Top 20 Avril Lavigne Songs – Ranked Worst to Best
Avril Lavigne is a Canadian signer-songwriter who has been releasing music since she was sixteen, ever since she signed her first recording contract with Arista Records in 2000. In this article, I will be ranking my top Avril Lavigne songs, so whether you’re a die-hard fan or have never heard a single Lavigne song (who are you?), hopefully you’ll have some fun with this countdown list.
The Best Avril Lavigne Songs
Let’s begin with a 2011 song entitled “Goodbye.”
20) Goodbye (2011)
Lavigne wrote this song about a divorce she got in 2009. This song is about having to move on from something that once meant the world to you. It’s emotional, it’s surprisingly gentle for Lavigne, and it’s very real.
The almost haunting piano chords add that much more to the obvious pain Lavigne was going through dealing with the divorce. The song also inspired the title of the album it was released on, Goodbye Lullaby, and for good reason.
- You also might enjoy: Songs About Divorce
19) He Wasn’t (2004)
This track is a painful reminder of an emotion we have all felt: thinking someone you were in love with was the perfect person for you, only to find out they aren’t at all what you wanted. But Lavigne does it in a way that’s grungy, with hard-hitting guitar chords and a very “I don’t actually care” attitude. It’s a powerful track for anyone trying to move on from the “perfect” relationship that turned out to be a little too toxic.
Though this song came out way before I was in high school, I do have a vivid memory of having it on a Spotify playlist that I would scream a little too loudly in my car after my own toxic breakup my senior year. Good times.
18) I Fell in Love With the Devil (2019)
Can you see a trend here so far? This track is also about a toxic relationship Lavigne once got herself into. The “Devil”, of course, is the man she fell in love with, but he ultimately brought her nothing but trouble. The violin throughout the song fits the message so perfectly, and Lavigne’s vocals, as always, are incredible.
The piano and the raw, clear emotion in Lavigne’s singing make you feel the pain she did. This song leaves a pit in my stomach when it ends. It, again, reminds me of my own toxic relationships I have been in, and it’s almost reassuring that someone as famous as Lavigne has been through something similar.
- You Might Also Enjoy: Songs About Toxic Relationships
17) Head Above Water (2018)
This is another especially emotional track of Lavigne’s. She wrote it about her fight with Lyme disease, which was a particularly tough time in her life (understandably). In the song, she asks God for help getting through. Though I am not particularly religious myself, I respect the message of this song. This song came off of the first album she intended to release after her fight with the disease.
I especially appreciate the song because of how much strength Lavigne had to go through, both with the battle of Lyme disease, and how vulnerable a track like this is. She laid it all on the table, admirably fearlessly, and it just makes the audience appreciate her struggle and her music that much more.
16) I’m With You (2002)
Lavigne released this song when she was 17. This song has a heart-wrenching message about being alone in the world, and how horrible it feels knowing you don’t have anyone to rely on for help. Admittedly, this is not a message I can truly relate to in my own life, but many people can.
The gentle, rhythmic guitar strumming and the deeper, melodic cello that underlies it will give you goosebumps. You feel the pain Lavigne has felt. The depression, the loneliness. She makes you understand. Despite its sad message, this is a song I can easily play on repeat, and definitely have before.
15) My World (2002)
In this track, Lavigne discusses growing up in a small town and not quite feeling like you belong. She questions something much larger than herself. This track feels like an inner monologue of her thoughts. Again, it is something that many people can relate to, not feeling like you belong somewhere.
The overall instrumentals of this song are upbeat and undeniably catchy. It fits the message of the lyrics that lie over it. Arguably, I feel like this song is often overlooked, as it comes off of the album where popular tracks like Sk8er Boi and Complicated loom over every other song. But this track holds its own and deserves its praise.
14) Let Me Go (2013)
I will admit, against popular opinion, I am a fan of Nickelback. So a song with both Avril Lavigne and Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger on it? Sign me up.
What at first sounds like another breakup songs, evolves to be much more over the course of the track. It seems as though one has given up on the relationship and is trying to leave, while the other just can’t let go. But toward the end, you find that the one claiming they want to be done with the relationship, does not really want to leave either. This is another startlingly real message that many people have faced in their lives.
Kroeger and Lavigne’s voices go so well together, and the chemistry between them makes the song that much more emotional. I loved this song the first time I heard it, and that feeling has never faded even as the years have passed.
13) Unwanted (2002)
With most of Lavigne’s songs, you get a pretty good idea of what it is going to be about based on the title. This song is no exception. The title word “unwanted” lends itself well to the underlying lyrics that talk about being ignored or used by someone else.
Whether this song is about men not wanting her, or as some people speculate, the music industry as a whole, the message is clear. Through these strong lyrics and Lavigne’s unrelenting vocals, she makes you understand what it feels like to be undesired and unloved.
I am absolutely in love with the intense, unforgiving electric guitar in this song, complimented by an acoustic partner. The overall rhythm of the song is intoxicating. I genuinely am a huge fan of this song, and knew it was going to be somewhere on this list from the moment I knew I was going to be writing it.
12) I Love You (2011)
In this song, Lavigne sings of a man she loves not because of what he looks like, but because of who he is. She will always love him, even though they are not together anymore. It’s another gentler song of Lavigne’s, which I think she is exceptionally good at.
This is also another song where I think the instrumentals work with the lyrics so incredibly well. It sounds like a sweet pop love song, but it just has something more about it that makes it so beautiful. Similar to Let Me Go, this is a song I loved since the very first time I heard it.
11) Smile (2011)
This is a song about a special someone who wins Lavigne’s heart by sticking around when others would have run away. The track has a lot of attitude, accentuated by its hard-hitting drums and catchy guitar. I can’t say enough how well Lavigne writes songs that the general public can relate to, but this, of course, is another one. We all want that special someone that’s going to stick around when no one else does.
This song was received by critics well, some saying it represents everything that makes Lavigne a good pop star and others agreeing that it’s effortlessly good. I would second all of those opinions. This song is very Avril, and was another that made sure her name stayed popular even after the release of her more famous songs (again, Sk8er Boi and Complicated).
10) Wish You Were Here (2011)
Another song off of emotional Goodbye Lullaby, this is another particularly vulnerable track of hers. It’s about missing someone that you may have had a falling out with or, for whatever reason, may not talk to anymore. It is something that has happened to all of us.
As you get older, people you once considered close friends may no longer be in your life, at no one’s fault other than life itself. People tend to drift apart as they go their own way, and this song highlights that.
The acoustic guitar lends a perfect tone for the message of the song. It’s soft, but powerful where it needs to be. It fits the overall theme of its album, blending seamlessly into the other soft ballads. I think the album as a whole is one of her best, and this song is a shining star on it.
9) When You’re Gone (2007)
This was one of the first songs I had ever heard from Lavigne, so it holds a special place in my heart. Like some of the other songs on this list, it talks about the pain of missing somebody, which is something many of us know well.
This track is soft where it needs to be, and loud when necessary. It’s almost like the phases of missing someone. At first it’s a dull longing that you want to see them, but you’re okay without them for the time being. Then the longer you go without seeing them, the more intensely you miss them. No matter what the reason is for why that person is not currently in your life, this song fits.
8) Things I’ll Never Say (2002)
I am not sure how many times on this list I have said “this is something we all can relate to,” but I am about to do it again. Things I’ll Never Say is about having feelings for somebody but not being able to tell them. Any of us that has every liked somebody has been in this situation.
This is another song of Lavigne’s that was one of the first I had heard from her. Even more fitting, I heard it while I was in high school, where I had had any number of crushes whom I never told my feelings to. It is nice that this is seemingly a lighter-hearted song, given what it is about. I, again, love the guitar in the song, and Lavigne’s voice just fits it so well.
7) Everybody Hurts (2011)
Ouch. This one’s about the fact that we all go through some hard things sometimes, and it’s okay to feel the pain of those hard times. It’s okay to cry when you need to, or scream if you want. Whatever you have to do to let those emotions out, just know you’re not alone, because everyone has gone through something tough.
Another acoustic masterpiece of hers, the guitar works well with the message, and the pounding drums behind it give the song that extra kick it needs. It gets its point across very well. It’s one of those songs that will leave you breathless by the end of it, either because you screamed the lyrics the entire way through or because it brings out a sadness in you that makes it hard to breathe (but not in a bad way).
6) Keep Holding On (2006)
This one is kind of a mix between Everybody Hurts and Let Me Go, but about friendships instead of romantic relationships. It’s about knowing that no matter what you may go through, you will always have a friend by your side. Someone that holds on even when it’s hard.
This song reminds me of many of my own friends, who I know will always be in my life regardless of what may come. The track is melodic, and meaningful, and does the theme of friendship justice. It kind of makes my heart ache when I listen to it, but in a good way.
5) What the Hell (2011)
The last few songs in this list are ones that everybody screams when they hear them. What the Hell is another track off of the album Goodbye Lullaby, and is the least sad song on the album. It’s fun and strong and gets your heart racing when you hear it. It’s about just doing what you want, regardless of what other people may think. It’s something I wish I was fearless enough to do.
The track is very upbeat, starts off strong and holds its energy all the way through. It makes you jump around and want to kick things. This song was a much needed break from the sadness of all the other songs on the album it comes off of.
4) Here’s to Never Growing Up (2013)
As kids, you want to be an adult and have your own freedom. As an adult, you want to go back to being a kid and not having to deal with responsibility. But who says you can’t still act like a kid even when you are an adult?
That’s what this song is about. Reveling in your younger years and refusing to let them go even as you get older. This is another especially fun song, about living in the moment and having a good time. As an adult myself, this reminds me of what it was like to be a teenager, and it takes me back to those years.
- You Might Also Like: Songs About Teenagers
- You Might Also Like: Songs About Being 19
3) Girlfriend (2007)
I will admit, I first heard this song playing the old Xbox game, Just Dance. Of course, I was young at the time and did not really know what the lyrics meant. As I got older, I actually found myself in that same situation. Liking a guy who already had a girlfriend.
This is another fun, fast-tempo track that will have you throwing your hands up in the air and screaming about wanting a guy for yourself. It is so catchy it’s almost hard to handle. This is another song of hers I have a strong emotional connection to, since it reminds me of my childhood. It is one I can never skip when it comes up on my playlist.
2) Complicated (2002)
One of Lavigne’s most recognizable songs, it came off of her debut album and helped make her name well-known. The song is great on its own, but likely has had so much staying power because it’s inherently quite simple in its story, while also being very relatable. Having a boyfriend who acts one way when the two of you are alone, and completely different when you are with other people, is a frustration any people can connect with.
Even if you don’t know who Avril Lavigne is, you know this song. It took the world by storm upon its release, and hasn’t lost its chokehold in the years since. You have to scream it when it comes on. It’s loud, and strong, and undeniably one of her best.
1) Sk8er Boi (2002)
Another song off of Lavigne’s debut album that made her almost instantly famous. It was the first song I had personally heard from her, back when I was in middle school and thought I was an emo kid. Lavigne was the queen of the emos back then.
The electric guitar, Lavigne’s strong vocals, the catchy rhythm. Everything about this song works to make it the memorable piece that it is. Even those that don’t like Lavigne (though I don’t feel like there are many people like that), you probably like (or will like) this song. I’ve never met someone who hasn’t.
Another staple on my playlist, I listen to it all the time and it brings me back to a simpler time in my life. Though, I must say, I don’t miss middle school one bit.
Compiling a list of the top Avril Lavigne songs isn’t as easy as you’d think. Lavigne has released countless amazing songs over the course of her career, despite issues like her battle with Lyme disease. She will forever be a favorite artist of mine, and many of the songs on this list will also always be ones I return to again and again as the years roll on.
This article was written by Angela and edited by Michael.
If you enjoyed the article, be sure to subscribe to my Devoted to Vinyl YouTube channel and Facebook page.
You Might Also Like: