Avril Lavigne’s ‘Let Go’ Turns 20. What Are Teens Thinking These Days?

Avril Lavigne Lets Go 20 Years Later Complicated Sk8er Boi

All photos: Izzy Copestake

Millennials Are Obsessed With Avril Lavigne’s Debut Album Let go† Play “Complicated” and they come running, out of nowhere, whispering “uh huh, uh huh…and life is like this”. And if you grew up in the 2000s, chances are you had a weird sock arm and those thick straps with the spikes at some point.

Let go is now two decades old. Sorry to rub it in, but I was alive for a year then Let go came out on June 4, 2002. Although I’ve only just learned to swallow solid foods, even I know the impact the self-proclaimed rock chick had on anyone who considered themselves a little bit rebellious, but loved a good drink. poppy chorus at once.

As one of the most iconic albums of the millennium turns 20, I started to wonder if any of these songs have stood the test of time. Today’s teens like Olivia Rodrigo and Urban Outfitters swim positively in low-waisted combat pants. But what do they think of “Sk8er Boi” or some of the more emotional moments like “I’m With You?”

I went looking for some teenagers on the street to find out.

Jacqueline, 18: ‘It’s a blast to be honest’

A teenager listening to Avril Lavigne in 2022

VICE: Hey Jacqueline, what kind of music do you like?
Jacqueline: I like to listen to some alternative stuff. I love everything, but I know everyone says that. I think Arctic Monkey, the Black Keys… that sort of thing.

Arctic Monkeys are class – so heavy on guitar?
You could say that.

This has a good piece of guitar, what do you think? [plays “Sk8er Boi”]
It sounds like the kind of stuff I used to listen to in high school. It’s a blast to be honest.

If it came out now, would you listen to it?
Maybe, but it would be a bit random…

Patrick, 19: ‘She has the sad bangers’

A teenager listening to Avril Lavigne in 2022

VICE: Would you consider yourself punk?
That’s not the first thing I think of when I think of myself.

It’s more punk to tell people you’re not punk than to sit there and say you’re punk, right?
I assume there is some truth in that.

What do you normally listen to?
I really like Grimes. My favorite song is “Genesis”. But I also really like acoustic stuff. I love Joni Mitchell. They would be my two favorite artists.

Are you a fan of Avril Lavigne?
I’d say all those artists have elements of Avril Lavigne in one way or another. Grimes is also Canadian and she is hugely successful, as is Avril Lavigne. I just love female Canadian artists. I’d say Grimes is similar because I think they were both very experimental for their time. I think Avril was experimental in a different way – by being emo and punk.

So you are a fan! Can I play a song for you? Let’s listen to ‘Complicated’.
No, can we listen to another one? I like her sad songs.

What do you want to listen to?
“I share your opinion”. I always listen to this, it’s really sad.

Why do you like it so much?
Just because it’s very sad. Many people mistakenly believe that her music is really upbeat, but there is a lot of depth in this one. She has the sad bangers. It is beautiful. She has a cold night and she is depressed, but she is with this man and outlines the struggles of her relationship.

Some serious emo shit.
You’re right.

Michael, 18: ‘I don’t think this would survive right now’

A teenager listening to Avril Lavigne in 2022

VICE: What kind of music do you like, Michael?
Michael: Hip hop and rap. Young boy.

Ever heard of Avril Lavigne?
Yes, I actually have. I don’t know anything about her – I only know her name.

Okay, let me show you this song, “Complicated.”
Hmm guitars…strumming…okay…drums. Normally I never analyze music this way. Was this viral?

I think it’s gotten pretty big on TikTok lately.
It is well.

If you passed the aux, would you ever play it?
If I knew the lyrics, yes. It’s a crazy meme. My boys love the weird crazy number, init. It’s not our niche, but it’s still music, you know?

Does it sound like it could come out today?
No. I don’t think this would survive now. What’s trending right now is like, Dua Lipa and shit like that. Perhaps she was the Dua Lipa at the time.

Beth, 19: ‘This is definitely not what I would normally listen to’

A teenager listening to Avril Lavigne in 2022

Hi, Bets. Would you ever listen to pop punk?
To be fair, yes. I think the only thing I wouldn’t listen to is heavy metal.

What do you think of “Losing Grip?”
It’s definitely not what I would normally listen to. However, I like “Sk8r Boi” and “Complicated”.


Floris, 16: ‘Have that romantic 2000s feeling’

A teenager listening to Avril Lavigne in 2022

VICE: Hey, what kind of music do you usually listen to?
Floris: A great medley. A lot of rap, but also some of my dad’s stuff from the 70s, like Pink Floyd.

Ever heard of Avril Lavigne?
I really only know “Sk8er Boi”.

That seems to be a common theme. What do you think of this lesser-known song “Tomorrow?”
It’s nice… a little soft, I think. Got that romantic 2000s feel.

Is the Y2K enough to make a comeback like low-waisted jeans?
Yes, I would say that. It could probably be released today.

Would you ever play it if you got the aux?
Could be. However, I would depend on what kind of friends I have around.

Kate, 19: ‘Lots of people dressed up as her for Halloween last year’

A lot of people dressed up as her for Halloween last year

VICE: What do you think of Avril Lavigne?
Kate: So I’m from Canada, so if she’s going to grow up anywhere, it would be there. People there still listen to her stuff a lot, but much more her old stuff than her new stuff.

Would you say there’s still a pretty solid fan base then?
uh…not one crazy one, I know. But we would definitely listen to her songs as more of a throwback. A lot of people dressed up as hair for Halloween last year, for one reason or another.

I think that’s pretty easy now with the Y2K revival in vogue.
Yes, all those styles are coming back now. She’s definitely popping up more than she would have before. I really only know her big songs.

What do you think of “Tomorrow”?
I like it. I really like the atmosphere of her music. It’s different from the rest of her music I’ve heard, it’s slower – but in a fun way. A good change. I think I would probably listen to it again.


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