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The airwaves of love are strong and unique in 'Love in Stereo'

Taken from Dipe
Taken from Dipe

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.

Max Schneider, who goes by the artist name MAX, is an Amercian-based singer and actor who gained notoriety for staring in Nickelodeon's original shows and movies like Rags, a musical-based film where he played the role of Charlie Prince, and How to Rock, in which he also contributed to writing a song for the show. In 2015, MAX started shifting from acting to focusing on songwriting, where he came out with his first studio album, NWL. In 2016, you had Hell's Kitchen Angel, where he gained lots of popularity as an artist from his song "Lights Down Low." In 2020, there was Colour Vision, which is when I started getting into his music after hearing "Blueberry Eyes" featuring Suga from BTS. MAX has used TikTok much more heavily to tease the release of his latest album, Love in Stereo. This album in particular combines many singles released in 2022 and 2023 and throws a few original ones in the mix.

The Relationships are All Over the Place Amidst the Stereo

As the album title suggests, many songs deal with romance in many different ways, and it is fitting for an album released around Valentine's Day. The album's first song, which was promoted by far the most, is "Stupid in Love” with Huh Yunjin from LE Sserafim, a new song. The song's lyrics tell of a couple who are infatuated with each other but have to explore the overwhelming nature of this feeling of love, realizing they are impulsive in making decisions that could seem foolish to others. The song's instrumentation gives an upbeat vibe much akin to an anthem to the duet song, and it is just a fun song to listen to. "It's You," featuring Keshi, talks about a man falling in love with a special woman, and the soft vocal falsetto of MAX combined with Keshi's lower register overlayed by slow guitar instrumentation makes for a breathtaking piece filled with soul.

Taken from Livenation

"Say Less” with Duckswrth is another new addition to the album that gives major Weeknd vibes. Duckswrth rapping to Max's repetitive "say less", setup with strumming guitar beats makes up for a groovy time. It's good, but it isn't one of my favorites. On the other hand, you have songs like "Woah," one of the most straightforward songs with simple lyrics consisting of a single repetitive beat drop mixed with electronic drum beats that happen every half beat. The song talks about a man recognizing the allure of women. "Gucci Bag" is the next song of the album and is funky throughout. The song has a slow, seductive vibe to it. This is arguably my least favorite song of the album, as the music doesn't go anywhere interesting.

Halfway through the album is my second favorite song, "Keep It Chill." As the name suggests, the song has a very chill vibe, and the hip-hop beats add to a fun vibe, which is reinforced by a very soulful voice. "Love Never Felt Like This" is the most pop-sounding song of the whole album. The acoustic guitar, paired with a simple melody, creates a song eerily similar to ones I've heard before. "Strings" with JVKE and Bazzi showcase MAX's falsettos more so than any other song and his ability to control it well. The song also showcases the vocals of artists who just gained fame in 2023. The song is accompanied by what seems to be sweet violins playing and a piano, creating a dream-like, almost fantastical feeling.

"Summer '16" is one of the album's prettiest songs I have heard. It gives a summer vibe fitting for the song's title, which talks about comparing love to things relating to summer, eventually turning into talking about a love story happening in the summer. The "la-la-la" in the chorus gives a sense of childlike wonder and innocence in the song, and string instruments give a classical feel to the song. Next is “Wasabi," which is by far my favorite song on the album. It gives Bruno Mars vibes with that RnB vibe and 80's EDM beat. It is about physical attraction and talks about his wife in some regard, following in the footsteps of tracks like “Stupid in Love” and “It’s You”. It is a tune that can be easily danced to. It's just so groovy. 

"Butterflies" featuring Ali Gatie is a smooth-sounding song but is probably my second least favorite song of the album. I can't feel the emotions in Max's voice, like in other songs, and the lyrics tell a story similar to others in the album. The song is "Edie Celine," a story written about his kid who had just been born. It is a heartwarming song and one of the more emotional songs in the album, being such a personal story. It is also the last song of the album.

The Adapting Album

Some of the lyrics of the songs were written by MAX, especially those about family members close to him, and others were written by composer friends of MAX. The lyrics are sorrowful but do a great job of being comedic if needed. The lyrics' themes are typically creative and different from each other. Some songs are written seriously, and others are not. The production of Cody Dear and others helped to make some of the beats work well with the lyrics and melodies written by MAX and the rest of the team. Many helped contribute their skills to create a completed piece of musical art. 

Taken from BroadwayWorld

I can tell throughout the songs that MAX was going for much simpler melodies, trying to get an audience on social media like TikTok. I know many people disliked this album because of that, but over time I have grown fond of simpler melodies and ones that are repetitive, especially if the melody of the song is catchy and, in most cases, filled with soul. Overall, I think Love in Stereo was a good album. You had a few songs that missed, but there were a lot of catchy ones that I found myself listening to on repeat all the time, and then the songs that weren't bad but not entirely great. I'm still determining in which music direction MAX will go for his next album other than sticking with roots in R&B and pop, but whatever it is, I'll be on the journey with him.


MAX, Nick, IMDb, IMDb, Genius, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify, codydearmusic


Dipe, Livenation, Broadwayworld

Contact Cameron Tyo with comments at cttyo@bsu.edu.