Head Above Water

Head Above Water

by Avril Lavigne Avril Lavigne


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Roughly a year after Avril Lavigne released her eponymous fifth album in 2013, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Her illness informs Head Above Water, which arrives six long years after Avril Lavigne -- the longest time separating Lavigne albums by far. Considering that half-decade gap and all the personal turmoil the singer endured, it scans that Head Above Water unveils a different Avril Lavigne, one who proudly bears her scars and is eager to share her journey. Head Above Water has its moments of darkness, but they're not sad, they're stirring. The album is designed to offer solace while also being a rallying call. Inspirational music, in other words, so it's not entirely surprising that its title track was serviced to Christian radio in advance of its release -- a gambit that proved successful, since "Head Above Water" went to number five on the Christian radio chart. Despite this, Head Above Water can't be called Christian music by any measure -- no album with "Dumb Blonde," a cherry bomb stomp of defiance featuring a Nicki Minaj verse could -- but its quieter, contemplative moments, of which there are many, do veer toward the aspirational pop of Rachel Platten, a sign Lavigne is no longer the mall punk of lore. Although the album is weighed heavily by ballads suited for adult contemporary radio, Lavigne fortunately peppers it with moments of levity: "Tell Me It's Over" sways with echoes of a '50s slow dance, "Crush" is so light it floats into the stratosphere, and "Bigger Wow" swells with strings reminiscent of vintage Vanessa Carlton. Such moments provide a needed contrast to the motivational ones while also connecting to Lavigne's bubblegum roots, a move that makes the overall maturation of the album feel earned.

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Product Details

Release Date: 02/15/2019
Label: Bmg Rights Managemen
UPC: 4050538441789
catalogNumber: 41789
Rank: 6973


  1. Head Above Water
  2. Birdie
  3. I Fell in Love with the Devil
  4. Tell Me It's Over
  5. Dumb Blonde
  6. It Was in Me
  7. Souvenir
  8. Crush
  9. Goddess
  10. Bigger Wow
  11. Love Me Insane
  12. Warrior

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Avril Lavigne   Primary Artist
Paul Bushnell   Bass
Larry Gold   Conductor
Kevin Fox   Cello
Wojtek Goral   Baritone Saxophone
Corky James   Guitar
Mattias Johansson   Violin
Stephan Moccio   Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Johan Carlsson   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Electric Guitar,Marimbas,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Mellotron,Shaker,Wurlitzer,Synthesizer Pads,Hammond B3
Peter Noos Johansson   Trombone
Aaron Sterling   Drums
Maiya Sykes   Background Vocals
Mattias Bylund   Synthesizer,Strings,Synthesizer Pads,Horn Engineer
Mika Lett   Background Vocals
Zane Carney   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Vanessa Freebairn-Smith   Cello
Jonathan Martin Berry   Guitar
Tomas Jonsson   Tenor Saxophone
Janne Bjerger   Trumpet
Michel Zitron   taiko
David Bukovinszky   Cello
Jonathan Rotem   Keyboards
Jay Bicknell   Keyboards
Jeremy Lertola   Acoustic Guitar
Kylen Deporter   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Lauren Christy   Composer,Producer,Vocal Producer
Travis Clark   Composer
Larry Gold   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Jon Levine   Composer,Producer
Mitch Allan   Composer,Producer,Vocal Producer
Chad Kroeger   Composer,Vocal Producer
John Hanes   Engineer
Justin Gray   Composer
Avril Lavigne   Composer,Producer
Chris Baseford   Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Vocal Engineer,Vocal Producer
Stephan Moccio   Composer,Producer,Vocal Producer
Bonnie McKee   Composer,Additional Production
Ryan Cabrera   Composer
Johan Carlsson   Composer,Programming,Producer,Vocal Producer
Aaron Sterling   Engineer
Mattias Bylund   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,String Writing
Zane Carney   Composer
Noah Passovoy   Vocal Producer
Sam Holland   Engineer
Samuel Kalandjian   Engineer
Ross Golan   Composer
Melissa Bel   Composer
Randall Leddy   Art Direction
Jonathan Rotem   Composer,Programming,Producer
Jay Bicknell   Engineer,drum programming,Additional Production
Jeremy Lertola   Programming,Engineer
Chantry Johnson   Vocal Engineer
Scott Robinson   Vocal Engineer,Vocal Producer
Caleb Hulin   Vocal Engineer

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