Home / Avril Lavigne Rebrands Herself as an Imperializing Jack of All Trades

Avril Lavigne Rebrands Herself as an Imperializing Jack of All Trades

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We're becoming an increasingly globalized world. And in spite of this, cultural self-preservation is becoming more and more paramount in every walk of life. Even pop music is not without its own efforts of government-mandated attempts at self-preservation. For example, Canadian Content Rules specifies that French-language radio stations must have 65% of their vocal music broadcasted throughout the week in the French language, 55% of which must be between the hours of 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. 

Canada's not alone with such rules, as countries like France and Spain, as many others, have their own set of rules that prescribe a portion of music played must be in that country's official language. The point of all of this is to inevitably segue into how artists are spearing into different territories by "circumventing" (or "appeasing") these rules. Actually, this all whittles down to Avril Lavigne.

Lavigne’s latest single "Girlfriend," which exploits all the newest advancements in cut-and-paste technology to minimize the amount of original songwriting in favor of a rather repetitive chorus, is available in Mandarin, German, French, Spanish and some other language that isn’t English. This is shocking and amazing and very imperialist of dear Avril who looks to set the charts alight in France and Quebec and other such French-speaking territories that have rules stating that some portion of any song released in those territories has to be French in order to get a set amount of national airplay.

So consider the maximum employment of the “Hey hey / you you / I don't like your girlfriend” chorus in the song and how, when dubbed into any number of languages, can appease such efforts of cultural self-preservation. The actual stuff of the song (whatever that honestly means) is in English, just the chorus is in French/German/Spanish/Mandarin/some language that’s not English. She’s a wily one, isn't she?

As long as these other countries keep their stable of powerhouse-popsters in tact and take the Lavigne with a grain of salt. (I wouldn't want to think that France would throw aside someone like Myléne Farmer just because "Girlfriend" has a catchy chorus you can wave a poisson to.)

auf Deutsch & en español & en français & ??? & ???…oh and this one, of course.

What a silver-tongued polyglot. She should make Rhodes scholars jealous.

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About Rohin

  • “‘Qu’est-ce que vous mangez? /
    Duck et l’orange et /
    Je ne sais pas /
    Ou est l’etranger?’

    Sounds good to me /
    When you hear it in the store”

    Not an Avril song, but it goes to show… I dunno – the reason why lyrical imperialism will never succeed on a global scale?