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Review: Avril Lavigne's bad-girl bubblegum

Avril Lavigne in 2010

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What the Hell Avril Lavigne, from Goodbye Lullaby (forthcoming on RCA Records, available on iTunes and youtube.com)

This piece of bad-girl bubblegum tells us less about the "new" Avril Lavigne than about the old and continuing influence of Max Martin, the Swedish pop Svengali who co-wrote and produced this song and many others by Ke$ha and Britney Spears, including Spears's Hold it Against Me, released on Monday.

What the Hell has the springy, airtight production style of many another Martin track, with a dash of the junior Jezebel pose adopted by - or sculpted for - Ke$ha.

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So what if the song's protagonist made out with her boyfriend's best friend, and has little else to say about the experience? The song's got more than enough hook to catch in the throats of those who have those other Martin clients all over their iPods.

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About the Author

Robert Everett-Green is a feature writer at The Globe and Mail. He was born in Edmonton and grew up there and on a farm in eastern Alberta. He was a professional musician for several years before leaving that task to better hands. More

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