Song of the Week: “Not Enough” by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne’s fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby, seems to have been hit-or-miss for a lot of fans. It was a big hit for me, personally, but it’s certainly understandable that not all felt that way. While some may appreciate the return to a more introspective sound after the poppy energy of The Best Damn Thing, Lullaby lives up to its name in dialing back the energy significantly, even in comparison to her earlier music, with mostly acoustic songs and a mellow vibe overall.

I felt the need to take a look at Lullaby’s overall sound for an individual discussion of the song in question, because that’s something that makes “Not Enough” really stand out on the album. Among a pool of mostly acoustic, slower songs, it’s one of the few that really builds into some genuine energy. Building intensity is something that tends to be a really effective means of creating emotion in music, and that’s something “Not Enough” pulls off with aplomb; as the song goes on, Lavigne’s vocals intensify and the instrumentals build until the final choruses, where cymbals crash over layered vocals in an emotional climax.

The song is, pretty plainly, about the dissolution of a relationship. Something that was once bright and beautiful is losing that spark, and throughout Lavigne pleads for more while reminding the subject of the song that even if they gave her everything, it still couldn’t be enough to save them. It makes the build all the more emotional; the repetition of the phrase “It’s not enough” throughout really drives a sense of hopelessness, but by the end, when Lavigne is frantically pleading it among the chaos of the instrumentals, it brings about a clear sense of panic and desperation.

It’s hard for me to definitively state where I would even rank “Not Enough” personally within the album, much less on a more objective basis, but if nothing else on Lullaby has drawn you in or you’re looking to see some of the strong emotions it’s capable of drawing forth, you should certainly give “Not Enough” a listen.

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