December 12, 2012

Earlier this year, I found some terrible excuse to be away from my computer for a few hours, and came home to the shocking news that Avril Lavigne and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger had unexpectedly and suddenly revealed a secret relationship by eloping and thus becoming Canadian music’s first couple, a mall-rock duo to last the ages. Though plenty were quick to snark on the nuptials, I couldn’t be too snippy about it; love, after all, comes in many oddly shaped, sonically derivative forms, and no one should be low enough to question the commitment of anyone’s affection. I mean, haven’t you guys ever felt feelings? Shit is hard to ignore.

But Chavril’s love isn’t just a public commodity to be observed; instead, it seems to be producing its own artistic ends. Behold a cover of “How You Remind Me,” Nickelback’s signature song forever being brayed by drunken mopes in sad karaoke bars, which Avril recorded for an anime movie soundtrack. In contract to Kroeger’s slur-rock swagger, Avril renders it a solemn, piano-driven affair that would almost be affecting if it weren’t a cover of one of the millennium’s most over-played, unbearable songs packed with more lyrical clunkers than a seventh grade poetry class. (At least “Photograph” doesn’t glorify alcoholism, you know?) It’s also a sterling example of DGAF trollgaze, because Avril obviously knew spitting this out would lead to dozens of reactive, finger-pointing takes like the one you’re reading now. But holy hell, is this a thing that exists. Chavril forever!

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