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Single Review: MaxKaella “Money Dance”

Sleek, stylish and riddled with a cosmopolitan edge that isn’t as common in pop as it should be in 2020, MaxKaella’s “Money Dance” has all the right ingredients to turn an underground sensation into a true superstar this fall. In the music video for her second official single, MaxKaella turns the attention away from the props and onto her and her alone for what feels like an incredibly sharp and unfanciful statement of self around every twist and turn in its soundtrack’s groove, and for me, I think it could be just the right release to bring her into the primetime. 

The bassline here is pretty big, but I don’t think it’s the source of all the excitement on the backend. The percussion gets a heck of a boost from the bass that allows for the rhythm to feel loose and sterling at the same time, but without the commanding lead that MaxKaella is putting up with her verses at the forefront of the master mix, none of the beats in this song would feel quite as enamoring as they do in this specific scenario. It’s impressive work for any artist, let alone someone who hasn’t spent much time in the studio prior to 2020. 

While I think the visuals in the music video for “Money Dance” are smashing and frequently as intoxicating as a stiff glass of cognac, I couldn’t help but get hypnotized by the incredible alignment of the beats with the shot transitions in my first sit-down with the release this past week. It’s a well-directed music video for certain, but conceptually speaking, it’s telling me that I should expect this kind of efficient, cutting attack from MaxKaella in the future – which is a far cry from the message the output of her closest rivals has been sending as of late. 

MaxKaella is a new name and a new face to me, and while her sound is part of a larger movement towards melodicism within R&B and hip-hop that couldn’t be coming at a more important moment in the history of either genre (or the western pop lexicon in general), this is an artist who seems destined to put her own unique mark on the industry she’s chosen as her own. She’s got an ‘it’ factor in “Money Dance” that immediately took my breath away when checking out this track, and I can’t wait to see and hear more of it in the future. 

Loren Sperry 

About Michael Stover

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