Avril Lavigne ready to "mellow out and sing"

Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:00pm EDT
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By Caitlin Berens

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Get ready to hear a softer side of Avril Lavigne.

The Canadian pop singer tells Billboard.com that she's taking a more serious, stripped-down approach to her fourth studio album, tentatively slated for a November release on RCA.

"A lot of the songs are mainly the acoustic and my vocal," says Lavigne of the as-yet-untitled project. "It's a lot different from anything I've done before. It's not a pop-rock record. This is more about emotion and feeling."

Lavigne's husband (and Sum 41 frontman) Deryck Whibley produced eight of the album's projected 12 tracks, half of which she wrote by her herself. For the other half, she's been working with former bandmate Evan Taubenfield and songwriter/producer Butch Walker, who co-penned her 2004 single "My Happy Ending."

"I'm kind of just keeping it in the family with all of my close friends," says Lavigne, whose last album, 2007's "The Best Damn Thing," has sold 1.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "I started this record off really slow, just writing songs at home on my piano. I didn't work with a ton of people this time."

The album's first single hasn't been confirmed, but the 25-year-old Lavigne says it could "possibly" be a song that emerged from the TV commercial for her new Black Star fragrance, which will go on sale in the U.S. this fall.

"It's the first song that I recorded for this record," she says. "It's kind of like a lullaby." The ethereal, piano-driven chorus originally was written just for the ad, but Lavigne has since decided to turn it into a full recording.

Another track on the album, "Darlin,'" was written when Lavigne was 15 years old and still unsigned. "It was probably the second song I (ever) wrote; I was trying to figure it all out," she recalls. "It's really special to me."   Continued...

<p>Avril Lavigne performs during her "Best Damn Tour" concert in Singapore September 7, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>