Under My Skin is the second studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne that was released through the RCA Records Label internationally throughout May 2004. Lavigne wrote most of the album with singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, who invited her to a Malibu in-house recording studio shared by Kreviazuk and her husband Raine Maida, where Lavigne recorded many of the songs. The album was produced by Maida, Don Gilmore, and Butch Walker.

Under My Skin debuted at number-one on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and according to Billboard magazine, was ranked number 149 on the list of top-selling albums of the 2000s. It has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, 3 million of which were sold in the United States, ranking the album No. 149 on the Billboard 200 Decade End Chart. Because of the album's darker, heavier, more aggressive vibe reminiscent of post-grunge, nu metal and more melodic rocker songs, it received generally positive reception from critics.


Having no plans of working with producers or professional writers, Lavigne wrote much of the album with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, with whom she had developed a friendship in the summer of 2003. Kreviazuk, whose husband Raine Maida's band Our Lady Peace opened for Lavigne's concert in Europe, introduced herself at an after-party for the SARS benefit concerts held in Toronto in June 2003. The following day, Lavigne and Kreviazuk ate lunch together, during when Lavigne shared how she wanted the development of the album to be. They wrote songs for almost three weeks at Maida's warehouse in Toronto. Kreviazuk invited Lavigne to continue working in a Malibu, California house she shared with Maida, which contained a recording studio. Many of the tracks in the album were recorded in Malibu.

Kreviazuk suggested Maida produce songs for the album, an ability Lavigne did not know. Maida produced five songs, including "Fall to Pieces", which he co-wrote with Lavigne. Lavigne also invited two other producers: Don Gilmore, who produced three songs, two of which were written by Lavigne and Kreviazuk, and Butch Walker who also produced three songs in three days. Lavigne also co-wrote one track, "Nobody's Home", with Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence, and the rest with her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld.

On her website, Lavigne states that she had learned a lot since her first record, Let Go: "I was involved in every aspect of making this record. I'm very hands-on. I knew how I wanted the drums, the guitar tones, and the structures to be. I understand the whole process so much better this time because I've been through it. I'm really picky with my sound." Regarding the album's theme, Lavigne stated, "I've gone through so much, so that's what I talk about....Like boys, like dating or relationships".

Critics described Under My Skin as post-grunge[1][2][3][4][5] and alternative rock,[6][7], based with some nu metal[8][9][10][11][12][13][14] and goth influences.[15]


According to Metacritic, Under My Skin received an average rating of 65, reflecting a generally positive reception from critics.

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly suggested that in the album, "Lavigne has become even more, well, complicated", noting she "sounds more burdened". Browne adds, "As contrived as the results can be, there's no denying the level of craft at work." Sal Cinquemani of Slant magazine noted that Lavigne's sound was now much heavier and darker and compared her to Amy Lee of Evanescence, as did Browne. Carly Carioli of Blender magazine also agreed, stating "she has deepened and darkened her sound without sacrificing her platinum-plated melodies". Kelefa Sanneh of Rolling Stone praised Lavigne's vocals, "blankness is what makes her best songs so irresistible. Whether it's a fit of faux punk or a maudlin ballad, she sings it all absolutely straight". Musically the album's sound is compared to "that of crunching punk guitars playing mighty power chords, all mixed with the same flawless elan that has characterized pop-punk ever since Green Day dropped Dookie" says Tim O'Neil of PopMatters. Andrew Strickland of Yahoo! Music agreed, "the girl can use those tiny lungs to great effect...she knows when to croon and when to yell".

On a more negative note, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic writes, "... Under My Skin is a bit awkward, sometimes sounding tentative and unsure, sometimes clicking and surging on Avril's attitude and ambition." Erlewine compared Lavigne to Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. Cinquemani called Lavigne's "biggest weakness" her lyrics and Strickland agreed, stating "we have a maturing Ms Lavigne, distancing herself from the teen antics of her "Let Go" debut, but struggling to find any stories worth telling". Tim O'Neil of PopMatters stated "Lavigne's songwriting on the bulk of Under My Skin just seems rote" and goes on to call Under My Skin "a good, if slightly disappointing, follow-up". The Guardian's Alexis Petridis lambasted the album, calling it a "flesh-eating virus" and criticized the lyrics, stating "the music is so anodyne that you don't pay much attention to Lavigne's lyrics. This proves to be a small mercy". Under My Skin is included in an article about Petridis' worst reviewed albums of modern times.

Release and singlesEdit

Under My Skin was released on 25 May 2004 in the United States and worldwide. Lavigne released four official singles from the album, and two promotional singles.

  • "Don't Tell Me" was the first single from the album, written and produced by herself, Evan Taubenfeld and Butch Walker. It earned Lavigne a nomination at the 2004 MTV VMAs, reaching No. 22 in the Billboard Hot 100, No. 5 in the UK Singles Charts and the top 10 in Australia.
  • "My Happy Ending" was the second single; it was written and produced by her and Butch Walker. The song returned Under My Skin to number one in Canada for several weeks, and to the top five in Germany, the UK, Australia, and other European countries. It was her fourth No. 1 single on the U.S. Mainstream Top 40 and was her second platinum single since "Complicated" (2002). The song became a worldwide hit.
  • "Nobody's Home" was the third single released from the album, written by Lavigne and former Evanescence member Ben Moody and produced by Don Gilmore. The song peaked lower in most countries than some of her previous singles.
  • "He Wasn't" was the fourth single from the album, written and produced by Lavigne and Chantal Kreviazuk. Despite charting in several countries, it was not a significant hit, failing to reach the top 20 in most markets. It was not released in the United States, where "Fall to Pieces" was released instead.

Other songsEdit

"Fall to Pieces" was released as an airplay single in North America and Australia. "Take Me Away" was also a radio-only single first released in Canada and later in Australia. "Freak Out" was used in the official trailer of Walt Disney Pictures' 2005 film Ice Princess.

Chart performanceEdit

Under My Skin was her first album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, on the strength of 381,000 unit sales. The album was certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in November 2004, by January 2006 was certified triple Platinum; the album was ranked at No. 22 in the year-end chart of the Billboard 200 in 2004 and No. 68 in 2005. As of July 2013, Under My Skin had sold 3,144,000 copies in the US.

It also made its debut at number one in Japan, selling 286,894 copies. Under My Skin also went to number one in Canada selling over 63,000 copies, UK selling 87,500 copies, Australia, Spain, Mexico and Taiwan. It also topped the US Billboard Internet Albums. It spent almost 5 months in the New Zealand Album Charts, eventually going Gold, but only peaking at number 7. On 15 April 2007, the album re-entered the UK Albums Chart at number 60. Under My Skin had sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Promotional toursEdit

To promote Under My Skin, Lavigne went on the "Live and by Surprise" Tour, a 21-city Mall Tour in the United States and Canada. The venue in each city wasn't announced until 48 hours before the show, which began on 5 March 2004 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the week "Don't Tell Me" was released to radio. Accompanied by her guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, Lavigne performed a short live acoustic version of five songs from the album. The set also included "Sk8er Boi" from Let Go. Selections of this tour were released on the Live Acoustic EP, which was released exclusively in Target stores.

Bonez World TourEdit

Lavigne embarked on a world concert tour during 2004 and 2005 the Bonez Tour visiting North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latinamerica. The 140-show tour began on 26 September 2004 and ended one year later on 25 September 2005. Opening acts for the concerts included Simple Plan and Butch Walker. At some shows, she covered songs such as "American Idiot" by Green Day and "All the Small Things" by Blink-182. The live performance at the Budokan Stadium was covered on the DVD Live at Budokan: Bonez Tour, which was only made available in Japan.

Track listingEdit

# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Take Me Away"   Avril Lavigne, Evan Taubenfeld Don Gilmore 2:57
2. "Together" Lavigne, Chantal Kreviazuk Gilmore 3:14
3. "Don't Tell Me" Lavigne, Taubenfeld Butch Walker 3:21
4. "He Wasn't" Lavigne, Kreviazuk Raine Maida 2:59
5. "How Does It Feel" Lavigne, Kreviazuk Maida 3:44
6. "My Happy Ending" Lavigne, Walker Walker 4:02
7. "Nobody's Home" Lavigne, Ben Moody Gilmore 3:32
8. "Forgotten" Lavigne, Kreviazuk Gilmore 3:16
9. "Who Knows" Lavigne, Kreviazuk Maida 3:30
10. "Fall to Pieces" Lavigne, Maida Maida 3:28
11. "Freak Out" Lavigne, Taubenfeld, Matt Brann Walker 3:11
12. "Slipped Away" Lavigne, Kreviazuk Maida 3:33
UK bonus track
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "I Always Get What I Want" Lavigne, Clif Magness Magness 2:31
Japanese bonus tracks
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "I Always Get What I Want" Lavigne, Clif Magness Magness 2:31
14. "Nobody's Home" (Live Acoustic) Lavigne, Moody Gilmore 3:38
DualDisc Edition DVD side
# Title
1. "Entire album in enhanced stereo"
2. "Behind the scenes"
3. "Don't Tell Me" (video)
4. "My Happy Ending" (video)
5. "Nobody's Home" (video)
Special edition bonus tracks
# Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Nobody's Home" (live) Lavigne, Moody 3:20
14. "Take Me Away" (live) Lavigne, Taubenfeld 2:55
15. "He Wasn't" (live) Lavigne, Kreviazuk 3:13
16. "Tomorrow" (live) Lavigne, Curtis Frasca, Sabelle Breer 3:35
Japanese Special Edition bonus tracks
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "I Always Get What I Want" Lavigne, Magness Magness 2:31
14. "Nobody's Home" (Live Acoustic) Lavigne, Moody Gilmore 3:38
15. "Nobody's Home" (live) Lavigne, Moody 3:20
16. "Take Me Away" (live) Lavigne, Taubenfeld 2:55
17. "He Wasn't" (live) Lavigne, Kreviazuk 3:13
18. "Tomorrow" (live) Lavigne, Frasca, Breer 3:35
Special Edition DVD
# Title
1. "Under My Skin Diary"
2. "Bonez Tour Diary"
3. "Don't Tell Me" (video)
4. "My Happy Ending" (video)
5. "Nobody's Home" (video)
6. "He Wasn't" (video)


This list of credits is based on Musicians

  • Brian E. Garcia – percussion
  • Sam Fisher – violin
  • Samuel Formicola – violin
  • Mark Robertson – violin
  • Kenny Cresswell – drums
  • Shanti Randall – viola
  • Jason Lader – bass
  • Bill Lafler – drums
  • Static – keyboards
  • Jon O'Brien – keyboards
  • Nick Lashley – guitar
  • Evan Taubenfeld – acoustic guitar, drums, electric guitar, background vocals


  • David Campbell – string arrangements
  • Don Gilmore – producer, engineer
  • Victor Lawrence – digital editing
  • Butch Walker – programming, producer
  • Raine Maida – producer, engineer, digital editing, string arrangements
  • Chantal Kreviazuk – string arrangements
  • John Rummen – art direction
  • Leon Zervos – mastering
  • Paul David Hager – engineer
  • Brian E. Garcia – engineer, digital editing
  • Dan Certa – engineer
  • Kim Kinakin – art direction
  • Jason Lader – programming, digital editing, string concept
  • Russ-T Cobb – engineer
  • Dan Certina – engineer
  • Dan Chase – digital editing, drum programming
  • Static – programming


  1. the sophomore record showcased a "post-grunge" element to the music.
  2. "Under My Skin is one of the most successful releases of 2004 in any genre, doing exactly what it was supposed to do: be insanely catchy while imitatively grungy, with guitars jingle-jangling..."
  3. "...every song here is expertly tooled by Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore to suck in fans of big neo-grunge guitars, as well as Lavigne's core audience."
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-14.  "The pair aligned forces for a number of tracks ... on Avril's neo-grunge influenced sophomore effort Under My Skin.
  5. Avril's angrier and darker second album had a post-grunge vibe to it that was totally fitting for the teen star
  6. "as Lavigne began churning out the kind of dark alt rock that's usually associated with Amy Lee"
  7. "Avril Lavigne serves up teen angst as alt-rock power ballads. "
  8. "Gilmore infuse the album with a nu-metal edge that might levitate this release from the ashes of forgettable rock... "
  9. "Under My Skin's fateful habit of falling toward a default doom-and-gloom mode. Mascara-streaked moods dictate an excess of ballads and rockers that trade in sterile nü-metal crunch, leaving Lavigne's pop-punk spunk by the wayside"
  10.,,631739,00.html "complete with pop-metal guitar blasts à la Linkin Park"
  11. " And some stuff that sludges along dangerously using tricks learned from Swedish metal bands..." "...honestly sound like Swedish techno/metal band the Gathering"
  12. "Largely produced by Don Walker (Linkin Park), the nu-metal tinged Under My Skin was an attempt to establish Lavigne's serious artiste credentials"
  13. "...songs penned with her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld that sound the most like nü-metal." "...slightly reminiscent of Limp Bizkit, allows a droning guitar to represent despair until a driving chorus smashes through the fog to deliver a rousing punch."
  14. " The production and songwriting verge on nü-metal, as if Lavigne and her handlers decided she needed to go harder and heavier to stay current."
  15. "Early word on Avril Lavigne's new album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 

Navigation Edit

Under My Skin
  • "My Happy Ending"
  • "Nobody's Home"
  • "Slipped Away"
  • "Take Me Away"
  • "Together"
  • "Who Knows"