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Let’s jump into the time machine and land ourselves smack dab in the early 2000s with Avril Lavigne’s iconic anthem, “Complicated”. This is a track that screams teen angst—struggling with the ups and downs of relationships, the complexities of growing up, and the desire for authenticity. So buckle up, we’re about to unpack the real deal behind this pop-punk jewel.

First off, Lavigne hits us with “Chill out, what you yelling for? / Lay back, it’s all been done before”. Here, our main character is calling out someone in her life who’s making things unnecessarily difficult, creating drama where there doesn’t need to be any. It’s a universal teenage predicament, right? The casual lingo and colloquial language (“Chill out”, “Lay back”) paint the picture of a laid-back, skateboard-rocking, cargo-pant-wearing Avril who just wants things to be simple and straightforward.

Next up, we have the infamous chorus: “Why do you have to go and make things so complicated? / I see the way you’re acting like you’re somebody else gets me frustrated”. This captures the crux of Avril’s annoyance. She’s calling out a person’s inauthenticity—their insistence on putting up a front instead of just being themselves. “Acting like you’re somebody else” is a direct call out to those who pretend to be something they’re not, leaving our plucky pop-punk princess totally “frustrated”.

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Then, in the bridge, she drops these truth bombs: “No, no, no / You come over unannounced dressed up like you’re something else / where you are and where it’s at you see/ you’re making me laugh out / when you strike a pose / take off all your preppy clothes”. In this segment, Lavigne is saying: quit the charade buddy, I see through it all. It’s her rallying cry for authenticity.

In the end, Avril’s hit “Complicated” remains an emblem of teenage angst, a crusade for authenticity, and a protest against the unnecessary complexities of life and relationships. It echoes the sentiments of teens everywhere, screaming: just be true to yourself, it’s less complicated that way. And that, my friends, is the gospel according to Lavigne.