Ava Max Releases Debut Album ‘Heaven & Hell’
Article By Thushara
If you asked to name you one artist that I have been loving and vibing this year, due to the power, confidence and sass that she radiates through her music, then there is one name that automatically comes to the for front of my mind, it would have to be none other than American singer-songwriter Ava Max. This September the digital world and the physical realm went into melt down as she released her debut album, Heaven & Hell.
Now what I didn’t realise, and I am sure many of you would of experienced this yourself no doubt, was that I was a fan of her music, even before I had even realised it. You are probably reading this and thing ‘Boiiii what are you talking about? you’ve gone mad!’ – I don’t blame you I say that to myself all the time too ha! However entertain me for a moment and I will tell you what I mean. For anyone that knows me on a personal level you will know that whenever I am out and about I love nothing better than filling my ears with music when I pass from A to B. Usually the song choices either tend to be a bit of old school indulgence and the other 95% listening to a combination of the Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin or Lion King Soundtracks, with a bit of Coco thrown in. What can I say that is how I roll.
Anyway one day, I thought you know what I need to explore my horizons and take a leap of faith and listen to the ‘new music’ option on my trustee music app. Now a lot of the tracks were alright but I was just pressing that skip button like a trigger happy cowboy because I just wasn’t feel the connection, but then boom my ears pricked up and I was totally feeling the excitement and the energy with this really upbeat and empowering song called Kings & Queens. My mind was loving it, a party was going on in side of my head, and I had pressed the replay button countless time, followed by adding it to my favourites. Soon enough the Disney would be toned down (sorry Emma Watson it’s not you, it’s me) and the beat I would be reaching for to raise my spirits and start the day on a high would be my new found favourite. At that point purely due to the fact that I was enjoying the song that much, I had actually totally overlooked who the artist was behind this magnificent piece of music.
With me so far? Great! Lets fast forward a little. Roll on the start of September, and a good friend who has been such a great oracle for supporting Darkus with fresh and exciting music, dropped me a message to say there was this brand new album by this artist called Ava Max, called Heaven & Hell which he recommended I check out. After collaborating for so many years, James knows the type of music that gets me get all excited and cranking up the volume, so I was like yea sure why not, I will give it a spin.
As I am just reading through the track listing I spot the track Kings & Queens so automatically my eyes light up, still not having made the connection, but saying to myself, ‘hmmm I wonder how it will compare to that awesome song I have been listening to pretty much 24/7 all summer’ not realising dear friends, yes you guessed it that it was in fact the same song. Still none the wiser at that point, just based on the fact I wanted to see how it would ‘compare’ I pressed play, and oh my days, 1001 halleluiahs no doubt screaming at me, the penny finally dropped. IT’S THE SONG!!!! Haha! Mind blown, eyes lit up and my jaw dropped with amazement like something out of a meme featuring that guy from Guardian’s of The Galaxy – ya’ll know what I mean! It was legit like I had found gold or been told I had won the lottery – the best feeling ever!
That was it, based on that song alone, Heaven & Hell had gained my instant approval haha! Having taken every single opportunity to listen to Kings & Queens and being able to finally put a face to the art, I was like Thushara, its time we see what other beautiful and majestic creations that this debut album has to offer. As I had pretty much jumped straight pretty much into the middle, I knew that in order to make a much informed decision, I needed to compose myself and start with the opening track on this album, H.E.A.V.A.N – WOW! What a great strong start to the record, first impressions had me vibing and smiling throughout, and what is important to note is that it certainly set the tone for the rest of the record in every capacity possible.
Everything from the pace of the track, to amazing vocals of Ava Max was filling me with butterflies. From that captivating start, I then moved onto the second track Kings & Queens which I have already given quite a lot of my thoughts about, but containing my excitement (although I am the adrenaline and the inner fan girl is about to burst within me if I hold it in any longer) for moment, if you were to ask me why I love that song so much there are two main factors – the powerful lyrics combined with the vibrancy that Ava Max brings as an artist. It is the type of song that whether you have had a tough day or a good, you get an instant slice of hope and positive vibes to put a smile on your face and increase the self-esteem and confidence which lives inside of you. I have no shame being a heart on my sleeve kinda guy who so when I hear a track like that, there are no two ways about it, that is my type of music.
Next up on this wonderful album is Naked. What I like most about this number is the power of the lyrics, which with this being a debut shows us all Ava’s remarkable approach as a song writer. You can easily resonate, almost like she is whispering to our mind about those situations we often find ourselves where we are wondering whether the person in our lives actually knows us. For example, the lines ‘Boy, you can take off all my clothes and never see me naked. See me for real. If you don’t my heart, you’re never gonna break it’, they are filled with so much depth and it just makes you appreciate the music even more.
Part of me is dying to tell you my thoughts on every track this album has to offer, and as much I would take you up on that request morning noon and night, it would be unfair for me to give away all the details, because as I always say why unveil the wizard of Oz if you, when a bit of mystery never hurt no one, because at the end of the day this is one of those albums you need to experience for yourself in order to make your own minds up whether you feel the same love for this album that I feel. So once you have had a good listen yourself that is the point we reach out to each other and the world passes by as we discuss countless reasons why we both love this album and are so glad to have Ava Max in our lives.
What I will do however is give you a few pointers for tracks on the album to keep an eye for, which as much as it is difficult to pick favourites as I love every single song, are nevertheless just some of the ones which have filled me some degree of joy. The first would be OMG What’s Happening. It is just all Ava’s strengths as an artist wrapped into one song. You have the awesome lyrics, the catchy beat and not forgetting those epic vocals from the lady herself.
My other recommendation would have to be Take You To Hell and is one of those tracks which encourages to reflect on those conversations we have with our internal monologue about the way we are treated by others. Whether you are saying it out loud or keeping those thoughts to yourself, I really feel that this is a song which can bring you a lot of comfort, because from a lyrical stance what captures my attention about it is that you don’t just have hints of sass and speaking your mind, the open and honest I love about Ava, but also a reminder not to forget your own worth. The lines ‘I don’t wanna be a diva, so dramatic, But that’s the price you payin’ if you want my magic, Not the kind of lover you can just get back with, no, no’ being the prime example. Combine this with energy and Ava’s fantastic execution gives us, then this is one of those tracks which will have you singing along to at the top of your lungs. If you want more of those sass vibes, then Salt will also be a good track for you to check out too, and I know it was certainly one I had a lot of enjoyment listening to.
On all good strong albums there is always one song that makes you go ‘oooo’ and keeps you on your toes, and I think on this album it would have to be Belladonna and Rumors. Both have a different type of vibe to the other tracks on the record, but they possesses their own form of beauty, and gives you an indication that as a strong and amazing artist, that Ava has not hesitation in mixing things up a little bit. When an artist has the ability to do this, to me it demonstrates how they are embracing their confidence and identity as an artist.
There you have it then, just some of my insights in the debut album Heaven & Hell by Ava Max. I have countless albums over the years, across all genres, but for me this record is certainly one I have enjoyed listening too from the very moment I pressed play. With Ava continuing to grow in popularity day by day, Heaven and Hell serves as very powerful testimony which pays credit to how she has strengthened with confidence as an artist at every level, so make sure you take every opportunity to check out this album, because the party has only begun! Ava Max – we love you!
Heaven & Hell the debut album by Ava Max is available now! To stay up to date with all the latest news visit www.avamax.com
Article By Thushara