And still, 2007 was undeniably an incredible and weird time for music. The year was soundtracked and choreographed by Kanye's "Stronger," Soujia Boy's "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," T.I.'s "Big Things Poppin' (Do it)," Linkin Park's "What I've Done," Daughtry's "Home," and Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," yet somehow, Avril came out on top. There's no real method to the madness except, perhaps, that those artists are driven by singles (and absolutely performed better than The Best Damn Thing). But Avril Lavigne is a young girl's artist, and young girls are the most loyal fans on the planet. They'll listen to the hits but they'll also buy your record. That's an ineffable power.
At its heart, The Best Damn Thing is a self-assured record. Where a decade of mythos might lead you to believe it's a title that reflects love, Avril lets it be known that the best damn thing is, in fact, herself. The Best Damn Thing's success might seem like a weird blip on pop culture's radar, but that's only in legacy -- at the time, it was a necessary record, an experiment for Avril but a safe choice for everyone else. It's records like these that mean a lot to a lot of people for a short period of time, and there's something uniquely wonderful about its temporary nature. Great art doesn't have an expiration date, but trends do. And Avril set that bar pretty damn high.