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Wish You Were Here

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Wish You Were Here is a song by Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne, taken as the third and final single from her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby (2011). The song was written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback, and produced by the latter two. According to Lavigne, the song shows her vulnerable side. Critical reception towards the song was positive, with critics praising it as a highlight on the album.

The accompanying music video for "Wish You Were Here" was directed by Dave Meyers and it premiered on September 9, 2011. Lavigne described the video as different from her previous work. Upon its release on the Internet, it received positive to mixed reviews from music critics who praised Lavigne's portrayal of emotions, and described it as dark. She further added "Wish You Were Here" to the set list of her tour, The Black Star Tour.

BackgroundEdit

"Wish You Were Here" was written by Lavigne, Max Martin, and Shellback, while production was handled by the latter two. In a telephone interview with The Caprice, Lavigne confirmed that the song would serve as the third and possibly last single from Goodbye Lullaby. During an interview with Artistdirect, Lavigne said that the song showed her vulnerable side. Later talking with MTV News about Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne described her meeting with Martin and the work on "Wish You Were Here":

He said some really kind things that really meant a lot to me. He worked with so many people and he's an artist, he's very sensitive. We wrote a couple really special songs together. It's kind of hard to work with someone new, and when I went in and did vocals on 'Wish You Were Here,' I did my first take, and then Max stood up and was like, 'I'm so honored that you're here.' And it was a really special moment, where he understood me and I understood him. We connected and had a really great time. And it was really magic my first trip there. He's sweet.

Critical receptionEdit

Jody Rosen, writing for Rolling Stone magazine, described "Wish You Were Here" as a "jangling power ballad". Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic marked "Wish You Were Here" as a highlight of Goodbye Lullaby. Al Fox, an editor of BBC Music, said that the song is one of the tracks from the album where "Lavigne actually manages to communicate some real sentiment". He also commented that it is "an unassuming strum-along". Bill Lamb of the website About.com found "interesting arrangements and musical settings" in the song. While reviewing Goodbye Lullaby, Robert Copsey of Digital Spy concluded that the main theme of the song was based on the lines "I can be tough, I can be strong/ But with you it's not like that at all" and talked about Lavigne's divorce. He further put the song in his list of "Possible future singles".

On a more negative note, Mikael Wood of Spin magazine wrote that, in songs like "Wish You Were Here" and "Everybody Hurts", the "former brat-punk princess in dreary woe-is-me mode" can be found. According to Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine, this song, along with others from Goodbye Lullaby, "mistake having a potty mouth for having an actual personality", stating it "fails to pass off 'Damn, damn, damn / What I'd do to have you here, here, here' as a hook".

Chart performanceEdit

Even before being released as a single, the song peaked at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number 64 on the Canadian Hot 100 on the week of the album's release. Upon release to radio stations, the song entered the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay at number 69 on November 13, 2011, has peaked at 32, and re-entered the Canadian Hot 100 on November 19, 2011 at number 98. It re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at 84 and peaked at 65. The song has sold over 500,000 units of digital copies in the USA. It was never released on radio in the UK, Germany and some other European countries.

Music videoEdit

Background and synopsisEdit

On August 9, on her official website, Lavigne posted pictures from the shooting of the music video for "Wish You Were Here", one of a red flower, and another of her lying on a wooden floor. Lavigne said that the video will be very raw and exposed, unlike her videos for her previous singles "What the Hell" and "Smile". Dave Meyers was the director of the video. On September 8, Lavigne posted on her Twitter and Facebook accounts "My music video for 'Wish You Were Here' is coming out tomorrow (and the tears are real... no onions!!)" confirming that the video will be posted on September 9. She further described the video, "It's simple but emotional. Raw and real. Stripped down." The video premiered on Lavigne's VEVO channel on September 8. It begins with her lying on a wooden floor wearing a black dress and barefoot, surrounded by leaves. She rises, and begins to sing. Lavigne picks up a red flower and begins picking off the petals. She sets the flower on fire, and waves it in the air. As she continues singing, she starts to cry. Towards the bridge of the song, Lavigne is shown lying in a bathtub. She submerges herself, then suddenly rises, and steps out. Lavigne continues to sing, and steps towards the sunlight from a nearby window.

ReceptionEdit

A writer for the magazine Billboard simply called the video "dark". Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly said that Lavigne could have worn waterproof mascara in the video but she concluded that it "wouldn't be quite as cinematic." Writing for AOL, Marina Galperina concluded "Unlike other recent videos 'What the Hell' and 'Smile,' this latest cut from the Goodbye Lullaby album is a bit somber." Melinda Newman of HitFix concluded that Lavigne "looks beautifully anguished, but that's a lot of screen time and focus for any one artist to try to carry off." However, she added that the video doesn't "look as awkward as she did in the horrible video for 'What The Hell.'" Amy Sciarretto of Pop Crush said: "It's a somber video with Avril as the only star, in a sad, dark place. It certainly resonates, though! Even a perky pop star like Avril Lavigne immune to sadness that comes with separation."

According to Derek Johnson of Long Island Press was "heating up the Internet" with one million views on YouTube because Lavigne "is showing another side to fans". Writing for Dose, Ottawa Citizen and The Vancouver Sun, Leah Collins gave the video a mixed review saying that Lavigne is "feeling a bit more mall-emo than mall-punk". She added that Lavigne used "pyromania in the opening scenes, torching a gerbera daisy while wanly singing of lost love" before concluding "What's an Avril video without at least one act of age-inappropriate mischief, anyway?". Pop Dust's Katherine St Asaph compared the scene where Lavigne is in the bathtub with the music video for Britney Spears' song "Everytime" but the two scenes have different meanings.

Live performancesEdit

In addition to performing "Wish You Were Here" live during The Black Star Tour and various dates during the Avril Lavigne Tour, she also performed it live on Good Morning America on November 22, 2011.

Track listingEdit

Digital download / CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Wish You Were Here" 3:45
2. "Wish You Were Here" (Acoustic Version) 3:45
CD single deluxe edition / deluxe edition digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Wish You Were Here" 3:45
2. "Wish You Were Here" (Acoustic Version) 3:45
3. "Smile" (Acoustic Version) 3:33
4. "Wish You Were Here" (music video) 3:45
Limited fan edition CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Wish You Were Here" 3:45
2. "Wish You Were Here" (Acoustic Version) 3:45
3. "Smile" (Acoustic Version) 3:33
4. "What the Hell" (Acoustic Version) 3:41

LyricsEdit

I can be tough
I can be strong
But with you, it's not like that at all

There's a girl
That gives a shit
Behind this wall
You've just walked through it

And I remember, all those crazy things you said
You left them running through my head
You're always there, you're everywhere
But right now I wish you were here

All those crazy things we did
Didn't think about it, just went with it
You're always there, you're everywhere
But right now I wish you were here

Damn, damn, damn,
What I'd do to have you
Here, here, here
I wish you were here
Damn, damn, damn
What I'd do to have you
Near, near, near
I wish you were here

I love the way you are
It's who I am, don't have to try hard
We always say, say it like it is
And the truth is that I really miss

All those crazy things you said
You left them running through my head
You're always there, you're everywhere
But right now I wish you were here

All those crazy things we did
Didn't think about it, just went with it
You're always there, you're everywhere
But right now I wish you were here

Damn, damn, damn
What I'd do to have you
Here, here, here
I wish you were here
Damn, damn, damn
What I'd do to have you
Near, near, near
I wish you were here

No, I don't wanna let go
I just wanna let you know
That I never wanna let go
Let go, oh, oh

No, I don't wanna let go
I just wanna let you to know
That I never wanna let go
(let go let go let go let go let go let go let go)

Damn, damn, damn,
What I'd do to have you
Here, here, here
I wish you were here (i wish you were)
Damn, damn, damn
What I'd do to have you
Near, near, near
I wish you were here

Damn, damn, damn,
What I'd do to have you
Here, here, here
I wish you were here
Damn, damn, damn
What I'd do to have you
Near, near, near
I wish you were here

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