Under My Skin - Avril Lavigne

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Under My Skin gets generic at times, but that's why it works.
  2. 80
    She has deepened and darkened her sound without sacrificing her platinum-plated melodies. [#27, p.141]
  3. An altogether more satisfying supply of air punching, stadium sized choruses. [Jun 2004, p.103]
  4. As contrived as the results can be, there's no denying the level of craft at work. [28 May 2004, p.121]
  5. Under My Skin is a far more balanced album than Let Go, allowing Avril to stretch out a bit more and not suffer the troughs that typified any song that happened to follow a Matrix penned track.
  6. Both more satisfying and more formulaic.
  7. A one-two punch of radio-ready, rock-tinged riffs and Lavigne's signature defiant yet introspective vocals.
  8. So, we have a maturing Ms Lavigne, distancing herself from the teen antics of her "Let Go" debut, but struggling to find any stories worth telling save for boyfriend trouble and dead grandparents.
  9. Under My Skin is a bit awkward, sometimes sounding tentative and unsure, sometimes clicking and surging on Avril's attitude and ambition.
  10. A good, if slightly disappointing, follow-up.
  11. There's little subtlety on "Under My Skin," and... absolutely no fear of clichés. But on the emotionally fraught battleground that is high-school romance, perhaps those would be frills. [16 May 2004]
  12. She's sounding as genre-bound in her way as the synthetic singers she was supposed to be a relief from.
  13. Mascara-streaked moods dictate an excess of ballads and rockers that trade in sterile nü-metal crunch, leaving Lavigne's pop-punk spunk by the wayside.
  14. The music is so anodyne that you don't pay much attention to Lavigne's lyrics. This proves to be a small mercy: examination of the CD booklet reveals that prolonged exposure to her words could leave a previously healthy adult rocking backwards and forwards in a foetal ball.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 165 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 71
  2. Negative: 6 out of 71
  1. May 15, 2012
    'Under My Skin' is a firm fan-favourite with Lavigne providing the perfect soundtrack for every pre-teen girl who has somehow been wronged. It is unsurprising then that pretty much every song on the album is about breaking up with your boyfriend, perhaps because he's pressuring you into sex or because he doesn't open doors for you or tell you that you're special. That becomes Lavigne's main weakness; she seems to be desperate to show us that she's a capable songwriter but she doesn't have many stories worth telling - even when she does, such as in "Slipped Away", a song about her grandfather who died, her lyrics fail to produce anything other than a basic, clumsy list of emotions ('I miss you so bad, I don't forget you, oh it's so sad'). There are a few lyrical highlights, especially in "My Happy Ending", but ultimately it's the production and vocal delivery that really makes this album shine, with Lavigne ambitiously (and quite desperately) merging together heavy rock guitars with golden pop melodies. Each song has been so expertly produced and so well thought out that it's a shame that the lyrics don't quite do them justice. Despite this, 'Under My Skin' has clearly had a lot of effort put into it and songs like "Fall To Pieces", "Together" and "Nobody's Home" definitely deserve a listen (if you can overlook her bland rhyming of 'home' with 'home')! Full Review »
  2. Feb 16, 2014
    It's been almost precisely 10 years since 'Under my Skin' was released ( and the very fact that Lavigne is still around only serves to prove her staying power) and regardless of it's reviews, it's total sales in excess of 10 million has served her well in establishing her niche in the world of music. In my opinion, however, it is the unreleased tracks that show the potential of this album. The opening track, 'Take Me Away', serves an addictively nostalgic introduction, with complicated, angst-laden lyrics. (My words are cold, I don't want them to hurt you.) 'Together', 'How does it feel' and 'Who Knows' back up the consistency, while 'slipped away' serves as a fitting tribute for Lavigne's Grandparent.
    This album may have it's critics, but for many, it recalls the departure of 'Let Go', both lyrically and musically, thrusting Avril into the mainstream once again, banishing any 'one-hit wonder' fears that may have arisen in 2004. Her future releases could do with more of ''Skins' powerful delivery.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    Once again, she created an album where every track is amazing in their own way. Freak Out and My Happy Ending are probably the two best which one did hit the top ten of billboards and the other probably would have if it had been released. All the vocals and music are beautifully done and the songs flow perfectly into each other. Full Review »