The Best Damn Thing

You probably already know "Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne's hypercatchy, giant-sounding "Hey Mickey" tribute. Guess what? The rest of her third album does not venture into death metal, industrial house or gypsy swing. Like most everything she's done, The Best Damn Thing is big, big, big, with teen punk and ballads getting shots of pop steroids — as well as big doses of her usual sass, anger and vulnerability. There are few surprises here, but The Best Damn Thing is totally fearless about targeting pop radio and rather expert in its execution. Most of the slow songs sag, but "Girlfriend," the smitten "Contagious" and a handful of other uptempos are monster pleasures. Lavigne probably can't get away with this sound for another record, but enjoy the sugar rush while it lasts.