Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Avril Lavigne links up with YUNGBLUD for an heartfelt anthem.
Fresh off dozens of US tour dates in support of Love Sux — as well as a major appearance at last month’s When We Were Young Festival — Avril Lavigne has returned with a new song, “I’m a Mess,” featuring fellow pop punk juggernaut YUNGBLUD. Avril’s 2022 album may have been titled Love Sux, but “I’m a Mess” is a love song through and through, and finds both Lavigne and YUNGBLUD longing for each other (or their respective partners) in a sincere, tender duet.
Avril Lavigne has always possessed a powerful voice, and her vocals on “I’m a Mess” are a great example of her signature tone, soaring high notes, and sticky sweet melodies. Meanwhile, YUNGBLUD — who also has an instantly definable tone, equally gritty as it is crystal clear — compliments Avril’s soprano so well that it’s surprising they haven’t collaborated before. When they reach the anthemic bridge, both of their full-throttle rock impulses are on full display, and it brings the song to a much more urgent place.
But what’s also so delightful about “I’m a Mess” is the fact that both artists could so easily project, “I’m over it,” and yet, they opt for a more earnest portrayal of desire and yearning. It seems appropriate that the song is released in the midst of Lavigne’s extensive world tour, constantly away from home and realizing the role her partner plays in maintaining her overall mental health. “I’m a Mess” is an ode to the difficulties of a long distance relationship, and it’s made all the more impactful by Lavigne and YUNGBLUD’s authentic performances and heartfelt honesty.
If “I’m a Mess” is any indication, Lavigne’s next album cycle might double down on this kind of sincerity, and she sounds radiant and truly inspired. And with a pop rock hook that belongs among the best of Lavigne’s choruses, “I’m a Mess” is a memorable step forward for both YUNGBLUD and Avril Lavigne.
— Paolo Ragusa