I came across MAX from listening to a fantastic song from Galantis, and I was so entranced by his vocals… he’s just so good! So ‘colour’ me surprised to find out that he not only had his own solo material out with an aesthetic that’s to yellow-dye for, he had collaborated with Suga/Agust D of BTS! And suddenly, I became even more interested, and it just snowballed into me outright buying the album.
Now, I have to ponder. Does the album have the right ‘Color Vision’ to appeal to listeners, or is this album just a dull gray from start to finish? Was my purchase worth it in this really uncertain time?! You’ll have to find out below!
Colour Vision / Working for the Weekend (feat. bbno$) / Love Me Less / Acid Dreams / Circles / Blueberry Eyes (feat. SUGA of BTS) / Where Am I At / New Life / Checklist (feat. Chromeo) / Missed Calls (feat. Hayley Kiyoko) / SOS / There Is a God
For other ‘MAX (Max Schneider)’ reviews, visit the archive.
Kicking off the album is the title track, “Colour Vision“, a heavy-on-the-synth introductory track that feels like the beginning of an incredible event. MAX’s vocals are to the highest power here, complementing the loud booms and stretches of the static-like synthy melody. It has the feeling of a spaceship lift-off, readying us for the grand journey ahead. While I’m sad it’s only just an intro track, you can already tell that he’s gotten the vision for us to see in the remainder of the album, and it’s filled with colour. ⬛
We move into what is probably the most relatable track on the album: “Working for the Weekend (feat. bbno$)“, and while it would probably be fun working for The Weeknd, it surely isn’t fun working for the weekend. Produced by indie trio AJR, and featuring rapper bbno$ (who RPDR fans might know recently collaborated with Jimbo) with his low-tone rap complementing the song and incorporating a familiar Rihanna line, this is a darkly comic tune built around a snappy, hand-clappy, bell-like beat that feels just as haunting familiar as its lyrics. This is the anthem for all the hard-workers out there, and with its unison-like chorus, it just feels all too real. This song works for the weekend, but hopefully YOUR weekend will come. ⬛
Sung by: MAX & Quinn XCII
Following suit is “Love Me Less“, a collaboration with Quinn XCII, where MAX’s sultry R&B vocal is on fuller display. If I didn’t know any better, the beginning of the album is dark on its themes and sound, and it is prominent here. ‘Love Me Less’ contains a hip-hop beat that is supported by a swanky but subtle bass and a very low piano key, with Quinn XCII’s higher-pitched but sweet vocal. This is a track that grows on you upon further listens, but it gets to you with its haunting dark sound, and the lyrics complement the sound well. I don’t think I’d love this song any less than I do now. ⬛
Sung by: MAX & Felly
Here’s where things get a little friskier… “Acid Dreams” is next and it’s sexxxxxxy. Incorporating a very suave instrumental built around a sexy bass guitar with some sassy synths and a beat that eats, ‘Acid Dreams’ is a fun jam that keeps the momentum of the album going. Felly is the next guest on the album and on this song, his slight monotone-like delivery of his rap still slaps nicely and gives the track a nice hip-hop vibe to it. With some nice snaps and fun horns in addition, ‘Acid Dreams’ feels like a Justin Timberlake song that is completely and utterly meant for MAX. These acid dreams ain’t basic – if only they were real and weren’t dreams. ⬛
“Circles” brings us down to Earth, opting for an acoustic guitar vibe topped with booming beats to take us through an ethereal experience. The song’s lyrics indicate that this is an apologetic song, and with its hopeful vibe, it feels like there’s something positive waiting at the end of it. It’s a very beautiful song, and one that I find myself drawn to every time it plays. It is a serene R&B song that circles itself but doesn’t feel too repetitive, and I think I’ll be circling back to it every now and then. ⬛
The acoustics don’t stop there, as “Blueberry Eyes (feat. SUGA of BTS)” bases its melody on a beautiful piano meshed with an R&B-pop beat that feels like butterflies in the stomach. This is THE love song of the album, and one totally meant for MAX’s wife with every little detail being about her. Here, MAX sounds gorgeous, and with a full-blown Korean-language rap by SUGA (or Agust D) of BTS fame (that even MAX and his wife learned for the video), this whole song just feels SO right. It’s the happiest of songs on the album, so far, and with its slow ender that puts the instrumental and MAX’s vocal in the spotlight, it just has everything a love song needs and more. I’m lost in this song’s blueberry eyes. ⬛
We must be in the ballad section of the album, as “Where Am I At” is next. Previously released prior to the album, this song is a booming ballad, filled with strings, an increasingly louder background drum beat, and MAX’s vocals before we are thrust into a space-twinkle of a chorus that feels so emotional. It’s a very beautiful song both instrumentally and vocally, and it takes all the positive moods we’ve heard prior upside down. While I’m not privy to ballads (if you’ve noticed in a lot of my reviews…), this has all the power to keep me entranced. It’s a great song, especially when you ask yourself where you’re at in your life. ⬛
“New Life” comes after with its flamenco-styled guitar before hitting right into a darkly hip-hop beat and its lyrics take on ‘new life’ following the sadness that was ‘Where Am I At’ which described losing love. This song is the Spanish-flair of the album, opting for a sensual guitar-powered melody topped with horns, a low piano, and tons of snaps to give the song a life that feels very ‘I Like It’ by Cardi B. It continues forward, and it keeps up a catchy vibe, though I will say it is one of the tracks I might not listen to often. That being said, it is giving me life as I listen, so who’s to say I won’t fully like it later? ⬛
We are back into high-gear with “Checklist (feat. Chromeo)“, another sexy banger of the album released prior. Sexy is the word because you can definitely tell this is the production of Canadian electropop duo Chromeo, who incorporates their flair for hot twangs, booming beats, and that spicy synth with 70s style vocalizations in the background into the song for a tune that just feels like the right choice on the checklist. With MAX’s sensual vocal and tone, everything blends so nicely. My one complaint is it is TOO short! But this checklist still checks a majority of everything I love in a song like this, and I guess it does Sana’s too (looking at you, ONCEs). ⬛
It’s time for things to mellow down again with “Missed Calls (feat. Hayley Kiyoko)“, and this… is a fabulous song. This is a great collaboration, as both vocalists utilize the mellower hip-hop beat to their advantage with their unique vocal styles. Hayley, in particular, sounds fantastic, as her lower distinct vocal gives this song an edge that I really like. MAX has such a flavor for utilizing hip-hop beats in his tracks that his tracks feel like they fit for Top 40, and that’s a good thing! ‘Missed Calls’ is sadly, also, really short, but it’s still fantastic – it’s got an Ariana vibe but it just feels right with MAX. Guaranteed, there’s no missed calls here. ⬛
The hip-hop vibes don’t end there. “SOS” takes it to, similarly, a mellow vibe, but it is joined by twinkly space synth and MAX’s sensual vocal that is slightly distorted to match the outer space vibe the song has got going. Joined by choruses, the song gets louder, with MAX going for the highest he can go with a falsetto. Once he’s there, the track traverses fast, taking us in light speed. It’s a fun song that also has trumpets in the back complementing. It sadly does feel like just a middle track, but it still has that edge. If it was a longer and fuller song, I could only imagine it would be an SOS of a grand scale. ⬛
Ending off the album is “There Is a God“, a piece that begins with a staccato array of strings that continue forward as MAX sings along, with bits and pieces of a triangle, synths, and other instruments. It feels orchestral, and MAX keeps going with his amazing vocal, putting it in full focus while the instruments play. This is a great ender to the album, and while there was a slight weird change in tone part-way through, it still feels essential as a closing track. With its hopeful lyrics, ‘There Is a God’ almost makes me wonder if there is… ⬛
I have to say, I’m incredibly impressed! This is a vision filled with color, and there’s a song here for every feeling, every vibe, everyone, everything. If I didn’t know about MAX before, I’m surely here for MAX now and cannot wait to see what comes up in the future. His vocal is just awesome; I hope he gets as famous as his peers, well-deserved. ‘Color Vision’ is a must-listen; let MAX take you on a ride through his realm of color and find yourself illuminated by the experience. Wholeheartedly recommended.
MUST-LISTEN: Blueberry Eyes (feat. SUGA of BTS), Checklist (feat. Chromeo), Working for the Weekend (feat. bbno$)