User:Pmlineditor/What the Hell

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"What the Hell"
Song by Avril Lavigne
from the album Goodbye Lullaby
B-side"Alice"
Released10 January 2011 (2011-01-10)
FormatCD single, digital download
Recorded2010;
Maratone Studios
(Stockholm, Sweden)
GenrePop punk, pop rock, pop
Length0:03:39
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)Avril Lavigne, Max Martin, Shellback
Producer(s)Max Martin, Shellback
Avril Lavigne singles chronology
"Alice"
(2010)
"What the Hell"
(2011)

"What the Hell" is a song by Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne. The song was written by Lavigne with Max Martin and Shellback. It was produced by Martin and Shellback. It was made for Lavigne's fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby (2011). "What the Hell" was released on 10 January 2011 as the lead single from the album. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics. Critics praised its catchiness and compared it to her previous single "Girlfriend" (2007).

Background[change | change source]

In November 2010, Lavigne announced, through a blog on her official website, that her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby, had been completed for a year. She said her record company delayed its release. She said in the blog that "What the Hell" would be the first single from the album.[1] The song premiered on December 31st 2010 on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve[2] during a pre-taped section. In this section, she also performed her song "Girlfriend".[3] Lavigne described "What the Hell" as "a really fun, upbeat party song". Because of this, she said it "worked out really well to play it for the first time on 'New Year's Rockin' Eve."[4] The next day, "What the Hell" was available as a free download for 48 hours from Lavigne's official Facebook page.[5]

Composition[change | change source]

"What the Hell" is a moderately fast pop punk,[6][7][8] pop rock,[9][4] and pop[1][10] song. It was produced by Max Martin. The song is at 144 beats per minute. It was performed in the key of A major. Lavigne's vocal range spans from F3 to E5.[11] "What the Hell" opens with a "retro keyboard riff" and hand-claps.[9] Because the keyboard has been used, reviewers have said it is similar to the garage rock genre. It has been compared to the band The Hives.[9][12] The song features guitars during the chorus.[9]

Lavigne simply described the song as "a broad message about personal freedom".[1] Critics have interpreted the song in other ways. Gil Kaufman of MTV.com thinks that the song is a "declaration of independence" from Lavigne, a "teen star" who is coming back to "the scene". Kaufman adds that Lavigne's public divorce from Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley and her problems with her recording company are themes for the song.[9] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone magazine calls "What the Hell", "an anthem" about a good girl who tries to get psychological revenge."[12] Bill Lamb of About.com also suggests that the song is about Lavigne and Whibley's divorce. He says that the song can be interpreted in many ways, which makes it intriguing.[13] Heather McDaid of Stereoboard.com thought that the song was not about the divorce, because of the upbeat music.[14] Holly Thomas of Frost Magazine thought the song was about Lavigne being "starved of affection" of the person she loves.[15]

Lavigne herself says the song is similar to her "old pop rock stuff".[4] She calls it her "most pop track on the record" and the least personal song from Goodbye Lullaby.[1]

Critical reception[change | change source]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
About.com4/5 stars[13]
Blogcritics(positive)[10]
Digital Spy5/5 stars[8]
Frost Magazine(positive)[15]
Idolator(positive)[6]
MTV(positive)[9]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[12]
Stereoboard.com(mixed)[14]

Critics have noted similarities between "What the Hell" and Lavigne's previous single, "Girlfriend".[9][13][15] Gil Kaufman of MTV.com stated "What the Hell" has "rousing cheerleader energy" and "infectious groove and peppy vibe".[9] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone magazine gave the song a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, stating "the music is easily some of Avril's catchiest yet" and describing "What the Hell" as "Avril in a nutshell".[12] Idolator describes the song as a "guilty pleasure" and called it "the kind of track we only select after double-checking no one’s eyeing our iPod."[6] Nick Levine of Digital Spy gave the song 5 stars out of 5, stating Lavigne is "snottier than a tissue tossed in the bin down the flu clinic" but goes on to say "what's more, she's pulling it off." Levine stated that "What the Hell" was not "quite as undeniable" as "Girlfriend" but praised the chorus of the song.[8] Bill Lamb from About.com praised the song, saying that it is "animated with a typically irresistible Max Martin melody, and, in a similar fashion to her #1 smash hit "Girlfriend," the song pulls you into singing along whether you want to or not."[13] Heather McDaid of Stereoboard.com states it "isn’t a revolutionary piece musically but it encompasses the pop-rock sound Avril has been creating over the years". McDaid goes on to say that it is "definitely a song that reflects the older, more fun loving Avril Lavigne."[14] Holly Thomas of Frost Magazine noted that the song lacked maturity and described it as "irritating" but praised the song for its lyrics and theme.[15] Kirsten Coachman of Blogcritics praised the song, stating that people could easily relate to it.[10] Lamb, McDaid and Thomas noted that some might find the song annoying.[13][15][14] Lamb states this could be because of the song's melody.[13] Jonathan Keefe from Slant Magazine has said, positively, that: "Martin ensures that lead single "What the Hell" explodes into its chorus to great effect, making its slight refrain of "All my life I've been good/But now I'm thinking 'what the hell'" sound more massive than it probably should".[16] Andy Greenwald from Entertainment Weekly said, ironically, but positively that: "The Farfisa-fueled What the Hell restore Avril to her rightful place ahead of Katy Perry and Ke$ha in the Sisterhood of the Negligible Pants".[17] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic picked the track as one of the best of the album and said: "What the Hell approximates Avril’s irrepressible brattiness only without seeming much fun at all".[18]

Chart performance[change | change source]

"What the Hell" made its debut on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 19 January 2011 at number thirteen. On the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs at number six, with digital sales of over 166,000.[19] The next week, What the Hell fell to number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 22 on Hot Digital Songs with sales of 77,000.[20] It went up to 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 13 on the Hot Digital Charts on its third week. On its fourth week, it reached 23. In its fifth week, it reached its highest position, 11, on Billboard Hot 100. The next week it fell to 13. Until now, What The Hell has sold over 700,000 copies in the USA. The song debuted at number eight on the Canadian Hot 100. "What the Hell" also debuted at number four of Canada's Digital Songs chart, with 16,000 downloads. The single becoming Lavigne's third best debut to date, following "Girlfriend" and "Keep Holding On".[21]

The single also debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 29 on 23 January 2011; marking her twelfth top thirty hit on the chart. In its second charting week, the single fell to number 45, in its third week it rose to number 32, and in its eighth and most recent week it has risen to a peak position of number 16.[22] The song debuted at #15 on the Oricon in Japan, and sold 5,598 copies the first week. It has been certified Gold in Australia in its third week for sales of 35,000 copies, and in its sixth week, it has been certified Platinum for sales over 70,000 copies.

Music video[change | change source]

The video, directed by Marcus Raboy, begins with Lavigne in lingerie lying in bed with her love interest, played by Spencer Hill. She walks over to a mirror, and applies her two fragrances, Black Star and Forbidden Rose. Lavigne locks her love interest in a walk-in closet, and leaves the house. She walks down the road, and steals a taxi. As Lavigne's lover chases her on a bike, she gets out of the taxi, which crashes into another vehicle. As Lavigne plays in a basketball court at the Sixth Street Viaduct, her love interest is still chasing her. She runs into an Abbey Dawn store, which leads to a venue. Lavigne's mother, Judy, makes a cameo appearance in the video as a store clerk. Lavigne climbs on stage and begins performing with her band. She stage dives, and the video ends with Lavigne and her love interest again lying in bed.

The video made its television debut on 23 January 2011,[23] on ABC Family and on UK music channel 4Music.

The New York Post criticized the video with its product placement for Sony and Abbey Dawn.[24]

Track listing[change | change source]

  • Digital download[25]
  1. "What the Hell" – 3:39
  • German CD single / digital bundle[26][27]
    US CD single
  1. "What the Hell" – 3:39
  2. "What the Hell" (instrumental) – 3:38
  • Japanese CD single[28]
  1. "What the Hell" – 3:39
  2. "Alice" (extended version) – 5:00
  3. "What the Hell" (instrumental) – 3:39

Personnel[change | change source]

Source:[29]

Charts and certifications[change | change source]

Release history[change | change source]

Region Date Label Format
Italy 7 January 2011 RCA Records Digital download, radio, CD single
France[55] 10 January 2011
Mexico
United States[56] 11 January 2011
United Kingdom[8] 16 January 2011
Japan[57] 2 February 2011 Sony Music Japan CD single
Germany[58] 25 February 2011 RCA Records

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Jones, Anthony (10 November 2010). "Avril Lavigne To Release New Single "What The Hell"". All Headline News. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  2. Lipshutz, James (7 December 2010). "Avril Lavigne to Release 'Goodbye Lullaby' Album in March". Billboard. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  3. Greenblatt, Leah (27 December 2010). "Avril Lavigne talks about her new album, (sort of) working with Rihanna, and where she'll be New Years Eve: An EW Q&A". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Smith, Stacy Jenel (30 December 2010). "Avril Lavigne 'Anxious to Get Out There Again'". PopEater. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  5. Sciarretto, Amy (28 December 2010). "Avril Lavigne to Offer Free Download of "What the Hell" on New Year's Day". ARTISTdirect. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Avril Lavigne Raises "What The Hell" On New Year's Eve". Idolator (website). 1 January 2011. Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  7. "Avril is back with her first single in over two year - will we love here again?". MTV. 20 December 2010. Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Levine, Nick. "Avril Lavigne: 'What The Hell'". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Kaufman, Gil (3 January 2011). "Avril Lavigne Says 'What The Hell' With Infectious New Single". MTV. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Coachman, Kirsten (14 January 2011). "Music Review: Avril Lavigne - "What The Hell"". Blogcritics. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  11. "What the Hell - Avril Lavigne Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Rosen, Jody (29 December 2010). "Avril Lavigne "What the Hell"". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Lamb, Bill. "Avril Lavigne - "What the Hell"". About.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 McDaid, Heather (13 January 2011). "Avril Lavigne - What The Hell (Single Review)". Stereoboard.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Thomas, Holly (13 January 2011). "We love: Avril Lavigne's 'What The Hell'". Frost Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  16. Keefe, Jonathan (6 March 2011). Avril Lavigne: Goodbye Lullaby| Music Review| Slant Magazine Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-03-11
  17. Greenwald, Andy (6 March 2011). Goodbye Lullaby| Music Review|EW.com Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-03-11
  18. Thomas, Stephen Thomas(8 March 2011). Goodbye Lullaby- Avril Lavigne| Allmusic Allmusic - A Rove Corporation. Retrieved 2011-03-11
  19. 19.0 19.1 Trust, Gary (19 January 2011). "Britney Spears' 'Hold It Against Me' Debuts Atop Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  20. "The Muscle Behind Decemberists' No. 1? NPR And Amazon". Billboard.biz. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Tuch, Paul (21 January 2011). "BRITNEY SPEARS SCORES RARE NO. 1 DEBUT". The Nielsen Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  22. "Radio 1 - The Official Chart with Reggie Yates - The Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart". BBC. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
  23. Collins, Leah (10 January 2011). "Preview Avril Lavigne's New 3-D Video". Dose. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  24. Brockington, Ryan (24 January 2011). "A guide to selling out by Avril Lavigne". The New York Post. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  25. "What the Hell - Single". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  26. "What the Hell [Single]". Amazon.de. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  27. "What the Hell - Single" (in French). iTunes Store France. Apple Inc. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  28. "What The Hell" (in Japanese). HMV Group Japan. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  29. (Media notes). Unknown parameter |Type= ignored (|type= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |Name= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |Publisher= ignored (|publisher= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |Format= ignored (|format= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |Artist= ignored (|others= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |Year= ignored (|year= suggested) (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. "Australian-charts.com – Avril Lavigne – What the Hell". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  31. "Avril Lavigne – What the Hell Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  32. "Ultratop.be – Avril Lavigne – What the Hell" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  33. "Ultratop.be – Avril Lavigne – What the Hell" (in French). Ultratop 40. Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  34. "Brasil Hot 100 Airplay". Billboard Brasil (Brasil: bpp) (2): 86. Fevereiro de 2011. ISSN 977-217605400-2
  35. "Brasil Hot Pop & Popular Songs". Billboard Brasil (Brasil: bpp) (2): 86. Fevereiro de 2011. ISSN 977-217605400-2
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  38. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche - musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
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  43. "Charts.org.nz – Avril Lavigne – What the Hell". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  44. 44.0 44.1 Adult Contemporary Airplay|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN
  45. Hot 100|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN
  46. シングル デイリーランキング -ORICON STYLE ランキング
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  49. "가온차트와 함께하세요" (in Korean). GAON. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
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  56. "Amazon.com: What The Hell: Avril Lavigne: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  57. "What the Hell - Single: Avril Lavigne: CDJapan.co.jp: Music". CDJapan.co.jp. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  58. "What the Hell - Single: Avril Lavigne: Amazon.de: Music". Amazon.de. Retrieved 20 January 2011.

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