Complicated

Album: Let Go (2002)
Charted: 3 2
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  • Lyrics
  • This song describes a situation many girls of Avril's age are familiar with: Their boyfriend is great when they're alone, but around his friends he acts like an idiot.

    Many of Avril's songs of this era were about real people and real situations, but this one is not. "Complicated" was not written about anyone in particular, according to Lavigne. She said, "It's basically about life, people being fake, and relationships."
  • Lavigne was 17 years old when this song was released as her debut single in 2002. It came at a cultural nexus, as the internet was becoming a popular medium for discussion, but you still had to watch videos on MTV, hear singers on the radio and read about them in magazines.

    Avril was not your typical teenage pop star: She came off as a regular girl who was goofy and fun. Her press played up this image while stressing that she was an authentic talent, writing her own songs that dealt with matters of the heart. She also had a unique fashion sense and set a trend with her look, which incorporated canvas shoes, gaudy accessories, ties and heavy eyeshadow.

    This song is very anodyne, even appealing to adults (it went to #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart), but Avril herself became the subject of lively debate on the internet.
  • Avril's record company, Arista, had her work with several producers before finding a combination that worked. That combination was the songwriting trio of Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards, and Scott Spock, collectively known as The Matrix. They wrote and produced this and four other songs on the album with Lavigne.
  • Lavigne is listed as one of the songwriters on this track, but there was some question as to how much she contributed. According to her co-writers The Matrix, they wrote most of the song and Avril just changed a few words. Lavigne insisted that she contributed a lot more to the song, including most of the lyrics and the melody.

    A huge part of Lavigne's appeal was that she wrote her own songs. This set her apart from singers like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and let Arista Records position her as a singer-songwriter like Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton.
  • Many of Lavigne's fans got their first look at her in the video for this song, which shows her in a mall with her guy friends and also at a skate park. The skateboarding scenes (she rides a board in the clip) were key to her image as an indie-punk tomboy with great hair. It helped that Lavigne really was into sports, not just skateboarding but also hockey and baseball. Her next single, "Sk8er Boi," put her squarely in the middle of that scene.
  • The video hit #1 on MTV's Total Request Live and spent several days there. It won for Best New Artist in a Video at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, and MTV named it the #2 video of 2002, second to "Without Me" by Eminem.
  • Much of the video was shot in a mall while it was open for business. The shoot didn't draw much attention from the shoppers because Avril was unknown at the time.
  • This got a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year, but lost to "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones. In the battle of funny first names, Norah also beat Avril for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist.
  • The guys in the video were the members of Lavigne's backing band: drummer Matthew Brann, bassist Mark Spicoluk, and guitarists Jesse Colburn and Evan Taubenfeld. Lavigne earned a lot of credibility for insisting on using these guys for all her live performances at a time when the backing musicians for many young singers were interchangeable.
  • Weird Al Yankovic wrote a parody of this song called "A Complicated Song," about several unusual situations involving eating too much cheesy pizza, marrying a cousin, and getting your head knocked off by a roller coaster. It is on the 2003 album Poodle Hat. Sample lyric:

    Why'd you have to go and make me so constipated
    'Cause right now I'd do anything to just get my bowels evacuated
    >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Steph - SoCal, CA
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Comments: 55

  • John from Chino, CaA poser? Gosh, I guess it takes one to know one.

    As for the song. There should be a guys rebuttal because you ladies are complicated when we are along with you or around others.
  • Angel from Parker , Azme to my ex now even tho still love him but he doesnt relieze howmuch he hurt me
  • Tricia from Rockville Centre, NyI say it once and I will say it again...songs reflect us in a lot of ways! This song is describing exactly how I am feeling at the moment...there was this guy I had met thru a friend...he seemed cool and we hit it off perfectly....but he was one way in front of his best friend (my best friends b/f) and then his true colors started coming out one by one....and of course painting a picture of me that is totally false! So....it did make alot of things COMPLICATED!!! Just be yourself...that is all in this world!! Interesting song!
  • Sarah from St Paul , Mnuh no its not ordinary or boring its a good song about how people cant figure out how 2 just b themselves like this one guy he was really nice and i used 2 like him but then we got 2 midddle school and b4 middle school strted this guy and my friend were going out and then rite after we started middle school he cheated on my friend and then 2 days later dumped both of the girls and asked out my other friend and all 3 of us used 2 b friends but then he messed up our friendship cuz he wanted 2 b cool in middle scholl by going out with half of the 6 grade in 2 months,.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnAvril really had attitude back then, I miss that girl.
  • Hope from Naperville, Ilwritten by the matrix. i dont believe the country singer thing! whered u hear that?
  • Don from B G, KyPoster Dave From Cardiff Wales, Thanks for the mention of singer AMY STUDT. Living in the USA I had never heard of her. I just youtubed her and found 379 videos. I watched AMY STUDT's music video MISFIT and REALLY liked it. I played it several times and added it to my youtube FAVORITES list. And yes, I still like AVRIL LAVIGNE too.
  • Kadie from Corpus Christi, TxSo true... I always see someone act fake to be accepted. Even if I don't know them I just know they're not being who they really are.
  • Bethanii from Okc, Okthis song is really cool cuz its like so true. so many people lose themselves to be fake. its just like get back to being u. then we'll talk. :]
  • Teresa from New York City, Nyrelation ships make me sick thats why i like this song
  • Lauren from N/a, Njin a magazine i read it said she doesn't consider herself punk, people labled her as that.
    but even though shes not a pop artist like britney,avril she is unique and doesn't have to sell her body to be sucsessful.
  • Morgan from Gratnsville, Utavril lavigne rocks this song reminds me of my ex bf when he was around justme he was nice and fun to be around and acted like he liked me and then when i tried to talk to him around his freinds he acted like a total jerk to me it was so annoying
  • Tara from Somewhere, Flthis song reminds me of one point in my life where this girl i knew so well was her one day and someone i had no idea who she was the next and i was getting so fusterated because the new her was not as good as who she was before and everyone left me for her. then when i got around her, just me and her, no one else, she was her old self again. but once we got out, it was the person i could not stand.
  • Joe from Bellingham, WaHer music is crap. she is NOT good with lyrics. it sucks that everyone is insane for this song. its STOOPID!
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThat's interesting that Johnny Ramone thought that. I'm not the biggest fan of Avril Lavigne, but I like the fact that she wants to be different. She's trying to stand out, and she writes her own songs. Some are good, while others aren't.
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, Njthe song is nice. the beat gets stuck in your head alot, though
  • Ariel from Woodbridge, Ctian from Hamilton... Johnny Ramone actually said in an interview a year or so before his death that he considers "pop punk" like blink182 and good charlotte to be just as punk as the Ramones were
  • Ben from Adelaide, Australiai saw this person play live at a school assembably on some TV show and she sounded so aweful it just made me hate her more
  • Allan from Vanderhoof, CanadaThe bizarre thing is that I heard this song on one radio station in Kamloops, B.C. They went to a commercial so I switched stations and heard Complicated by Carolyn Dawn Johnson, which is a song about the same basic subject, but totally different lyrics.
    Now, Carolyn is considered a country artist and Avril isn't.
    When I checked my radio dial, I realized the pop station was playing Carolyn's Complicated and the country station was playing Avril's.
    Said it before, I'll say it again. There are only two kinds of mucis in the world - good and bad. Both Complicateds are good.
  • Lee from Germontown, United Statesthis song is cool. it hepled me brake out of my shell relived me of my he#*. it helped me to be me. i love who i am now. i'm copper skinnrd i'm irish pale and i'm sweedish white
  • Maria from Nowhere, Otherits about how the guy always acts differently around other people. hes just himself when hes only with her but when there are others around he changes.
  • Veronica from I Forget. . ., DeWhen Avril first released "Let Go", she was pretty young and for a person her age, the lyrics are very true. Her style is amazing and very unique.
  • Hannah from Leitch Vegas, KyI think this song is about who you are and basic problems in life!
  • Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ilwhen i first time i heard this song i couldnt believe how many high notes there were. and when i tried doing those high notes i try my best and just do the part of the high note.
  • Jen from Westville, NjCasie of Denver, CO avril is never ever ever punk shes not hun trust me im guessing im older than you, judging by how niiave you sound on this message board, its pop, popity pop pop pop. Shes terrable, horribel, spawn of saten, i lothe her, listen to something good, like system of a down...or ac/dc, or my dog farting, they all sound better than her
  • Scott from Litchfield, AzBlatant rip off of "I Love it Loud" by Kiss
  • Anthea from Boston, MaFor some reason, "I like you the way you are/when we're driving in your car" cracks me up--either because it's such a terrible forced rhyme or because it's just such a bizarre non sequitir. (Maybe it's not if you're young enough that having a car is considered a virtiuous feature in a consort?) On the other hand, I use it as an example when I teach poetry to middle school kids why rhyming is not always a good thing! And then I tell my boyfriend how much I like him in his car (but not on the train).
  • Dylan from Yorkville, IlThis song obviously wasn't written by herself; most artists don't even write there own music. Especially younger artists. She has a good voice; most mainstream music does get 'jazzed up' Reguardless if she wrote the tune; or produced it; I found this song 'refreshingly mature' from a juvenile's stand point. Open honest and clean. Hard to find. GJ avril
  • E from Vancouver, CanadaBritney from Calabasas, it does matter that she didn't knwo who the Sex Pistols were. This means she knows absolutely nothing about punk rock and strippes her of any credit as a punk rocker. Avril Lavigne is just another manufactured pop star who has a slightly different manufactured image than Britney Spears and such. Also its obvious that she can't write for !@#$... her last few singles have had the stupidest lyrics i've ever heard!
  • Jon from New York, NyAvril Lavigne did not write those hits. Get the real story at: http://www.songwriteruniverse.com/matrix.htm
  • Terri from Essex, EnglandAVRIL ROCKS, her first album was the best out of the 2 but she writes,plays and sings. how can anyone put her down.
  • Jon from Rochester, Englandsurely you can have ya name credited to writing songs like on album covers if you didnt right them in the first place,that would be copy right & no she isnt a punk nor has she ever said she was thats the media labeling her that & yes ive seen her 6 times live now & there aint nuttin wrong with her voice or the songs or performance's on the night.freakin hell
  • Casie from Denver, CoI love Avril,her first CD was a knockout but her second,it was ok but it wasnt that punk as it is.
  • Josie from Auckland, New Zealandthis song is really good i can relate to this song because my life is soooo complicated at times
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaDo any of you people take a hint? Let's all face it: Avril is a poser. Her music is pop. She's not punk, with her black nails, converses and ties.
  • N/a from Meep, CaAVRIL IS TOTALLY MY HERO!!! SHES SO UNIQUE .... uuuulllllll gross
  • Ian from Hamilton, CanadaHaha! you people think she has a "decent" voice eh? ever heard her live? the vocals are worse that those at a rhcp concert! Her vocals are obviously modified in the studio, ever heard of a pith bender? She is such a joke! I think I lost my last shred of respect for the music industry when they started calling Avril Lavinge and Blink 182 punk! Johny Ramone must be rolling in his grave.
  • Ian from New York, Nyoh dear Maynard, is there no justice? People call this music deep and written about real stuff? Tool or Radiohead will help you see what music can sound like. It does matter if an artist doesn't know what came before her/him. What do they matter if the past didn't start the kind of music they play. Just because she can become popular doesn't make her any better then the bands that no one has ever heard. You say that she seems immature because of her sudden stardom, but did any other instant hit become less mature as the spotlight hit them? Once again this is just my opinion.
  • Mouse from Kingston, CanadaI have to say that she has a great voice. Her later stuff, and her b-sides remind me alot of the cranberries, probably one of the greatest Irish bands out there. I wouldn't say Avril is A material, but she seems to me, like a building with girders and no panels. Her music is structurally beautiful, because you could add almost anything to make anyone in the alternative genre enjoy it. A weepy guitar solo on "Things I'll never say" or something decent from the bassist (Mark) on "losing my grip" and you've got some killer songs. Being a guitarist and Bassist myself, I spend quite some time with Let Go and Under My Skin, playing different solos to her songs. She is all skeletal and needs to venture out more. Then, she could brake the Amy Studt barrier.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesIt's funny how Avril Lavigne's early releases sounded exactly like those of another then up-and-coming teen star, Amy Studt, yet while the shyer, yet more seductively-vocalled Studt (who wrote her own songs, unlike Avril, as correctly pointed out by Dolores) has since disappeared into obscurity, Avril Lavigne is still hailed as an artist to be reckoned with. Could perhaps have something to do with Avril being more inviting in the looks department? Or courting the media deliberately in order to make sure her records sell? All credit to Avril Lavigne for making the most of her time in the spotlight, but when the genuine article Alanis Morissette returns, Avril may yet find herself following Amy Studt back into the wilderness...
  • Jannelle from Vallejo, CaI just want to say that I don't remember Avril ever saying that she was a "punk" except once in a magazine, but she did clear up later that by that she meant the literal definition, as in a "hoodlum". Will someone please give me a link to an article showing me where she has in fact said her music was rock/punk? From what I know, you can't be a poser unless you're pretending to be something you're not, and I really see her pretending to be anything. Somebody help me with this, please?
  • Helen from York, EnglandI don't think this song is anything special, but my boyfriend and I used to go around all the time whenever someone complicated something singing the first line of the chorus... so she's not that bad. Better than Britney, certainly.
  • Courtney from Gloucester, VaI personally like this song quite a bit. I honestly don't care whether she is a so-called "poser" or not. She has one hell of a voice and great lyrics that are very true.
  • Hans from Oakdale, CaHello, I would like to give my opinion to large Avril lavigne contraversy. Obviously, Avril Lavigne is not a "punk rocker" since for one she didn't know who the f@#$ing Sex Pistols were, one of the best punk bands ever, but thats another contraversy in its own right. yeah she can sing, yeah she kinda, and i mean a big kinda, looks punk, but she does not sing punk and no one can argue otherwise. I am an intellectual and I listen to punk music. NoFX, Operation ivy, MxPx, The Clash, Pennywise, blink 182, Sex Pistols, The Exploited, Dead kennedy's etc. they are punk rock. Avril Lavigne is just another commerical pop star
  • Brad from Manteca, CaTrue to the calculated image comment. It is definetly a sad example of how the record industries create and manufacture fame, popularity, and other factors that make record sales soar for no talent acts, all which have nothing to do with the real music.
  • Joseph from Manteca, CaAvril has the most calculated image of any recent bubblegum pop "artist"...it's hard to blame Avril herself, after all...she seems just like a simple, absent minded (no offense intended), semi-cute teenage girl, I blame the men in the suits for using this girl's simple mind as an advertising vessel, alot of people can smell this sort of business disguised as music stuff from miles away...
  • Conrad from N/a, CanadaAvril is difrent but all in all she is the same as all of the other teen queens although i respect her for not being a slut. she wears her own cloths has her own boobs and doesnt realy care what others think. although she doesnt like it when her fans dress like her in one of her interviews se said she wished ppl would stop dressing like her. if sheed right her own songs play more guitar shed be really cool but as for now thumbs up for war amps
  • Matt from Charlotte, NcHAHAHA, the song is about preps HAHAHA, how they are ALL just posers trying to please only thier friends.
    they are willing to put down someone, or tell someone's secret, just to get a laugh out of a group, and maybe impress the popular girl (AKA queen prep)
  • Dawn from Toronto, CanadaHey!! Not all Canadians are jack-asses..I love Avril. I saw her in concert and I think she has a fresh voice, great meaning to her songs, and great songwriting ability. If she's not up on all types of music, so sue her...not everyone knows every band in the world. I admidt, sometimes she does appear naive and immature, but hey - she's young, and was thrown into the spotlight all of a sudden...I'm sure it's not easy to deal with. All in all, I think she's a cool chick, and making the most of her spotlight.
  • Britney from Calabasas, CaI think as far as musical talent Avril does have singing ability. She's not fake, her breasts are real and she doesn't need skimpy clothes to sell albums. Dolores, why don't you take it easy, nobody insulted anyone, that is what your doing. If you hate Avril, that's peachy but don't take it out on people you presume to know just beacause they like Avril and her music. Chill out, and be a respectable Canadian if that is possible. I love this song and I love Avril she is a great performer. As far as reading, yes I know how to read. The question is can you? So freakin what if Avril didn't know who the Sex Pistols were!! Some people don't even know who the Backstreet Boys are, does that make them bad people? Maybe ta people like you. She is not "punk," she considers herself a "rock chic" that is a direct quote. Avril rox!
  • Matthew from Shrewsbury, EnglandI will again re-iterate what's been said before, and bring in the case of Michael Love from The Beach Boys, since this is a case I know much about. He's the domineering kind who, if he was present at a writing session (take Male Ego - 1985 as an example) he insists he gets put on the writing credits. Far from wishing to start a fight, I believe this to be the case with Miss Lavigne.
  • Marvis from Fairfield, CaShe originally wanted to be a country singer. She went alternative because it sells. Currently she is dating Ben Cook, lead singer of the band No Waring.
  • Stu from Brantford, Canadawhen a 17 year old Canadian girl who quit high school upon getting a record contract can break a Madonna chart record, she HAS to be great!! cuz lifes like THIS!!!!
    Stu, Brantford, ontario, Canada
  • Nora from Richfield, MnJust another ordianry, undistinguishable, boring pop song.
  • David from Modesto, Cawell this song is great because girls are so complicated than guys i cant figure them out
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