A collection of songs that can't decide whether they need to be performed in an arena or a dark and sweaty club, Diamonds & Studs can be a bit of an enigma. Like the title implies, Morningwood's second album is all about two things, sparkly sparkly pop and driving rock. The record tries to blend the two worlds, as if it doesn't want to make up its mind about whether it wants to dive fully into power pop or give in completely to glammy dance-rock excess. In the end, it decides to take a stab at both, and does a workable job at it, often sounding a bit like Brassy or even a less intense, female Andrew W.K. "The Best of Me" (also the theme song for VH1's Daisy of Love), which jumps out of the gate with big guitars and vaguely tribal percussion, is an easy-to-like and easier-to-dance-to pop single if there ever were one. The real high points of the album come when the rock makes its way to the forefront. "Killer Life" and "Snobby Little Elf" are solid, arena-ready power pop singalongs, with both songs drawing you in with a bit of a buildup before exploding into instantly catchy choruses. Like a lot of modern records, this really feels like a collection of throwaway songs wrapped around a few really killer singles, and while Diamonds & Studs may be a forgettable pop record, it's certainly one that's easy on the ears and hard on dancefloors.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney