Ava Max releases “Heaven and Hell”

On Sept. 18, Ava Max finally released her long-awaited album, “Heaven & Hell.” The album lives up to its name, as Max incorporates a combination of light, energetic songs with ones that take on a darker, moodier approach.

Recording over 100 songs for her album, she spent months selecting the best 15 songs for “Heaven and Hell.” In 2018, after Max released her breakthrough single, “Sweet but Psycho.” Included in her new album, the song became a top hit in 22 countries.

The 26-year old set out to bring back the feel of 2010 pop music. This album does much more than give off a carefree feel as it also preaches feminism. “Heaven & Hell” kicks off on an upbeat melody with the song “H.E.A.V.E.N,” before moving on to one of the biggest songs in 2020, “Kings and Queens.”

Also known as ‘the feminist anthem,’ “Kings and Queens” displays its message though its lyrics and can be heard throughout the chorus, “if all of the kings had their queens on the throne // We would pop champagne and raise a toast.”

Max is no rookie when it comes to incorporating powerful messages into her pop songs. While some people argue that her lyrics lack personality or are manufactured, messages of female empowerment are clear.

The album is split up into three sections: heaven, purgatory, and hell. The heaven section has a lighter sound with brighter messages, while hell has darker themes.

“Torn” is the only song in the purgatory section, which is in the middle of the album. One lyric says, “I’m torn in between heaven and hell.” Torn came out in Aug. of 2019, so this was a hint to the album’s title.

The album ends with one of her biggest hits, “Sweet but Psycho,” which gained popularity in the U.S. in 2019.

Max is often recognized for her iconic style and has been known to have an “ostentatious presentation.” With platinum blonde hair, an untamed personality and against the grain fashion statements. Max has been criticized for portraying a persona that is too similar to Lady Gaga.

However, success did not always come easy for Max. Her career began having many demos rejected by big record labels. It wasn’t until Max released “Anyone but You” on SoundCloud, and the song gained traction, that she signed with Atlantic Records in 2016. Since then, Max has released 14 singles, 14 music videos and as of recently, an album.

Max describes herself as “100% Albanian” and noted she receives pleasure from giving back to the community.

Using inspiration from artists like Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Celine Dion, Max was determined to make a name for herself. By 3-years old, Max was participating in Radio Disney singing competitions.

Having a family history in music, her mom in opera singing and father trained on piano, Max received endless support. When she was 14-years old, Max and her mother left their family home to move to Los Angeles, and eventually South Carolina, to pursue Max’s career in music.

“Heaven and Hell” is available for streaming on all major streaming platforms.