It's been awhile since we heard from Avril Lavigne. Like most, I was introduced to her through my sister and her friends who couldn't stop singing about Sk8er Bois and why things were so complicated. Her recent song "Head Above Water" is her best output in years. Vocally, she sounds better than I can remember her sounding. At times it has shades of Alanis Morissette, but it's clearly still Avril. Her voice sounds much more trained (unless it's auto-tuned, but I don't think so). If I have any complaint, it's that she starts the song out with power, when I feel like she should have built to there and done the first few lines a bit smaller. That would probably have been difficult given those notes, but I think she could have done it. Still, that's a minor quibble. I am impressed with her vocal overall for the rest of the song, hitting notes with a clarity that I'm not used to from her. This is no emo cheerleader rock; this is a solid (potentially Grammy-winning?) vocal performance.
And on a personal level, it hits a bit close to home mainly because I had a near-drowning scare as a child, so I'm drawn to drowning metaphors. For Avril, it's also a personal statement, as the song came out of her personal struggle with Lyme Disease, and a moment she feared she was going to die. That's why the video points to her foundation other resources about Lyme at the end. But whether as metaphor or literal drowning, it's a good song and I wanted to promote it.
And just for kicks, here's another little song which I relate to about near-drowning.