Stop us if you think you've heard this one before: Fefe Dobson, a just-legal Canadian teen, has released a disc full of anti-diva rock snarls, junior-prom ballads, and disses to propriety on her self-titled major-label debut.
Unlike "Complicated" Canuckette Avril Lavigne, however, Dobson whips out raw riffs and authentic attitude that would send most sk8er bois to cower behind their sk8er girlfriends. "Unforgiven" is a scathing indictment of her absent father that lashes out with impressive metallic and lyrical mettle ("Daddy, Daddy/Expert in responsibility/Where were you to see my insecurities?"). The snotty kiss-off "Bye Bye Boyfriend," lead single "Take Me Away," and Cars-like AOR party-starter "Rock It Till You Drop It" crunch with Riki Rachtman-era Headbanger's Ball chordage.
Dobson avoids becoming merely a ball of one-dimensional angst, though -- her "Revolution Song" especially shines, as a hopeful ditty about starting anew ("And the days will get warmer, and I'll take down my armor, yeah/Together we can fight this feeling"). The end of the album includes too many watery tunes that lack the vigor of Dobson's hardest-driving songs, but her spunk and lack of pretense are absolutely the real, no-faux-punk deal.