Ella Mai’s Heart on my sleeve


ashley perez, online editor

Ella Howell Mai, better known as Ella Mai by her fans, recently dropped her sophomoric album Heart on My Sleeve on May 6.  After a four year wait, fans were ecstatic to hear more music after her first album Ella Mai led her to her fame.

 Although classified as an R&B singer, Mai greatly experimented with her style and vocalization during this project. The incorporation of pop into this album has broadened her target audience.

By covering a variety of deeper topics in the album, it becomes very easy for her audience to relate to songs and lyrics throughout. Writing about topics such as heartbreak, stress, and self esteem, Mai shows vulnerability and emotions that helps listeners appreciate and understand the songs to their fullest potential.

Mai took a different approach while producing this album. Instead of focusing solely on the background effects of each song, there is a nice blend of vocals and rhythm to each song that makes it easier for listeners to capture and visualize the idealization behind each of the songs.

 A great aspect about Heart on My Sleeve was the ongoing change of moods that occur as the album progressed. By starting off with rich vocals and upbeat energy in “Trying” and slowly transitioning into softer ballads and deeper subjects seen in “Hide,” Mai keeps listeners synced and wondering what the next song will be like. 

A negative for this album would be how lengthy it is. A 55 minute album, with 15 songs might seem like the jackpot, but there seems to be a lack of depth about halfway through. 

After the first half, it is evident that some of the songs, “Power of a Woman” and “ A Mess” for example, are sort of “filler songs” that do not really bring anything special to the project.

Overall, the quality of this album is excellent. With the incorporation of different genres and evolving themes throughout the songs, there is bound to be something for listeners of all genres and ages to like. As Mai’s second full album, it is a defining moment in her career and it has clearly helped her decide what route she wants to take with her music.