The melody of Avril Lavigne's 'Here's to Never Growing Up' is immediately and instantly familiar. It sounds exactly like her breakthrough 2002 hit 'Complicated.' Go ahead, take a listen to the first 30 seconds. We'll wait.

You've heard that before, right? The melody is the same, but the words and window dressing have changed.

While we can't argue with the Canadian pop-punker with great hair for revisiting a formula that brought her huge success, she's been an artist long enough where trying something a little different wouldn't be a bad thing. It's a tad too familiar when we want it to be a surprise.

Her adenoidal vocals are as distinct as ever -- she's like Alanis, but less earthy -- and you can't deny the cray cray catchy nature of the fraternal, communal singalong chorus and the percussive, pep rally opening. You will want to sing along.

While the point of the song is unapologetically holding onto that notion of being young at heart, lyrical declarations like "Running down the street yelling 'Kiss my a---' / I'm like 'Yeah, whatever, we're still living like that" feel a bit sophomoric for someone who'll turn 29 this September. Overall, it's quite literal. The song sounds a little too young for a pop star who's not an ingenue any longer.

Av, God love her, is getting a little too old for this bratty style. We didn't peg her for singing Radiohead at the top of her lungs as she declares. But hey, she just earned some cred points.

Lavigne may find herself in a conundrum with her new album. She's not confessional like Taylor Swift nor is she all sex-potted like Rihanna or as kitschy and clever as Katy Perry. She has a little bit of all those qualities, but doesn't corner the market on any of them.

The angst is what sets her apart, but it's not new for her, sorta like that melody. There's just a "whoa oh" thrown over top, which is another Av signature.

This might be one that grows on you or morphs into a guilty pleasure. Either way, it's more of the same.

 

 Listen to Avril Lavigne's 'Here's to Never Growing Up'