Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Albums: Ava Max - Diamonds & Dancefloors

Ava Max - Diamonds & Dancefloors

Million Dollar Baby; Sleepwalker; Maybe You're The Problem; Ghost; Hold Up (Wait a Minute); Weapons; Diamonds & Dancefloors; In The Dark; Turn Off The Lights; One Of Us; Get Outta My Heart; Cold As Ice; Last Night On Earth; Dancing's Done

Atlantic: Cat. no: B0B2Q238QJ

Songs about heartbreak set to pulsing dance-poo beats is nothing new. ABBA did it. Robyn stole hearts doing it. Heck, even Steps named one of their albums over their ability to do it so well. So with pop 'outsider' Ava Max returning with her sophomore album and citing it as her theme has been met with somewhat of a mixed response. Having previously fought for those that feel a little bit different in her lyrics, many had anticipated her sophomore to take a similar tack. However, while the theme may not be new, what of the contents?

Having not graced the UK Top 20 as a soloist since 2020's My Head & My Heart (although 2021 saw a hit collaboration with Tiƫsto), the steady flow of high calibre dance-pop singles to tease her sophomore album have simply not captivated the playlisters and streamers to propel her up the charts again.

However, that does not mean the music is not worthy of attention. Ava Max may not make the headlines in the same way some of her pop peers do, but she certainly has the same vocal prowess as the very much celebrated Lady Gaga. Yet it is perhaps in this vocal similarity (and a slight physical one) that she may find her biggest challenge.

While we could focus on commercial exposure, the new release is our priority. Fuelled by epic pop anthems that make you move, this is a release that rarely takes its foot off the gas and shows just why Ava Max should be taken very seriously as a long-term pop contender.

Although lyrically clunky at times, there is something really enjoyable about the epic Maybe You're The Problem, One of Us, Weapons, Cold as Ice and Dancing's Done. However, it is the album's title track and the addictive Turn Off The Lights that are begging to be single releases.

Boasting 14 songs, of which 5 have already been singles, this is an explosive pop moment that may not be the most original on content, but is truly enjoyable throughout.

Ava Max may be seen by some as a 'guilty pleasure', but with a vocal as strong as hers and a power pop hook on every song, we suggest you take away the word guilty and just enjoy this pop pleasure.