Single Review: Avril Lavigne “Losing My Grip”

Losing My Grip
Album: Let Go
Year: 2003

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2003, Avril Lavigne claimed that “Losing My Grip” was more the sound she was going for — and that she had written it herself, with Clif Magnees. According to Lavigne, she got the Matrix after L.A. Reid didn’t like her music. Then, like Pink, she told Arista: “A lot of people didn’t want to listen to me, but I spoke up until they did. And I can always say, ‘Screw you guys if you’re not gonna work with me.’ If they’re not gonna listen to me, I’m not gonna do things. Try and make me — I’m not gonna.”

However, the tough girl image doesn’t wash, considering it’s undermined throughout the rest of the interview. She tells that she is glad her parents enforced strict rules when she was a kid. She said “that’s a good way to bring up your kid, because if you let your kid do everything — go to parties, get trashed really young and get out of control — she’s gonna get taken advantage of, and she won’t be taught that having sex with a ton of boys is a bad thing. I do a lot of things that are very rebellious, but it’s not like I’m sniffing coke or doing dirty stuff.” Then the drummer in her band tells the reporter about an incident in a bar where she told band members to “pour salt on her and lick her neck” And there’s the countless fights she said she has been in. A real tough girl would’ve said “fuck it” and had gone to New York on her own. The fights would’ve been reported from a media outlet where it happened and the licking the neck would be considered dirty. Because she’s trashed and out of control, which could lead to her being taken advantage of.

In “Losing My Grip,” Lavigne has become bitter over a relationship with her uncaring boyfriend. In the first verse, she explains that “Right now I feel invisible to you, like I’m not real” and asking why he rebuffed her hug. Humilated by it, she sings: “I was left to cry there, waiting outside there grinning with a lost stare/that’s when I decided.” In the chorus, she reveals that she’s hurt and emotionally out of the relationship (“Why should I care/Cuz you weren’t there when I was scared I was so alone..I’m losing my grip/I’m in this thing alone”).

The wake up call she has fuels her anger at him in the second verse, as she tells him “when you turn around can you recognize my face you used to love me/you used to hug me/but that wasn’t the case”). However, neither Lavigne nor Magnees (who should know better) didn’t learn the use-a-word-in-a-sentence-once lesson in English class. Place is used twice (“Am I just some chick you place beside you to take somebody’s place”). The lyric is convoluted and only makes sense after several readings of it. The most I can gather is she saying is he using her to get over his last girlfriend. She tells him in the last verse to mainly “open your eyes wide” and repeats the chorus until the end.

“Losing My Grip” is one of Avril’s better songs. It’s neither poppy but it’s not necessarily as rock as it wants to be either. Magnees seemed to have drawn his influences from early Alanis Morrisette and Tracy Bonham. Lavigne’s indifferent vocals work here than in her other songs. The lyrics need her to be ambivalent at the start. However, she mushes her words together. Recongnize becomes recongshize and face is fasche. It’s an error that could’ve been solved in Pro-Tools or even with another take. It’s an amusing moment that really shouldn’t be.

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