Ava Max falls short in her follow-up Diamonds & Dancefloors

by Sam Russell

Ava Max falls short in her follow-up Diamonds & Dancefloors

With a very colorful cover, “Sweet but Psycho” singer Ava Max released her sophomore album, Diamonds & Dancefloors. In a March 2022 interview, Max mentioned that she had written the album in 2021 during a time in which she was experiencing personal difficulty. In contrast to her first album Heaven & Hell, Diamonds & Dancefloors is more dedicated to themes surrounding heartbreak. Unfortunately, the record doesn’t meet expectations this time around, and presents stale lyrics and repetitive melodies.

The album seemingly goes through phases of an intense breakup. Starting off with “Million Dollar Baby,” Max describes using an alternate personality to stop feeling upset about a breakup. The repetitive lyrics and use of basic synthpop sounds makes for a good song to dance to, but not such a great song to listen to leisurely.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album continues similarly to the intro track. The songs almost all sound the same, and if not extremely close to each other. Despite its synthpop classification, the repeated use of a few sounds makes for quite a boring album. While it is a perfect album for a club, party, or dance rave, Diamonds & Dancefloors is not an album that is enjoyable to listen to while doing daily activities.

Despite the repetitiveness, the overall theme of the album can be relatable and inspiring to many. For example, “Weapons” describes never letting the things people say get to you. The song is the “kill them with kindness” mantra bundled up into a song. This was the most enjoyable song of the album. The slight difference in the sounds and the inspiration of the lyrics makes for a nice difference in the album. The importance of the song is also especially important for younger listeners, as it gives them confidence to never let words get to them and to always be kind. Ava Max truly does a great job at displaying confidence and strength throughout the album.

Overall, Diamonds & Dancefloors wasn’t a very enjoyable listen. The similarity in all the songs makes for a boring album that doesn’t appeal to listeners of genres other than synthpop. The concept of the album, while great as an idea, was sadly not gotten across very well. The majority of the lyrics were cheesy and surface-level, with nothing extremely descriptive of deeper emotion. Max’s sophomore album wasn’t as powerful as Heaven & Hell, which had many themes of love, feminism, and resilience; a stark contrast to Diamonds & Dancefloors. Hopefully the release of a less exciting album means more thoughtful and interesting music in the singer’s future.