I Love You is a song recorded by Avril Lavigne for her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby. It was written by Lavigne, Max Martin, and Shellback, and produced by the latter two. "I Love You" appears as the seventh track on the album.
Lavigne spoke about the track in "The Making of Goodbye Lullaby", a video released exclusively with the iTunes edition of the album that documented the making of the album:
|“||'I Love You' is a song that is very close to my heart. It's a song that was inspired by one of the people in this world that I love the most and care about and have so much respect for, and it's inspired by that person's beauty, everything we've been through, and what makes that person unique.||”|
Being that the songs on Goodbye Lullaby were written over a series of several years in between the releases of The Best Damn Thing and Goodbye Lullaby, it was speculated that the song was written about either her ex-husband, friend, and collaborator Deryck Whibley, or her boyfriend at the time of the album's release, Brody Jenner.
Lavigne performed "I Love You" throughout the course of the Black Star Tour. During the South American leg of the tour, it was performed during select dates of the tour. She added it to the setlist of the show during the European leg as the closing song before the encore, which consisted of "Hot" and "Complicated". For the Canadian leg, however, "I Love You" was removed from the setlist and was only performed at select shows. Lavigne dedicated her performances of the song to her fans.
"I Love You" received mixed reviews from critics. Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe gave a positive review of the track, calling it a "midtempo charmer". Jon Pareles of The New York Times also gave a positive review, calling it "earnest" and adding that "compared with Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, she's kindly and forgiving." Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone called the song an "unabashed love song" and stated that it was one of the many "flavors" of "catchy tunes" seen on the "sturdy pop-radio record".
Josh Langhoff of PopMatters gave a more mixed review of the track, stating, "Tunes like 'Everybody Hurts' and 'I Love You' are solid, but they don’t attain the gloopy nirvana of Avril’s 2007 hit 'When You're Gone'". Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine criticized "I Love You" and "Everybody Hurts", which he believed made Lavigne sound "disconnected and aloof". Marcus Gilmer of The A.V. Club also gave a mixed review of the track: "The shimmering acoustic-guitar strums, tinkling piano licks, and goopy strings on limp tracks like 'Darlin’' and 'I Love You' lack the infectious hooks of her best singles as they plod along with little energy."