Under My Skin (Avril Lavigne album)

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Under My Skin
Under My Skin (Avril Lavigne album) cover.png
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 19, 2004 (2004-05-19)
Recorded2003 – February 2004
Genre
Length40:58
Label
Producer
Avril Lavigne chronology
Avril Lavigne: My World
(2003)
Under My Skin
(2004)
The Best Damn Thing
(2007)
Singles from Under My Skin
  1. "Don't Tell Me"
    Released: March 1, 2004
  2. "My Happy Ending"
    Released: June 16, 2004
  3. "Nobody's Home"
    Released: November 4, 2004
  4. "He Wasn't"
    Released: March 28, 2005

Under My Skin is the second studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne. It was released on May 19, 2004, by Arista Records and RCA Records. Lavigne wrote most of the album with singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, who invited her to a Malibu in-house recording studio shared by Kreviazuk and her husband Raine Maida, where Lavigne recorded many of the songs. The album was produced by Maida, Don Gilmore, and Butch Walker.

Under My Skin debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart and on the US Billboard 200. It has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, three million of which were sold in the United States, ranking the album number 149 on the Billboard 200 decade-end chart.[1][2][3] Because of the album's darker, heavier, more aggressive vibe reminiscent of post-grunge and more melodic rockier songs, it received generally positive reception from critics. On March 18, 2013, Under My Skin was re-released as a double-disc set paired with her debut studio album, Let Go, which was released under Arista Records. To promote the album, Lavigne went on a promotional tour for malls in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, Lavigne embarked on a concert tour, entitled the Bonez Tour, starting in September 26, 2004 and ending one year later on September 26, 2005. The concert at the Budokan Stadium in Japan was filmed and released on a DVD only available in Japan, entitled Bonez Tour 2005: Live at Budokan.

Background[edit]

Having no plans of working with producers or professional writers,[4] 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,[5] during which 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.[6] Many of the tracks on the album were recorded in Malibu.

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.[6] Lavigne also invited two other producers: Don Gilmore, who produced three songs, two of which were written by Lavigne and Kreviazuk,[6] and Butch Walker who also produced three songs in three days.[7] Lavigne also co-wrote one track, "Nobody's Home", with Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence, and the rest with her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld.[8][5]

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."[9][5] 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".[10]

Critics described Under My Skin as post-grunge[11][12][13][14][15] and alternative rock,[16][17][18][19] containing some nu metal[20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and goth influences.[27]

Release and singles[edit]

Under My Skin was released on May 12, 2004 in Japan and later on May 25, 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, and charted at 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 Lavigne 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 Lavigne's fourth No. 1 single on the US 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.

Other songs[edit]

  • "Fall to Pieces" was released as a promotional single in North America and Australia on June 7, 2005.
  • "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".

Critical reception[edit]

Critics compared the musical style of Under My Skin with Amy Lee of the American rock band Evanescence.[28][29][30][31][32]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic65/100[33]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[18]
Blender4/5 stars[32]
Entertainment WeeklyB[31]
The Guardian2/5 stars[34]
PopMattersNeutral[35]
Q4/5 stars
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[36]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[37]
Yahoo! Music6/10[38]

According to Metacritic, Under My Skin received an average rating of 65, reflecting a generally positive reception from critics.[33]. 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."[31] 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.[31] Carly Carioli of Blender magazine also agreed, stating "she has deepened and darkened her sound without sacrificing her platinum-plated melodies".[32] 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".[36] 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.[35] 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". [38]

On a more mixed note, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that the album 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.[18] Cinquemani cited Lavigne's lyrics as her "biggest weakness"[37] 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".[38] 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".[35] The Guardian's Alexis Petridis lambasted the album, calling it a "flesh-eating virus"[39] 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".[34] Under My Skin is included in an article about Petridis' worst reviewed albums of modern times.[39]

Commercial performance[edit]

Under My Skin debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 381,000 copies in its first week. This feat marked Lavigne's highest first-week sales of her career and also her first number-one album. [40] The album was certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in November 2004; by January 2006 it was certified triple Platinum.[41] The album was ranked at number 22 in the year-end chart of the Billboard 200 in 2004 and at number 68 in 2005. As of September 2015, Under My Skin has sold 3.2 million copies in the US.[42]

It also made its debut at number one in Japan,[43] selling 286,894 copies. Under My Skin also went to number one in Canada, selling over 63,000 copies, the UK, selling 87,500 copies, Australia, Spain, Mexico and Taiwan. It also topped the US Billboard Internet Albums chart. It spent almost 5 months in the New Zealand Albums Chart, eventually being certified Gold, but only peaking at number 7. On April 15, 2007, the album re-entered the UK Albums Chart at number 60. To date, Under My Skin has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide.[1]

Promotional tours[edit]

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

To promote Under My Skin, Lavigne went on the "Live and by Surprise Tour", 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 March 5, 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.[44] Selections of this tour were released on the Live Acoustic EP, which was released exclusively in Target stores.

Bonez World Tour[edit]

To further promote the album, Lavigne embarked on a world concert tour during 2004 and 2005. The Bonez Tour visited North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The 140-show tour began on September 26, 2004 and ended one year later on September 25, 2005. Opening acts for the concerts included Simple Plan and Butch Walker. At some shows, Lavigne 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 recorded on the DVD Live at Budokan: Bonez Tour, which was only made available in Japan.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLyricsMusicProductionLength
1."Take Me Away"Avril LavigneEvan TaubenfeldDon Gilmore2:57
2."Together"
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Gilmore3:14
3."Don't Tell Me"LavigneTaubenfeldButch Walker3:21
4."He Wasn't"
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Raine Maida2:59
5."How Does It Feel"
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Maida3:44
6."My Happy Ending"
  • Lavigne
  • Walker
Walker4:02
7."Nobody's Home"Lavigne
Gilmore3:32
8."Forgotten"
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Gilmore3:16
9."Who Knows"
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Maida3:30
10."Fall to Pieces"
  • Lavigne
  • Maida
  • Lavigne
  • Maida
Maida3:28
11."Freak Out"Lavigne
Walker3:11
12."Slipped Away"
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
  • Lavigne
  • Kreviazuk
Maida3:33

Note: Three versions of the album were released to streaming service Spotify: The regular album, a version with the bonus track "I Always Get What I Want" and the regular album with a new mix of "Nobody's Home" titled "Nobody's Home - NEW MIX" [47]

Personnel[edit]

This list of credits is based on barnesandnoble.com.[48]

Musicians

  • Avril Lavigne – lead vocals, guitar, backing vocals
  • Kenny Aronoff – percussion, drums
  • Josh Freese – drums
  • Victor Lawrence – cello
  • Butch Walker – acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, background vocals
  • Michael Ward – guitar
  • Patrick Warren – strings, keyboards, chamberlain
  • Phil X – guitar
  • Brooks Wackerman – drums
  • Raine Maida – keyboards
  • Chantal Kreviazuk – piano, keyboards
  • Mike Elizondo – bass
  • Brian E. Garcia – percussion
  • Sam Fisher – violin
  • Samuel Formicola – violin
  • Mark Robertson – violin
  • Kenny Cresswell – drums
  • Shanti Randall – viola
  • Jason Lader – bass
  • Bill Lafler – drums
  • Static – keyboards
  • Jon O'Brien – keyboards
  • Nick Lashley – guitar
  • Evan Taubenfeld – acoustic guitar, drums, electric guitar, background vocals

Production

  • David Campbell – string arrangements
  • Don Gilmore – production, engineering
  • Victor Lawrence – digital editing
  • Butch Walker – programming, production
  • Raine Maida – producer, engineering, digital editing, string arrangements
  • Chantal Kreviazuk – string arrangements
  • John Rummen – art direction
  • Leon Zervos – mastering
  • Paul David Hager – engineering
  • Brian E. Garcia – engineering, digital editing
  • Dan Certa – engineering
  • Kim Kinakin – art direction
  • Jason Lader – programming, digital editing, string concept
  • Russ-T Cobb – engineering
  • Dan Certina – engineering
  • Dan Chase – digital editing, drum programming
  • Static – programming

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[94] Platinum 40,000^
Australia (ARIA)[95] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[96] Platinum 30,000*
Belgium (BEA)[97] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[98] Platinum 125,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[99] 5× Platinum 500,000^
France (SNEP)[100] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[101] Gold 100,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[102] Gold 10,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[103] Platinum 20,000*
Ireland (IRMA)[104] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[105] 3× Platinum 300,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[106] Diamond 1,100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[107] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[108] Gold 7,500^
Portugal (AFP)[109] Silver 10,000^
Russia (NFPF)[110] Platinum 20,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[111] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[112] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[113] 2× Platinum 620,000^
United States (RIAA)[41] 3× Platinum 3,200,000[42]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[114] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments 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[115] May 19, 2004 BMG Japan
United States[116] May 22, 2004 [117]
Various[118] May 23, 2004

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The standard edition peaked at number one on the Japanese chart, while the special edition peaked at number 17.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]