Ava Max – Diamonds & Dancefloors


For her sophomore album, Ava Max proves on Diamonds & Dancefloors that she can deliver a new fresh sound that still sounds like her, but different.

She’s also done away with her famous Max cut and is now alternating between mermaid red and her signature color, platinum blonde. If that doesn’t tell you that she’s ready to reign over a new era, then perhaps the album’s disco-influenced nineties synth electro-pop melodies will convince you.

With the first single off the album, “Maybe You’re the Problem,” Max set the stage for what will be a record that’s all about remembering the highs and lows of relationships and still dancing around at the same time.

Her first two singles complemented each other, because if we went from the “Maybe You’re the Problem” chorus – “But with you, it’s always my fault / And your short fuse, just like a time bomb / And you should take a second just to look in your reflection baby / Maybe you’re the problem” – to the “Million Dollar Baby” chorus – “She broke out of her chains, turned the fire into rain / She’s a million dollar baby, she bound to drive you crazy / She’s a miracle” – you see someone that has gone from needlessly taking the blame to sort of becoming the one to blame.

If you ask Max why she created Diamonds & Dancefloors, she’ll tell you that she’ll rather dance all her sorrows away than dwell in a place of heartbreak. And she does a great job of keeping to the inspiration, because no matter how painful the lyrics of “One Of Us” and “Ghost” are, you still want to get up and dance.

Before the 14-track album dropped on January 27, it was preceded by six singles: “Maybe You’re the Problem,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Weapons,” “Dancing’s Done,” “One Of Us” and “Cold As Ice.”
The last single dropped to tease the album saw the singer put a new spin on the famous words “Once bitten, twice shy.” And as only Max does, “Cold As Ice” uses extreme connotations to depict the shield heartbreak makes some of us wear. “I keep a pistol under my pillow at night / I close the curtains and I sharpen my knife / I build my walls up and I build ’em up so high / So no-one’s getting inside, I learned my lesson last time.”

“Get Outta My Heart,” the track directly before “Cold As Ice,” sees Max sing about a relationship she has found the strength to call off, but still craving “one more kiss.” “I know what you did last summer,” Max sings on the track, “And I can’t let it go.” The song delves into the part of a relationship we probably regret the most when we finally wake up and walk away. It’s about being tolerable to the mischiefs of the other person and adjusting your values just to make it work. Even though it’s not as upbeat as most of the songs on this record, you still see Ava Max deliver on her promise of “cry and dance.”

To round off this bitter-sweet project is the song “Dancing’s Done.” Basically about finding something new even after all the heartache, it’s the perfect hurrah to a record that’s broken our hearts, made us feel stronger, and pointed to the way forward.

Diamonds and Dancefloor is a more cohesive album than Max’s first project Heaven & Hell, but it fell short of her first album when it comes to delivering groundbreaking hits.

There were high moments in the album, and all in all, it shows us that Max deserves way more attention than she is getting. Is Diamonds & Dancefloor a better project than Heaven & Hell, even though the first album is packed full of hits? Without a doubt, I believe it is.