Avril Lavigne’s sophomore effort will be one of the more scrutinized efforts of 2004. Industry suits are already wringing their wallets, wondering if the Canadian chanteuse will be able to repeat the success of her debut, Let Go. Does the 19-year-old Lavigne have the songwriting skills to appeal to the mallrat masses a second time? And without hit-making production duo the Matrix? Turns out Lavigne’s a quick study. Skin is a Teen People manifesto for the white middle class, literally an account of growing up in the malls of America. But it also gets hung up on relationships and independence. Lavigne occasionally slips into an annoying Brit accent, and her blatant Alanis Morissette impression creeps in frequently. Not that either of those flaws will slow sales. “Together” will be a hit, and Skin has the potential to surpass the success of its predecessor, even though this album is even softer around the edges than Lavigne’s bratty debut. The sonic equivalent of Chinese takeout, Skin leaves you feeling hungry a couple of hours later. It’s too bad. When Lavigne came onto the scene two years ago, she was the anti-Britney. Now she is Britney.