ALBUM REVIEW: Ava Max – Heaven & Hell

Ava Max is one of the most talked about new popstar’s following her continued domination on charts, radio and streaming platforms alike with her infectiously catchy singles ‘Sweet But Psycho’, ‘So Am I’ and ‘Kings & Queens’. With a huge traction originating from TikTok, the singer-songwriter is paving the way for the future of a whole new wave of artists with this alternative discovery platform. 

Her debut album ‘Heaven & Hell’ continues introducing herself to listeners with a cohesive and strong visioned collection of songs. Split into two distinct sections which are thematically labelled ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’, she highlights the polished and glam pop side, as well as layering a slightly darker pop side in there too. 

Opening with the album intro ‘H.E.A.V.E.N’ she immediately gives you holy melodies and cinematic production which begins to fuse gritty electronic synths that tease what’s to come. The hit singles ‘Kings & Queens’ and ‘Torn’ are found on the “heaven” side, but surprisingly they aren’t the centre pieces. One of the album’s biggest pop moments comes from the future hit ‘Naked’ which was co-written by Bonnie McKee. The slick synth banger oozes pulsating production and nostalgic 80’s interpolations while diving into a storyline all about struggling to open up to someone because of the fear of getting hurt. “Well, 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” she seductively sings. 

‘Tattoo’ then continues that pulsating synth vibe with a song that feels like it’s been taken straight out of the early 2000’s. Co-written by Charlie Puth, the earworm hook is strong and very prominent. It’s a playful pop song that is all about being unforgettable to the person you care about most, and she just gives you some cool imagery within the lyrics. “I’m like a tattoo that’s over your heart cause once I put this love on you, it never comes off. I’m like a tattoo that’s under your skin, so write my name in cursive cause you’ll never forget”. 

Evening out the first side, the Tove Lo co-write ‘Call Me Tonight’ is very 90’s meets 2000’s pop and could easily be fooled as an old Britney Spears track, while ‘Born To The Night’ gives you a retrospective floorfiller. 

Heading into the ‘Hell’ section of the album, the darker pop production of ‘Take You To Hell’ smoothly slides into ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ with its similar tropical production. ‘Belladonna’ fails to create the same impact that the rest of the album does and ‘Rumors’ is a slow burner that grows on you with each listen. But the rest of the album is tied together with her strong singles ‘So Am I’, ‘Salt’, and the global smash hit ‘Sweet But Psycho’’.

‘Heaven & Hell’ is a cohesive debut album that brings together a tight vision of what Ava Max wants to do as a pop artist. It’s an album that will be further highlighted when she can tour and showcase the visual aspect as that is a very important aspect of this album. 

Check out our recent chat with Ava Max HERE