Wish You Were Here (Avril Lavigne song)

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"Wish You Were Here"
Single by Avril Lavigne
from the album Goodbye Lullaby
Released 9 September 2011 (2011-09-09)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2010; Maratone Studios, (Stockholm, Sweden)
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 3:45
Label RCA
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Max Martin
  • Shellback
Avril Lavigne singles chronology
"Smile"
(2011)
"Wish You Were Here"
(2011)
"How You Remind Me"
(2012)
Audio sample
file info · help
Music video
"Wish You Were Here" on YouTube

"Wish You Were Here" is a song by Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne, taken as the third and final single from her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby (2011). The song was written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback, and produced by the latter two. According to Lavigne, the song shows her vulnerable side. Critical reception towards the song was positive, with critics praising it as a highlight on the album.

The accompanying music video for "Wish You Were Here" was directed by Dave Meyers and it premiered on September 9, 2011. Lavigne described the video as different from her previous work. Upon its release on the Internet, it received positive to mixed reviews from music critics who praised Lavigne's portrayal of emotions, and described it as dark. She further added "Wish You Were Here" to the set list of her tour, The Black Star Tour. By November 2014, The song has crossed the 200 million views mark on Vevo, making it Lavigne's second-most-watched video just behind her 2007 hit single Girlfriend

Background[edit]

"Wish You Were Here" was written by Lavigne, Max Martin, and Shellback, while production was handled by the latter two.[2] In a telephone interview with The Caprice, Lavigne confirmed that the song would serve as the third and possibly last single from Goodbye Lullaby.[3] During an interview with Artistdirect, Lavigne said that the song showed her vulnerable side.[4] Later talking with MTV News about Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne described her meeting with Martin and the work on "Wish You Were Here":

"He said some really kind things that really meant a lot to me. He worked with so many people and he's an artist, he's very sensitive. We wrote a couple really special songs together. It's kind of hard to work with someone new, and when I went in and did vocals on 'Wish You Were Here,' I did my first take, and then Max stood up and was like, 'I'm so honored that you're here.' And it was a really special moment, where he understood me and I understood him. We connected and had a really great time. And it was really magic my first trip there.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Jody Rosen, writing for Rolling Stone magazine, described "Wish You Were Here" as a "jangling power ballad".[6] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic marked "Wish You Were Here" as a highlight of the album, Goodbye Lullaby.[7] Al Fox, an editor of BBC Music, said that the song is one of the tracks from the album where "Lavigne actually manages to communicate some real sentiment". He also commented that it is "an unassuming strum-along".[8] Bill Lamb of the website About.com found "interesting arrangements and musical settings" in the song.[9] While reviewing Goodbye Lullaby, Robert Copsey of Digital Spy concluded that the main theme of the song was based on the lines "I can be tough, I can be strong/ But with you it's not like that at all" and talked about Lavigne's divorce.[10] He further put the song in his list of "Possible future singles".[10]

On a more negative note, Mikael Wood of Spin magazine wrote that, in songs like "Wish You Were Here" and "Everybody Hurts", the "former brat-punk princess in dreary woe-is-me mode" can be found.[11] According to Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine, this song, along with others from Goodbye Lullaby, "mistake having a potty mouth for having an actual personality", stating it "fails to pass off 'Damn, damn, damn / What I'd do to have you here, here, here' as a hook".[12]

Chart performance[edit]

Even before being released as a single, the song peaked at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number 64 on the Canadian Hot 100 on the week of the album's release.[13][14] Upon release to radio stations, the song entered the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay at number 69 on November 13, 2011,[15] has peaked at 32, and re-entered the Canadian Hot 100 on November 19, 2011 at number 98.[16] It re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at 84 and peaked at 65.[17] The song has sold over 500,000 units of digital copies in the USA. It was never released on radio in the UK, Germany and some other European countries.

Music video[edit]

Background and synopsis[edit]

"It's a song written about missing someone and looking back and remembering all the good times and all those awesome moments. The song is 'stripped down. It's kind of raw, but also emotional. I cry in the video and that was something that I did on purpose, but it was something that was real."

Avril Lavigne talking about "Wish You Were Here" with Billboard[18]

On August 9, on her official website, Lavigne posted pictures from the shooting of the music video for "Wish You Were Here", one of a red flower, and another of her lying on a wooden floor. Lavigne said that the video will be very raw and exposed, unlike her previous videos "What the Hell" and "Smile".[19] Dave Meyers was the director of the video.[20] On September 8, Lavigne posted on her Twitter and Facebook accounts "My music video for 'Wish You Were Here' is coming out tomorrow (and the tears are real... no onions!!)" confirming that the video will be posted on September 9.[21] She further described the video, "It's simple but emotional. Raw and real. Stripped down."[22] The video premiered on Lavigne's VEVO channel on September 8. It begins with her lying on a wooden floor wearing a black dress and barefoot, surrounded by leaves. She rises, and begins to sing. Lavigne picks up a red flower and begins picking off the petals. She sets the flower on fire,[21] and waves it in the air. As she continues singing, she starts to cry. Towards the bridge of the song, Lavigne is shown lying in a bathtub. She submerges herself, then suddenly rises, and steps out. Lavigne continues to sing, and steps towards the sunlight from a nearby window.

Reception[edit]

Shows Lavigne alone with a flower.

A writer for the magazine Billboard simply called the video "dark".[23] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly said that Lavigne could have worn waterproof mascara in the video but she concluded that it "wouldn't be quite as cinematic."[24] Writing for AOL, Marina Galperina concluded "Unlike other recent videos 'What the Hell' and 'Smile,' this latest cut from the Goodbye Lullaby album is a bit somber."[22] Melinda Newman of HitFix concluded that Lavigne "looks beautifully anguished, but that's a lot of screen time and focus for any one artist to try to carry off." However, she added that the video doesn't "look as awkward as she did in the horrible video for 'What The Hell.'"[25] Amy Sciarretto of Pop Crush said: "It's a somber video with Avril as the only star, in a sad, dark place. It certainly resonates, though! Even a perky pop star like Avril Lavigne immune to sadness that comes with separation."[26]

According to Derek Johnson of Long Island Press was "heating up the Internet" with one million views on YouTube because Lavigne "is showing another side to fans".[20] Writing for Dose, Ottawa Citizen and The Vancouver Sun, Leah Collins gave the video a mixed review saying that Lavigne is "feeling a bit more mall-emo than mall-punk".[27][28][29] She added that Lavigne used "pyromania in the opening scenes, torching a gerbera daisy while wanly singing of lost love" before concluding "What's an Avril video without at least one act of age-inappropriate mischief, anyway?".[27][28][29] Pop Dust '​s Katherine St Asaph compared the scene where Lavigne is in the bathtub with the music video for Britney Spears '​ song "Everytime" but the two scenes have different meanings.[30]

Live performances[edit]

Lavigne performed the song on Good Morning America on November 22, 2011.[31][dead link]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Source:[2]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011–12) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[34] 4
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[35] 34
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[18] 64
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[36] 35
Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay (Billboard)[18] 33
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[18] 90
Lebanon (The Official Lebanese Top 20)[37] 3
Russia (Tophitru)[38] 47
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[39] 68
South Korea (Gaon Chart)[40] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[41] 65
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[42] 20
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[43] 30

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
New Zealand[44] July 31, 2011 (2011-07-31) Radio airplay Sony Music/RCA
Australia[45] September 9, 2011 (2011-09-09) Digital download
Austria[46]
Belgium[47]
Germany[48]
Ireland[49]
Italy[50]
Luxembourg[51]
Mexico[48]
Netherlands[52]
New Zealand[53]
Norway[54]
Switzerland[55]
France[56] September 12, 2011 (2011-09-12)
Australia[57] Radio airplay
Poland[58]
Finland[59] September 13, 2011 (2011-09-13) Digital download
Spain[60]
United Kingdom[61][62] October 23, 2011 (2011-10-23) Epic Records
Belgium[63] October 31, 2011 (2011-10-31) Digital download
(deluxe edition)
Sony Music/Epic Records
Canada[64]
France[65]
Greece[66]
Ireland[67]
Italy[68]
Luxembourg[69]
Netherlands[70]
Portugal[71]
Spain[72]
Switzerland[73]
United Kingdom[74]
United States[75]
United States[76] November 1, 2011 (2011-11-01) Mainstream radio Epic Records

Awards[edit]

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
2012 Juno Awards Juno Fan Choice Nominated
VEVOCertified Awards 100.000.000 Views Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ MuuMuse Approved: Avril Lavigne – Wish You Were Here
  2. ^ a b Lavigne, Avril (2011). Goodbye Lullaby (Liner Notes) (Compact Disc). Avril Lavigne. RCA Records. 
  3. ^ "Avril Lavigne announces third single off Goodbye Lullaby". Shuffle Me. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (December 8, 2010). "Avril Lavigne to Release "Goodbye Lullaby" on March 8". Artistdirect. Retrieved September 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (March 8, 2011). "Avril Lavigne Describes The 'Magic' Of Working With Max Martin". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Goodbye Lullaby by Avril Lavigne". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Goodbye Lullaby Avril Lavigne". Allmusic. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
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  13. ^ "Week of March 26, 2011". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media Inc. March 23, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
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External links[edit]