1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear – Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty


1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear
#75: Avril Lavigne – Hello Kitty (2013)

MATT KELLY doesn’t mind Avril Lavigne but makes an exception for this 2013 album on which she is pointedly annoying.

My relationship with Avril Lavigne is… complicated. She has made some bad music, but I don’t write her off entirely. Her 2013 self-titled album was a bit confused – it contained some effective, more mature numbers such as ‘Give You What You Like’, but it also suggested that the 29-year-old Lavigne may have been sensitive about this maturation with desperately youth-chasing song titles such as ’17’, ‘Here’s To Never Growing Up’ and ‘Bitchin’ Summer’.

This quest to be young and happenin’ reached its nadir on Hello Kitty which is not only the worst song on this album but among the worst singles of 2013. With shades of that masterpiece of irritating AF pop wannabeism ‘Swagger Jagger’, ‘Hello Kitty’ is beside itself in its eagerness to annoy the shit out of you, one embarrassing faux pas after another tumbling out of your speakers.


Support Witchdoctor’s ongoing mission to bring a wealth of new and historic music interviews, features and reviews to you this month (and all year round) as well as coverage of quality brand new, contemporary NZ and international music. Witchdoctor, entertainment for grownups. Your one-off (or monthly) $5 or $10 donation will support Witchdoctor.co.nz. and help us keep producing quality content. It’s really easy to donate, just click the ‘Become a supporter’ button below.


In the first few seconds alone we encounter what appears to be a phone tone pulsing out of key – I didn’t even know phone tones could be out of key before this – before Lavigne storms down your ear drums and bangs on the migraine centre with the worst vocal delivery of her, or anyone’s, career.

I can’t stress enough how bad this delivery is. In a misguided attempt to show “attitude”, Lavigne tunelessly bellows each syllable with all the finesse and precision of a drunken manatee removing your eye teeth during an earthquake only without as much pain or discomfort. It isn’t that Lavigne can’t sing – this abrasive approach was a deliberate decision to be edgy and down with the kids.



Then you take in the lyrics:

“Let’s all slumber party
Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties
Someone chuck a cupcake at me!”

And I swear the way she enunicates “Like a MAY-JUH RAY-JUH O M F G” is among the most aggravating line readings in pop.

The song’s questionable use of Japanese culture, more evident in the video, lends an extra air of distaste to proceedings and while Lavigne is entirely free to write songs about lesbian sleepovers, I don’t know if naming them after Sanrio’s mascot of all things pure and innocent is the right call.

To return to the song’s musical crimes, we’re not done. After the chorus we are “treated” to an attempt at a dubstep breakdown in one of several “What do you mean I’m nearly 30 no one here is nearly 30 hahahaha” moments. It’s even worse than you’d expect, the track collapsing into a succession of stupid and obnoxious EDM noises. Rather than failure I expect this was the producer’s intent, that they thought this was what “the kids” wanted at the time, which just makes it feel so cynical.

Then there’s the bit where she just goes “KA KA KA KA KAWAII” over and over again.
The definition of “insufferable”, Hello Kitty is a glaring shitstain on Lavigne’s track record. To her credit she seems to have learned from the experience – this style was not revisited – but it should be remembered as a warning to other popstars who want to hop on trends they don’t know how to execute successfully.

Avatar photo

Matthew Kelly is the most important person in the music industry – the type of obsessive nerd without whom it would have no reason to produce box sets and nine-hour long documentaries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Give a little to support Witchdoctor's quest to save high quality independent journalism. It's easy and painless! Just donate $5 or $10 to our PressPatron account by clicking on the button below.

Witchdoctor straight to your inbox every 2nd week


Advance Paris - Designed with French flair. Amplifiers, Streamers, CD players and more www.pqimports.co.nz
Previous Story

Why are people so frightened of chilli?

Next Story

The fascinating ins and outs of a piano – Tania Giannouli’s Solo

Latest from 1001 albums you must die before you hear

Go toTop