Author Topic: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'  (Read 2844 times)

Offline klukan

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Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« on: September 21, 2020, 10:07:59 AM »
Hey all,

Just wanna throw in a recommendation for Ava Max' debut album 'Heaven & Hell'. Executively produced by Cirkut.

Every Cheiron fan should love these songs - so inspired by Swedish melodies and Ace Of Base-styled productions:
https://open.spotify.com/album/6B1U2tJse7tS9Yi4VJjZAA?si=2FsJROJPQWGilTB1Uk0Fqg

Good to see a 'pure pop' album being released in 2020! ;D

P.S. There are also credits by Shellback and The Struts ('Call Me Tonight') and RedOne ('Kings & Queens')

Offline Snipes3000

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 10:51:46 AM »
What is pure pop in your opinion? Are there more pure pop albums released in 2020 by the major labels you think? Not to mock you, serious questions.
Hi, I'm Luke and I'm sitting on my throne! Oh, and have you noticed that Denniz PoP songs are extremely hooky?

Offline klukan

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2020, 11:12:39 AM »
What is pure pop in your opinion? Are there more pure pop albums released in 2020 by the major labels you think? Not to mock you, serious questions.

Good question.

No, the opposite. The market right now is dominated by hiphop/rap, trap and 808-based beats (which is cool because there is a time for every sound), but for Cheiron pop lovers like most people in this forum the current market lacks 'real' melodic pop songs.

If you look at the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 this week the only song that falls under this category is 'Blinding Lights' by The Weeknd (by Max, funny enough) and that is even a melodic pop song disguised as a cool, retro, 80's electro-pop song.

'Pure pop' is an expression that I've seen used many times in this forum and IMO it is a term covering melodic, catchy pop songs - maybe even glossy, bubblegum-ish pop songs and productions, which are generally not regarded as 'cool' in this day and age.

So my point is that the Ava Max album stands out in 2020, because it is a whole album with these types of 'cheesy' pop songs, which are rare these days.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:14:54 AM by klukan »

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2020, 09:45:52 PM »
Well, I think we're not very genre orientated in the forum.

And I heard the album and sounds really good but it's not my cup of tea.

Offline nanofives

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 03:25:02 AM »
Pure pop is kinda subjective, but the album is fire, all songs are bangers, I'm really glad for Cirkut for collaborating with tons of new people, especially shellback and the struts which is something max didn't explore with him when he was standing at Dr. Luke's shadow. And a full album without him also says a lot about how they ended their 6/7 years of collaboration. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it and they got tired of collaborating with each other.

Offline Feelgoodlies

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2020, 08:19:46 PM »
I definitely think it's a good pop record especially in this era where we barely hear pop music. She saved 2020 for me.

Offline bugmenot

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 08:49:52 PM »
I see you define a term (eg. pure pop) by describing what this term is not. Which is an awful and easy way to fall into logical fallacy.

Offline Snipes3000

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2020, 10:32:19 PM »
I don't like the album. But I don't care about my own opinion. What pop is is ALWAYS determined by the youngsters, never by people passed their mid twenties (like me). Their taste becomes irrelevant for major labels to capitalise on and their taste is often fixed to the standards of their own era. Would the youngsters like this Ava Max stuff? I don't think so. The album lacks so much progressions..... resolving..... in the chorus. The chorus is not a 'world on its own'. Anyone here thinking that this music is exactly what the youngsters would want at this time?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 10:38:08 PM by Snipes3000 »
Hi, I'm Luke and I'm sitting on my throne! Oh, and have you noticed that Denniz PoP songs are extremely hooky?

Offline nanofives

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2020, 03:01:00 AM »
The Cirkut formula and Ava's lyrics can be stripped down to a very simple record. It also shows how little personality she has.
I don't think new generations differs from old generations, I see this album as a Femme Fatale kind of thing, where the concept is weak but overall it's singles-driven. I've seen many critics defining the album as "manufactured pop" which at some point might be another way of saying "pure pop", and this is not something new, even less something from this era. I can compare this to other simple albums like Katy Perry's teenage dream, or Carly Rae Jepsen's Kiss.
She really got away with the idea of dividing the album in two parts, which is a very basic concept that I think it's rushed while she was recording the songs, maybe that's why she leave songs out of the tracklist that were almost identical in formula to the ones that made to the album, but critics apparently loved that.
The critics thing it's interesting because the album is very similar to Katy Perry's smile which is more insightful at some points in my opinion, but critics didn't like as much, but Ava got quite good ones despite the lack of personality everyone mentions.
In the end, I just keep seeing this as an opportunity for Cirkut to grow out of the Luke's formula. He's not there yet, but it's a start.

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2020, 07:47:51 AM »
I see this album as a Femme Fatale kind of thing, where the concept is weak but overall it's singles-driven.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! So disrespectful!
Femme Fatale is a FANTASTIC RECORD.

In the end, I just keep seeing this as an opportunity for Cirkut to grow out of the Luke's formula. He's not there yet, but it's a start.

Yep, I totally agree with this. At first I thought Cirkut was Luke's ghost producer but after hearing Luke himself producing pop I realized he is great at programming, arranging, guitar arrangements and AMAZING ear for chord progressions. BUT I think he's more of an editor: he know what's needed and how to get it done.



Plus, I wonder why they didn't include this beautifully arranged song. It's a co write with Jon Bellion and his team and he's like HUGE now.

Offline Snipes3000

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 11:50:25 AM »
Why is Cirkut not resolving in the choruses like Max does? Why are his choruses not exploding? Max is known for his dynamics, and Cirkut really doesn't capitalize on the effects of dynamics. At the same time Luke has also become much subtler on dynamics. It might be a trend currently.

But do try to embrace the idea that new generations DO differ from old generations. Otherwise we would all embrace the same music all the time, but music moves in cycles you know. Realising that is a great step ahead to determining the right style of pop at this very moment, in case you are into making pop yourself. I mean, I could make Cheiron flavour music today but the kids (in terms of the mass) won't like it, cause they are used to another type of topline. The motto is taste is what the ear expects to hear and what it's used to hear.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 11:52:02 AM by Snipes3000 »
Hi, I'm Luke and I'm sitting on my throne! Oh, and have you noticed that Denniz PoP songs are extremely hooky?

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2020, 07:17:53 PM »
Why is Cirkut not resolving in the choruses like Max does? Why are his choruses not exploding? Max is known for his dynamics, and Cirkut really doesn't capitalize on the effects of dynamics. At the same time Luke has also become much subtler on dynamics. It might be a trend currently.

But do try to embrace the idea that new generations DO differ from old generations. Otherwise we would all embrace the same music all the time, but music moves in cycles you know. Realising that is a great step ahead to determining the right style of pop at this very moment, in case you are into making pop yourself. I mean, I could make Cheiron flavour music today but the kids (in terms of the mass) won't like it, cause they are used to another type of topline. The motto is taste is what the ear expects to hear and what it's used to hear.

Nah, I don't think it's his fault. For example, his last hit was 2018's Girls Like You by Maroon 5, which doesn't have a big explosive chorus.
Probably his skills are more sound design orientated.

And I have to say, the Ava Max record sounds a bit dated, very 2010.


Offline Snipes3000

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 07:54:38 PM »
Yes sounds 2010, especially that RedOne songs which currently is the only song of the album on BB. Yeah, looks like he is more in the sound design.

Not even sure if Girls Like You was written by him. I vaguely remember that Akon & Tuinfort were involved in the making of the song and that they sold the song without getting the credits (ghostwriting). Akon's voice is in the chorus though (source: https://twitter.com/WeissSound/status/1080955878008750082?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)

Hi, I'm Luke and I'm sitting on my throne! Oh, and have you noticed that Denniz PoP songs are extremely hooky?

Offline nanofives

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2020, 10:48:19 PM »
But do try to embrace the idea that new generations DO differ from old generations. Otherwise we would all embrace the same music all the time, but music moves in cycles you know. Realising that is a great step ahead to determining the right style of pop at this very moment, in case you are into making pop yourself. I mean, I could make Cheiron flavour music today but the kids (in terms of the mass) won't like it, cause they are used to another type of topline. The motto is taste is what the ear expects to hear and what it's used to hear.

You're right, I think the sound of today is different on "pop music", but it's not the case with Ava Max and Cirkut. They both did outdated pop with current generation of collaborators. I think Madison Love is doing a very good job in the industry, the same with Lotus IV, specially for Charli XCX, but in this album it's not something new.

I think right now the current generation is leaning more to the sound Max crafted with The Weeknd last year, more 80's synthpop driven and still more hip-hop driven, Ava it's not even close in none of them, maaaaaaaaybe a little bit of nostalgia on the sound of Torn, but Torn itself it's a weird song that even Ava didn't know where it could fit, hence why it's not on either category.

Offline Snipes3000

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Re: Ava Max debut album 'Heaven & Hell'
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2020, 11:06:23 PM »
I won't open up on my thoughts of the current trends as these things change so fast. You're right about the hiphop driven stuff if we compare the topline style of now compared to say cheiron 90's. It's much quicker, much rappier. But we're in the doldrums now. Traditionally, it is a phase of the music cycle in which nostalgia kind of makes a comeback (read interviews by Guy Zapoleon to know more about this subject). Dua Lipa and the Weeknd are examples, just like the arguably flopped Stuck with you ariana song with JB (yes i know it was at BB #1). We won't reach the new phase until something completely new will take over. What will it be? Lot of the young new writers are into indie pop/rock. Who knows we get a revival of the max and luke rock era.

I will check out that Madison Love and things u mentioned.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 11:11:15 PM by Snipes3000 »
Hi, I'm Luke and I'm sitting on my throne! Oh, and have you noticed that Denniz PoP songs are extremely hooky?