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Ava Max – Heaven and Hell

Ava Max - Heaven and Hell

4

Rating

4.0/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Very straight and good pop album
  • A couple of outstanding tracks

Flyctory.com Cons

  • There could be some more variety

After she has been so successful and present with a couple of her singles, it was hard to believe for me that Heaven and Hell is indeed the debut album of Ava Max. Not my genre at all, but I was really curious how she would sound like on a long player. Here is my review.

 

Ava Max – About The Artist

Ava Max’s civil name is Amanda Ava Koci. She was born on 16th February 1994 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, her family has Albanian roots. Her family, however, moved to Virginia, where she already performed as a singer in her very early years. At the age of 14, she contacted Pharell WIlliams to assist her getting into the music business. Due to that reason, she finally decided to move to Los Angeles. Her first steps in the music business was on platforms like Myspace. She even published a self-titled EP under her original artist name Amanda Kay in 2008. In 2013, now named Ava Koci, she released  a single called Take Away the Pain, which has been covered later by Project 46. Another song was the 2016 promo single Anyone But You.

Her breakthrough, however was the 2018 single Sweet but Psycho. The song just placed tenth in the US charts, but topped 22 other markets, including Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom. Even though none of her single could connect to this massive success, there were some really successful tracks like So Am I and Kings & Queens. All of these songs are part of Heaven and Hell. There were also some collaborations like Make Up with Jason Derulo (2018) or the 2019 Slow Dance with AJ Mitchell

 

Ava Max – Heaven and Hell – Track by Track

The 15 track album lasts 44 minutes.

1. H.E.A.V.E.N.

I would see the 1:46 minute track H.E.A.V.E.N. rather as an atmospheric intro than a song.

2. Kings And Queens

Kings And Queens, however, is definitely a song – and definitely also one of the best Ava Max songs released as singles so far. Very well produced pop music.

3. Naked

Boy, you can take off all my clothes and never see me naked
See me for real
If you don’t know my heart, you’re never gonna break it
Baby
Tell me if it’s safe to bare my soul
I wanna show you my deepest secrets
I think they’re ready to be exposed
I want you, want you near me
Boy, you can take off all my clothes and never see me naked
See me for real

Naked is another nice pop track. Not too much a happy dance thing, it is quite focused on the lyrics as well. Really like it!

4. Tattoo

Ava Max is an act for the dance floor. Tatoo is a song which shall make you move – and especially the chorus is really a nice vibe. Another like, for sure, from my side.

5. OMG What’s Happening

That’s just how this kin dof pop music should be like: easy to listen, catchy, make you feel happy, want to move. OMG What’s Happening is not as good as Kings And Queens or Sweet But Psycho to me, but definitely a pretty nice one.

6. Call Me Tonight

Especially nowadays, where you typically know quite proportion of the songs of an album beforehand, I am very curious about the songs I do not know yet and how they fit into the album. Call Me Tonight is a track I definitely like and appreciate: it is a great and happy pop track, it nicely connects to OMG What’s Happening (I would even say it is not that weaker than the predecessor). Cool!

7. Born to the Night

Okay, Born to the Night is making me smile from the very beginning: the song starts with a clear reference to the German classic pop track Major Tom, after it is incepting with church bells. This sample is also used as pre-chorus. It feels a bit like a break, to be fair (there is quite a melodic difference to the chorus and remaining track), but even though I feel it is the weakest song of the album so far, it at least gets my 1980’s heart 🙂

8. Torn

Torn was one of Ava Max’s key singles, so you know the song already very likely. Paradise for Disco Fox lovers.

9. Take You To Hell

Take You To Hell is indeed a bit deeper and slower. Ava Max’s high voice in the verses feels quite joyful, though. The chorus is very catchy. Hell is not too bad in here, definitely.

10. Who’s Laughing Now

To me, this pre-release is one of the thin ones. Like at some songs in this part of the album, the lyrics feel less substantial as well.

11. Belladonna

Belladonna starts with a quite dark and sad voice. The track still got its rhythmic parts, but I appreciate that it adds a nice style to the album.

12. Rumors

Rumors is a bit too shy in this collection of some very strong song characters. Not a bad song, but not strong enough to be really present.

13. So Am I

Do I need to comment on that? That’s one of her songs which conquered the international world of music. If you have the right level of talent and gather some good people around you, this is the kind of music you are able to produce.

14. Salt

The sandwich position: being places between So Am I and Sweet But Psycho is likely the toughest lot for a song on this album. Salt does a good job – an easy, not too deep pop track, which turns out to be a good listen.

15. Sweet But Psycho

Pop music perfection. Full stop.

 

Ava Max – Heaven and Hell – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget for Heaven and Hell:

 

Ava Max – Heaven and Hell – My View

Who would have thought that I enjoy a die-hard dance-pop album during a Friday morning review session much more than a Keith Urban new release? The album is not an overwhelming masterpiece of pop music, but it is a great listen, nice to have some good mood after a hard day or dance through your living room. And, of course, it includes a couple of songs which you could put on that masterpiece level. As said above, this kind of pop music is not my core listen, but I absolutely had a lot of fun with Heaven and Hell. I would love to have some ballads or surprising sounds on it as well, though.

 

 

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