Ava Max was born Amanda Koci, in 1994, to Albanian-immigrant parents in Milwaukee. When she was eight, her family moved to Virginia. Her mother was an opera singer; her dad played the piano; her uncles were in bands. She was a Britney Spears fanatic who wanted to pursue pop music. According to Vanity Fair, Max’s mom moved her 14-year-old daughter to Los Angeles in 2008. (“She’s like, ‘We’re moving to California . . . [because] there’s nothing to do in Virginia for your career.’”) But Max found the city “overwhelming,” and, a year later, they were back in Virginia, where she would remain for her teenage years. She eventually moved back to California a few years later, in hopes of igniting that career. Over the past year, Max has sung on David Guetta and Jason Derulo tracks, and released some one-off singles—including the bombastic, effervescent “Salt” and a re-interpretation of “Barbie Girl” titled “Not Your Barbie Girl”—but none gained traction until the Cirkut-produced “Sweet but Psycho” was unleashed. –Vanity Fair
Ava Max is back with her highly anticipated full length album, “Heaven & Hell. This Pop album includes 15 tracks which are going to cause waves in the Pop Music world. In honor of this release, we have decided to go through all of the tracks for the review.
Up first is “H.E.A.V.E.N.” This is the start of Side A – Heaven. What a great start to this album. This is a chill, electronic song that has a pretty cool build up towards the middle of it. This track doesn’t really show off her vocals, but it does get you prepared for the 2nd track.
“Kings & Queens,” is a pop banger, pure and simple. – I’ll show you how a real queen behaves – is probably one of the most iconic lyrics in modern day Pop Music. This song has everything, from intense vocals, to an incredibly catchy beat.
Up next is “Naked.” Another insanely catchy song. Her vocals are outstanding in this one. “Naked,” has more of a late 80’s early 90’s Pop vibe to it, which pays off completely in this track. – You can take off all my clothes and never see me naked, see me for real. –
“Tattoo,” is up next on this new album. This one is more electronic than some of the previous ones. But she still manages to showcase her vocals in the background, which is pretty impressive. She is still giving her all in the vocals which pair really well with this dance track.
In the next slot, is “OMG What’s Happening,” and that is just what I thought listening to it. This is such a fun song and has a cool build to it. Definitely one of my favorites from this album. This reminds me of an early Marina & the Diamonds song, which is a huge compliment.
“Call Me Tonight,” is up next and is in a perfect placement on this album. It has a chill vibe to it by incorporating the acoustic guitar throughout. While doing this, she manages to still showcase her vocals throughout the entire song.
Up 7th of this album is, “Born to the Night.” Starts out with some church bells which already set the song up for something different. “Born to the Night,” also has a 80’s feel to it, which is just Pop Music gold. Even though these are all dance songs, she still manages to come through with the vocals. This album is shaping up to being one of the best of the year.
“Torn,” is a slow burn sort of song. But after it kicks in, it doesn’t disappoint. You don’t realize how many lyrics are in an Ava Max song until you listen to it closely. This is pretty impressive that even with so many lyrics, she can still deliver a vocal heavy performance.
Next up is, “Take You to Hell,” which the beginning sounds like the intro to X-Files, but I am completely ok with it. It is also the beginning of Side B – Hell. Even with the cool sound effects and ambient music, she still delivers. There is still a lot going on in this song, but her vocals are pushed into the forefront and the song really benefits from it.
Up next is, “Who’s Laughing Now.” This is another catchy song which showcases every element of a great Pop song. She even manages to laugh her way through some of the song, which is a pretty cool addition lyrically.
“Belladonna,” is up next. This is another one of my favorites from the album. – It’s hard to forget me, just wait and you’ll see / I cannot help it, it comes naturally. This one is by far one of the catchiest songs out there. This is a slower song but showcases her vocals beautifully. If you listen in the background, you can hear some vocal gymnastics happening, which is impressive.
“Rumors,” and “So Am I,” are next. Both of these songs are upbeat and have a pretty cool story behind them. Both are catchy. All of the songs so far, you will find on any Dance Playlist or even a Workout Playlist.
“Salt,” is next on deck. This song really benefits from incorporating the strings section and still making it a dance song.
Last up is Ava’s breakout hit, “Sweet But Psycho.” It has almost 990 Million streams on Spotify alone. This is the song that really put Ava on the map and made her a staple in Pop Music. Probably her catchiest song and one that a lot of people will relate to.
With this album, Ava Max has made a huge statement that she is here to stay in the Pop Music world. This is easily one of the best albums of the year and will be a contender for all of the awards. If you are a fan of genuinely good music that will make you want to get up and go, check out the new album from Ava Max below! It is available on all streaming platforms.
Jerrett Franklin is a singer/songwriter from Loretto, TN. After growing up in a small town, he moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. After writing for a few different artists in the area, he decided to branch out and give local music the spotlight. That is where the idea for Nashville Music Reviews originated from. Nashville Music Reviews is dedicated to shining a light on local music and giving a voice to those who aren’t being heard.