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Avril Lavigne Strips Down Sound for Introspective November LP

August 20, 2009 4:03 PM ET

Rolling Stone hits the studio with Avril Lavigne, who's hooking up musically with husband Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 on her next disc, for a progress report in our new issue. The big news: Lavigne isn't looking to repeat the success of 2007's smash single "Girlfriend," nor is she looking to maintain her status as punk-pop's snotty princess. On the as-yet-untitled November disc, Lavigne says she's aiming for a more introspective sound with a stripped-down rock record driven by acoustic guitars.

"Life, that's what this record is about," Lavigne tells Rolling Stone. "It's so easy for me to do a boy-bashing pop song, but to sit down and write honestly about something that's really close to me, something I've been through, it's a totally different thing." Even though Lavigne is stepping away from the power-punk, she still packs the catchy hooks on songs like "Darlin'," which was the second song Lavigne ever wrote as a 15-year-old living in Napanee, Ontario. Butch Walker also worked on Lavigne's fourth LP.

While Lavigne's previous albums hid her voice behind walls of production, her vocals are front-and-center on new tracks like "Everybody Hurts." Other titles include "Black Star," which was originally going to be the theme song for Avril's fragrance of the same name, and "Fine." "My last record was about loud guitars and energy, but this I wanted to really feel my music," Lavigne told RS.

For more on Lavigne's upcoming album, check out the In the Studio feature in the new issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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