Jesus had a lot of haters. Hence, his crucifixion. Avril Lavigne has a lot of haters, too. But fortunately for Lavigne, sounding awesome isn't a crime -- and crucifixion is viewed as cruel and unusual punishment nowadays.
Critical crucifixion, unfortunately, is not. So instead of doing a point-counterpoint on Av's strengths and weaknesses as a rock goddess, we decided to recruit the two most unabashed Avril fans on Delmar Boulevard, so that they might counteract the dark forces that seek to derail the otherwise unstoppable A-Train.
Mike Seely: There are but two absolutes in this cruel, cruel world: 1) Mary Magdalene was a whore with a penchant for bearded men in Birkenstocks and 2) Avril Lavigne isn't. The A-Train says as much on her smash hit single, "Don't Tell Me": "Did you think that I was gonna give it up to you, this ti-yee-i-yee-ime?" No, I didn't, which probably explains why I want to bend her over a radiator so badly.
If Av wanted to whore it up like Xtina, Titney Federline or Raven-Symone, the loins of America would stand at attention. But instead the A-Train's got an electric fence around the perimeter of her backyard -- thanks to her recent engagement to Sum 41's Deryck Whibley -- that makes us pine for her all the more.
But I digress. As far as Av's music goes, from the first verse of "Complicated," I've experienced a sonic force that I simply had not experienced before. The "twangst" and kitten-like palpitations in her voice make for three-minute carnival rides of emotion. She's the Knott's Fucking Berry Farm of post-adolescent power pop. Granted, "Sk8er Boy" was dog doo, but every other track on both of her albums is just ear candy, bro.
Ben Westhoff: While your allusion to Avril as the second coming of Christ makes more sense than anything this side of "My Happy Ending," there's a hole in your broader thesis wide enough to ram Mark Wahlberg's summer sausage through. "Sk8er Boi" -- there is an 'i' in 'boy,' don't forget -- was the horniest piece of pop-punk since Green Day's "Basket Case." Both songs inspired exurban high school chicks to go a couple bases further than they'd planned in their boyfriends' walk-in showers while high on pot. Booty-rawkin' is what rock's all about, which explains why Aerosmith gets you laid, the Beatles don't, and Yo La Tengo is strictly for the married and the castrated.
MS: I don't like Green Day at all. But this isn't about Green Day, it's about Av. Everyone called her a poseur, but look at the movement she's inspired since Let Go debuted: Liz Phair booked Av's production team to cop her mojo, while Aguilera and Pink switched their sounds from snicker-lickin' bling to feminazi rawk. Moreover, the Olsen twins dress like heroin-addicted Dumpster divers, Hilary Duff and Kelly Clarkson now have something of an edge, and Jessica Simpson's little sister and Lindsay Hohan chose hot licks over samples on their respective (horrible) recording debuts.
That's an awful lot of followers for a poseur to have. Which brings us back to that Avril-as-Jesus analogy: Let's just say the sandal fits.
BW: Why that jerk James Caviezel got to play J.C. in that Passion movie is beyond me -- perhaps because they share the same initials, but that's all speculation. But the more I think about it, perhaps the Son of God is not the perfect Av-nalogy. Better to consider countrywoman and earthy-ish troubadour Alanis Morissette. Some have said that Avril is a cheap knockoff of Alanis, but that's like saying that the condom is a cheap knockoff of a swath of lamb-testicle skin tied on with twine. Morissette's songs lack the sexy edge of Av's (as does her figure), and the only reason I bring her up at all is that she played God in Kevin Smith's Dogma.
There is one key difference between Avril and God, however. Her fashion résumé includes making wristbands look hot and pioneering the tie/tank-top combo. God, by most accounts, doesn't even wear clothes.
MS: Jim Caviezel was my coach at Cougar Cage Camp in Pullman, Washington, when I was twelve years old. No bullshit. He was very slick and charismatic and reminded me of Tom Cruise. But if Avril Lavigne had a son, he would not look like Jimmy C. Similarly, if Avril Lavigne had a daughter, it would not look like Av's fellow Canuck, Ms. Morissette. Rather, the spawn of Lavigne would pop out of Av's womb drenched not in blood and uterus-goop, but in honey.
BW: Sadly, as a possessor of merely grade-A, earth-quality sperm, I'm out of the running to help produce any little Lavignes. Maybe she and her betrothed will need a wet nurse.