"What the Hell" is a song by Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne. The song was written by Lavigne with Max Martin and Shellback, and produced by Martin for Lavigne's upcoming fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby (2011). "What the Hell" was released on 10 January 2011 as the lead single from Goodbye Lullaby. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, with many complimenting its catchiness and comparing it to her previous single "Girlfriend" (2007). "What the Hell" is a moderately fast pop punk, pop rock, and pop song, produced by Max Martin. The song is at 144 beats per minute, performed in the key of A major. Lavigne's vocal range spans from F♯3 to E5. "What the Hell" opens with a "retro keyboard riff" and hand-claps. The inclusion of the keyboard has drawn comparisons to the garage rock genre and the band The Hives. The song features guitars during the chorus. Although Lavigne simply described the song as "a broad message about personal freedom", critics have interpreted the song in a number of different ways; Gil Kaufman of MTV.com suggests that the song is a "declaration of independence from a former teen star who is storming back onto the scene". Kaufman suggests Lavigne's public divorce from Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley and friction between her and her record company are also possible themes within the song. Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone magazine calls "What the Hell", "an anthem about a good girl who goes on a crazy-bender, staying out late, swapping boys and exacting psychological revenge." Bill Lamb of About.com also suggests that the song is about Lavigne and Whibley's divorce, but goes on to say "the song leaves significant room for interpretation which does add to its intrigue." Heather McDaid of Stereoboard.com was critical of the song's theme being about Whibley, stating "with such an upbeat song it’s hard to envisage divorce as the underlying subject matter as you listen." Holly Thomas of Frost Magazine suggested that the lyrics are about being "starved of affection from the one she truly loves." Lavigne describes the song as "more reminiscent of some of my old pop rock stuff" and calls it her "most pop track on the record" and the least personal song from the album. The video 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, 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.
Avril Lavigne - What The Hell