Ava Max – Kings & Queens

“Something about the notes, the cadence, the harmonies…”

Tom: “What does this remind me of?” I wondered, on the opening about it. Something about the notes, the cadence, the harmonies…

Tom: …oh, yep, never mind, got it.

Tim: Ah, see I went immediately into “If I was a woman…” (and it turns out the writer of that, and, FUN FACT, the song Bonnie Tyler entered Eurovision with, is credited here), but yeah, yours is even more so. That might even beat Still In Love With Potato Waffles.

Tom: I mean, there’s more that I could point out here: the dick joke, the fact we’ve got two middle eights including an electric guitar solo like it’s the 90s, but mainly I just want to point out that it sounds a lot like a Coca-Cola jingle that, infuriatingly, is still trapped in my head decades later.

Tim: Well, get an updated version trapped in your head instead.

Alan Walker & Ava Max – Alone, Pt II

“I know a lot of music videos have ludricrous budgets, but this seems bigger than most.”

Tim: Welcome back, everyone! Let’s start the year with someone typically reliable, shall we?

Tom: That’s an interesting combination of names up there.

Tim: Now, three years back, Alan released a track called Alone; this here is apparently Part II, though I’ll be honest: I’ve no idea quite how this is related in any way, shape or form. Still, you remember how he used to have that really self-important thing going on about how his logo was all magical and stuff, and baked into the very fabric of the universe?

Tim: Yep, turns out he still does, and he’s almost verging on self-parody here.

Tom: “As part of the World of Walker Universe”. Good grief. I know a lot of music videos have ludricrous budgets, but this seems bigger than most. Mind you, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing.

Tim: Part of me hopes he knows it and is deliberately making it bigger and better each time just for a laugh; on the other hand, part of me would quite like to believe he’s just so ridiculously earnest that he honestly believes this is a Good Thing to do.

Anyway, girl on a cryptic quest to find something or other, which turns out to be, yep, Alan’s logo embedded in a magical rock or something, and the weird thing is that, despite what the lyrics say: aside from a couple of locals pointing her in the right direction, she pretty much does get there alone. No-one with her – well, except for all the mystic monks that come out of nowhere, because of course there are mystic monks.

Tom: All this, and we haven’t talked about one note of the music yet. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

Tim: To be honest, by now I’ve a feeling Alan’s videos are almost more entertaining than the music – sure, that’s good, and exactly what we expect, but man, I’m waiting for the one where they fly into space and find an alien civilisation unknowingly worshipping him.

Ava Max – So Am I

“Remember that ‘Sweet But Psycho’ song, the one that was so catchy that everyone just ignored the really questionable lyrics?”

Tom: Remember that ‘Sweet But Psycho’ song, the one that was so catchy that everyone just ignored the really questionable lyrics?

Tim: YES, and I still listen to it frequently while feeling ever so slightly guilty every time.

Tom: Well, this is what happens when a record executive says “that was brilliant, let’s have another one that’s exactly the same please”.

Tim: And right now I am imaging that exact conversation, because that is what happens. In a good way, mind.

Tom: There’s a lot to unpack here, isn’t there? The Sid and Nancy reference, the “call me Harley” lyric that acknowledges that, yes, perhaps the stylist might have taken a bit of inspiration from a certain comic book character.

Tim: Yeah – and that’s not helped by the fact that releasing a song titled ‘So Am I’ immediately after one with a main line of “she’s sweet but a psycho” could be read in a way different from how these lyrics portray it.

Tom: And the slightly uncomfortable music-video trope of taking a conventionally attractive artist and putting her in an oversexualised school uniform with some dancers, while she’s singing about how it’s okay to be different.

It’s very much been the Difficult Second Single in terms of chart performance, although it seems to be getting enough airplay.

Tim: Well, its been in the charts five weeks now and is lurking around the lower end of the Top 20, so I’d say it could go either way.

Tom: Catchy, though, isn’t it?

Tim: Yes. It’s still no Sweet But Psycho, though.