Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Avril Lavigne's Controversial New Music Video "Hello Kitty"

Oh, Avril.

The web is a-buzz with feeback for Ms.Lavigne opps... maybe I should be saying Mrs. Kroeger after she released her latest music video yesterday morning for the track "Hello Kitty". The video was pulled quickly after negative reactions, read more on that here. People are claiming the video is racist. I'm not sure I agree with that. I think the label bad fits just fine without stepping on any toes. 

I just want to be 100% clear, I think both the song and the video are horrible.

After Chad and Avril's dark duet "Let Me Go" the video and the song for "Hello Kitty" spins us in the other direction in a strangely upbeat way. It is a rare occasion when a music video actually changes your perception of a song (example N'SYNC with "A Little More Time on You" yes I am going there). This video does absolutely nothing for me, less than the song in fact. People are questioning if Chad's is rubbing off on Avril with this weird twist in the Canadian singers musical path. 

Me… not so much. I am the first person to crack a Nickelback joke, but I do not underestimate (or under-appreciate) the commercial success and force that is Nickelback. I think Chad's success is rubbing off on Avril maybe in the wrong way, but not in a I'm going to make crappy commercially successful music way. I think she is struggling with an identity crisis and the video for "Hello Kitty" proves it. It is like a strangely outdated combination of Psy, Kesha and Gwen Stefani. Mixed together it makes a stale unoriginal combination that people are mildly offended by.

I think Avril is projecting this image and sound to fit into this crappy world we now live in where viral videos get way more hits than solid songs and videos. Look at Young Lean, Rebecca Black and even Psy... a little bit of viral love can go a long way. I think Avril may be testing the limit of how ridiculous a video can be with "Hello Kitty". I don't think there was ever intent to be racist in the video, to me it kid of seems as if she is pandering to her Japanese fans a bit while looking like a trashy version of Kristen Bell. 

We have seen Avril do a lot since she rose to fame, from her EMO roots to collaborations with Lil' Mama she has been all over the place. I think this is part of the problem, when you try to appeal to everyone you end up appealing to no one. People like my dad (yes, John Bruce) who loved her first album were a little disappointed with her second album that was a little harder but with a cross into true pop (not just pop-rock) she completely lost a lot of people who she initially appealed to when she broke onto the scene. 

How many people will list Avril as one of their favourite artist? I would bet that few people would even have her on their radar. I think she needs to take a page from Nickelback's book and figure out who she is as a musician and stick to it. The people who love Nickelback, LOVE Nickelback. They'll do whatever it takes to see those guys play generic rock and set of fireworks and pay a lot of money to do it. 

Want a more in-depth look at the video for "Hello Kitty"? Buzzfeed has your back!

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