It's been four years since Avril Lavigne released a new album. Now, the Canadian pop princess is back on the scene with her latest endeavor, "Goodbye Lullaby" - which she calls her most personal work yet.
"I'm so excited. I feel like I've taken so long to make this album, " she told Access Hollywood in an interview on Monday in NYC. "Now that it's actually coming out this week and I get to hold it in my hands, it's very surreal but it's very exciting. I'm so proud of it. It's a record that really means a lot to me."
Avril began working on "Goodbye Lullaby" in 2009 -- shortly before news of her split from then-husband Derek Whibley began to surface -- and the 26-year-old singer-songwriter held nothing back when it came time to pen her newest tracks.
"I challenged myself and told myself to not hold back with the songwriting," Avril told Access. "Sometimes you can like, think, 'What are people going to ask me about this song? What does that mean?' But for me, I just allowed myself to kind of go there and to be really real."
Avril's newly exposed vulnerability culminates in the album's last track, "Goodbye" -- a song that nearly brought the star to tears during recording.
"It's the most emotional song I've ever written," Avril told Access . "I wrote the song on my own and I produced it, so I'm really close to it.
"I had a really hard time singing it," she continued. "It's a really hard thing to sing when you're right about to cry! It was that real. My voice is shaky in it. I don't know if I'll ever sing this long live."
Despite the pain of writing and performing the ballad, Avril said she's glad she chose to reveal that part of herself, as the song has already struck a chord with many of its listeners.
"The reaction from my friends, people I work with, my family, anyone who's heard the songs - [they] cried!" she told Access . "It's like, 'Wow.' When you really go there and have those moments that mean that much and are that real, other people connect with that.
"I'm glad I went for those moments on this album," she added.
Avril's fourth studio album, "Goodbye Lullaby," is available in stores now.
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