart.[12][13][14]

Because of the album's darker vibe with reminiscent to post-grunge and more melodic rocker songs, it received generally positive reception from critics.

Background[edit]

Having no plans of working with producers or professional writers,[15] Lavigne wrote much of the album with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, with whom she had developed a friendship in the summer of 2003. Kreviazuk, whose husband Raine Maida's band Our Lady Peace opened for Lavigne's concert in Europe, introduced herself at an after-party for the SARS benefit concerts held in Toronto in June 2003. The following day, Lavigne and Kreviazuk ate lunch together,[16] during when Lavigne shared how she wanted the development of the album to be. They wrote songs for almost three weeks at Maida's warehouse in Toronto. Kreviazuk invited Lavigne to continue working in a Malibu, California house she shared with Maida, which contained a recording studio.[17] Many of the tracks in the album were recorded in Malibu.

Critics compared the musical style of Under My Skin with Amy Lee of the American rock band Evanescence.[18][19][20][21][22]

Kreviazuk suggested Maida produce songs for the album, an ability Lavigne did not know. Maida produced five songs, including "Fall to Pieces", which he co-wrote with Lavigne.[17] Lavigne also invited two other producers: Don Gilmore, who produced three songs, two of which were written by Lavigne and Kreviazuk,[17] and Butch Walker who also produced three songs in three days.[23] Lavigne also co-wrote one track, "Nobody's Home", with Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence, and the rest with her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld.[24][16]

On her website, Lavigne states that she had learned a lot since her first record, Let Go: "I was involved in every aspect of making this record. I'm very hands-on. I knew how I wanted the drums, the guitar tones, and the structures to be. I understand the whole process so much better this time because I've been through it. I'm really picky with my sound."[25][16] Regarding the album's theme, Lavigne stated, "I've gone through so much, so that's what I talk about....Like boys, like dating or relationships".[26] Lavigne broadened her repertoire with the help of alternative rock music with a goth rock edge along with the traditional pop-punk tunes.[27] But Under My Skin has been simply described as alternative rock album.[28][29]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 65/100[30]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[28]
Blender 4/5 stars[22]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[21]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[31]
PopMatters (Neutral)[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[32]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[33]
Yahoo! Music (6/10)[34]
Billboard 3.5/5 stars[11]
Q Magazine 4/5 stars
The A.V. Club (C)

According to Metacritic, Under My Skin received an average rating of 65, reflecting a generally positive reception from critics.[30]

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly suggested that in the album, "Lavigne has become even more, well, complicated", noting she "sounds more burdened". Browne adds, "As contrived as the results can be, there's no denying the level of craft at work."[21] Sal Cinquemani of Slant magazine noted that Lavigne's sound was now much heavier and darker and compared her to Amy Lee of Evanescence, as did Browne.[21] Carly Carioli of Blender magazine also agreed, stating "she has deepened and darkened her sound without sacrificing her platinum-plated melodies".[22] Kelefa Sanneh of Rolling Stone praised Lavigne's vocals, "blankness is what makes her best songs so irresistible. Whether it's a fit of faux punk or a maudlin ballad, she sings it all absolutely straight".[32] Musically the album's sound is compared to "that of crunching punk guitars playing mighty power chords, all mixed with the same flawless elan that has characterized pop-punk ever since Green Day dropped Dookie" says Tim O'Neil of PopMatters.[8] Andrew Strickland of Yahoo! Music agreed, "the girl can use those tiny lungs to great effect...she knows when to croon and when to yell". [34]

On a more negative note, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic writes, "... Under My Skin is a bit awkward, sometimes sounding tentative and unsure, sometimes clicking and surging on Avril's attitude and ambition." Erlewine compared Lavigne to Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette.[28] Cinquemani called Lavigne's "biggest weakness" her lyrics[33] and Strickland agreed, stating "we have a maturing Ms Lavigne, distancing herself from the teen antics of her "Let Go" debut, but struggling to find any stories worth telling".[34] Tim O'Neil of PopMatters stated "Lavigne's songwriting on the bulk of Under My Skin just seems rote" and goes on to call Under My Skin "a good, if slightly disappointing, follow-up".[8] The Guardian's Alexis Petridis lambasted the album, calling it a "flesh-eating virus"[35] and criticised the lyrics, stating "the music is so anodyne that you don't pay much attention to Lavigne's lyrics. This proves to be a small mercy".[31] Under My Skin is included in an article about Petridis' worst reviewed albums of modern times.[35]

Release and singles[edit]

Under My Skin was released on 25 May 2004 in the United States and worldwide.

Lavigne released four official singles from the album, and two promotional singles.

  • "Don't Tell Me" was the first single from the album, written and produced by herself, Evan Taubenfeld and Butch Walker. It earned Lavigne a nomination at the 2004 MTV VMAs, reaching No. 22 in the Billboard Hot 100, No. 5 in the UK Singles Charts and the top 10 in Australia.
  • "My Happy Ending" was the second single; it was written and produced by her and Butch Walker. The song returned Under My Skin to number one in Canada for several weeks, and to the top five in Germany, the UK, Australia, and other European countries. It was her fourth No. 1 single on the U.S. Mainstream Top 40 and was her second platinum single since "Complicated" (2002). The song became a worldwide hit.
  • "Nobody's Home" was the third single released from the album, written by Lavigne and former Evanescence member Ben Moody and produced by Don Gilmore. The song peaked lower in most countries than some of her previous singles.
  • "He Wasn't" was the fourth single from the album, written and produced by Lavigne and Chantal Kreviazuk. Despite charting in several countries, it was not a significant hit, failing to reach the top 20 in most markets. It was not released in the United States, where "Fall to Pieces" was released instead.
  • "Fall to Pieces" was released as an airplay single in North America and Australia on 7 June 2014 internationally "He Wasn't" was released instead.
  • "Take Me Away" was also a radio-only single first released in Canada and later in Australia. In Canada, it was a promotional single preceding Don't Tell Me. It was rereleased in Australia as the sixth official single.
  • "Freak Out", while not being released as a single, was used in the official trailer of the Walt Disney Pictures' 2005 film Ice Princess.

Chart performance[edit]

Under My Skin was her first album to debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, on the strength of 381,000 unit sales.[36] The album was certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in November 2004, by January 2006 was certified triple Platinum;[37] the album was ranked at No. 22 in the year-end chart of the Billboard 200 in 2004 and No. 68 in 2005. As of July 2013, Under My Skin had sold 3,144,000 copies in the US.[38]

It also made its debut at number one in Japan,[39] selling 286,894 copies. Under My Skin also went to number one in Canada selling over 63,000 copies, UK selling 87,500 copies, Australia, Spain, Mexico and Taiwan. It also topped the U.S. Billboard Internet Albums. It spent almost 5 months in the New Zealand Album Charts, eventually going Gold, but only peaking at number 7. On 15 April 2007, the album re-entered the UK Albums Chart at number 60, Under My Skin had sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.[12]

Promotional tours[edit]

Lavigne in Vancouver, British Columbia during the "Live and by Surprise" mall tour

To promote Under My Skin, Lavigne went on the "Live and by Surprise", a 21-city Mall Tour in the United States and Canada. The venue in each city wasn't announced until 48 hours before the show, which began on 5 March 2004 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the week "Don't Tell Me" was released to radio. Accompanied by her guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, Lavigne performed a short live acoustic version of five songs from the album. The set also included "Sk8er Boi" from Let Go.[40] Selections of this tour were released on the Live Acoustic EP, which was released exclusively in Target stores.

Bonez World Tour[edit]

Lavigne embarked on a world concert tour during 2004 and 2005 the Bonez Tour visiting North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latinamerica. The 140-show tour began on 26 September 2004 and ended one year later on 25 September 2005. Opening acts for the concerts included Simple Plan and Butch Walker. At some shows, she covered songs such as "American Idiot" by Green Day and "All the Small Things" by Blink-182. The live performance at the Budokan Stadium was covered on the DVD Live at Budokan: Bonez Tour, which was only made available in Japan.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Production Length
1. "Take Me Away"   Avril Lavigne Evan Taubenfeld Don Gilmore 2:57
2. "Together"  
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Gilmore 3:14
3. "Don't Tell Me"   Lavigne Taubenfeld Butch Walker 3:21
4. "He Wasn't"  
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Raine Maida 2:59
5. "How Does It Feel"  
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Maida 3:44
6. "My Happy Ending"  
  • Lavigne
  • Walker
Walker 4:02
7. "Nobody's Home"   Lavigne
Gilmore 3:32
8. "Forgotten"  
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Gilmore 3:16
9. "Who Knows"  
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Maida 3:30
10. "Fall to Pieces"  
  • Lavigne
  • Maida
  • Lavigne
  • Maida
Maida 3:28
11. "Freak Out"   Lavigne
Walker 3:11
12. "Slipped Away"  
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Maida 3:33

Personnel[edit]

This list of credits is based on barnesandnoble.com.[41]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[42] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[43] 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[44] 5
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[45] 6
Canadian Albums Chart[46] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[47] 13
European Top 100 Albums[48] 1
French Albums Chart[49] 4
German Albums Chart[50] 1
Greek Albums Chart[51] 6
Irish Albums Chart[52] 1
Italian Albums Chart[53] 3
Japanese Albums Chart[54][A] 1
Mexican Albums Chart 1
New Zealand Albums Chart[55] 7
Norwegian Albums Chart[56] 11
Polish Albums Chart (OLiS)[57] 13
Portuguese Albums Chart[58] 3
Swedish Albums Chart[59] 14
Spanish Albums Chart 1
Swiss Albums Chart[60] 2
UK Albums Chart[61] 1
US Billboard 200[62] 1
Preceded by
Confessions by Usher
Billboard 200 number-one album
6 June 2004 – 12 June 2004
Succeeded by
Confessions by Usher
Preceded by
Hopes and Fears by Keane
UK number one album
5 June 2004 – 11 June 2004
Succeeded by
Hopes and Fears by Keane
Preceded by
Get Born by Jet
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
31 May 2004 – 6 June 2004
Succeeded by
Wayward Angel by Kasey Chambers

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[63] Platinum 40,000x
Australia (ARIA)[64] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[65] Platinum 30,000x
Belgium (BEA)[66] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[67] Platinum 125,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[68] 5× Platinum 500,000^
France (SNEP)[69] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[70] Gold 100,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[71] Gold 10,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[72] Platinum 20,000*
Ireland (IRMA)[73] 3× Platinum 45,000x
Italy (FIMI)[74] 3× Platinum 300,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[75] Million 1,063,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[76] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[77] Gold 7,500^
Portugal (AFP)[78] Silver 10,000x
Russia (NFPF)[79] Platinum 20,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[80] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[81] Platinum 40,000x
Taiwan (RIT)[82] 3× Platinum 100,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[83] 2× Platinum 620,000^
United States (RIAA)[84] 3× Platinum 3,144,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[85] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Awards[edit]

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
2004 Premios Oye! Main English Record of the Year Won
2005 Juno Awards Best Pop Album Won
Best Album of The Year Nominated
Gold Disc Award Hong Kong Best 10 Albums Won
Japan Golden Disc Awards Rock&Pop Album of the Year Won

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label(s)
Japan[86] 12 May 2004 (2004-05-12) BMG Japan
United Kingdom[87] 24 May 2004 (2004-05-24) Arista Records, RCA Records[10]
United States[88] 25 May 2004 (2004-05-25)

Notes[edit]

  • A ^ The regular edition peaked at number one and the special edition at number seventeen.

References[edit]

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  3. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/music/2004/may/23/popandrock2 "...every song here is expertly tooled by Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore to suck in fans of big neo-grunge guitars, as well as Lavigne's core audience."
  4. ^ http://www.spin.com/reviews/avril-lavigne-best-damn-thing-rca/ "as Lavigne began churning out the kind of dark alt rock that's usually associated with Amy Lee"
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External links[edit]