Music Review: 'What the Hell' by Avril Lavigne

Filed under: Music


Rated ON for Ages 12 and Up

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "What the Hell" is a single about throwing caution to the wind and behaving without boundaries. Though it doesn't include profanity beyond "hell" or graphic references to sex or substances, it has some suggestive lyrics about "making out," "messing in your bed," and "raging." The song also describes not caring about whether these behaviors hurt another person's feelings.

What to watch out for

  • Messages: The somewhat out-of-control tone of this song ("I just need to be a little crazy / All my life I've been good but now, I'm thinking what the hell / All I want is to mess around and I don't really care about / If you love me, if you hate me, you can't save me") sends a message that it's OK to be reckless.
  • Role models: Engaging in irresponsible, hurtful behaviors is not the best example for kids.
  • Violence: Not an issue.
  • Sex: Talks about "making out" and has a sexually suggestive line: "You say that I'm messing with your head / Boy, I like messing in your bed."
  • Language: "Hell" is repeated throughout.
  • Consumerism: Not an issue.
  • Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.

What's the Story?

"What the Hell" is the first single from pop rockster Avril Lavigne's album "Goodbye Lullaby," her first new record since 2007's "The Best Damn Thing." In this track, Lavigne sings "all my life I've been good, but now, I'm thinking what the hell" -- and proceeds to make out with guys, go out on a "million dates," and "rage." While she doesn't use any profanity beyond "hell" or make direct references to substance use, Lavigne's not-so-subtle descriptions of wild behavior makes this track out of reach for the grade-school set.

Is It Any Good?

In "What the Hell," Lavigne sticks with the tried-and-true pop formula that made her famous, producing a tune that sports the same rapid-fire pop hook and saucy vocals as previous Lavigne singles like "Girlfriend." While the song is far from original, it will undoubtedly appeal to Lavigne's loyal fan base and be blasted at slumber parties for some time.

This review was written by Stephanie Bruzzese.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.