Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Music Again

Song: Music Again
Artist: Adam Lambert
Album: For Your Entertainment

Best of 2009

When I heard Adam Lambert's first single, the title track from his debut album after a second place finish on last year's season of American Idol, I was pretty underwhelmed. First, I wasn't expecting a Britney-style dance song, and it just didn't seem to have the personality that he highlighted on the show. But thinking back, as much as I liked the guy on the show, I never really LOVED anything he performed. It was different for sure, and I liked that... but of the studio versions I listened to of his I just thought of them as goofy karaoke. I listened to Kris Alen's "Heartless" a heck of a lot more.

Well... then I kinda got to love the song. After all... I really do like Britney-style dance-pop songs. Was it that I wasn't used to hearing that from a guy? Or was it that I just sort of knew that the Scissor Sisters do the same thing MUCH better. I don't know... but "For Your Entertainment" grew on me, and then I heard the album.

In some ways you have to put the album in context. This is, after all, and American Idol alum's first album which has most likely been over-thought. There is, like most pop records now-a-days, a slew of different producers... yet the collaborators are impressive for a first timer (Pink, Max Martin, Lady GaGa) and also a little WTF (Justin Hawkins? Muse? Uh... Rivers Cuomo?!) But what becomes very very clear is that this is not only the best debut of an A.I. vet by FAR, but also the announcement of a new Superstar. The show didn't let his full lights shine and listening to "Entertainment" you realize this guy has a bit more going on upstairs.

Album opener "Music Again" possibly should have been the first single, as it really showcases the guy Lambert always said he was. Collaborating with Ex-Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins, "Music Again" is their bread and butter, a throwback hair-metal song with wink-wink lyrics (my fav: "Put your little hand in mine and look into my eyes in the eyes") big riffs, and the trademark scream-falsetto. Wow. And what makes it not just a Darkness song that they never recorded is that he reigns in goofiness and just rocks.

Song for song "For Your Entertainment" just gave me what I wasn't expecting. The Muse track "Soaked" sounds convincingly like a great Bond theme, and fellow ballads "Loaded Smile" and Broken Open" go electro and WAY more interesting than that typical fare. "If I Had You" is another great dance track, and the GaGa penned "Fever" initially sounds like a tossed-off track of hers, but then morphes into something different... I just hear... Adam Lambert.

I probably shouldn't over-sell this album because it does have its clunkers. ("Aftermath" and "Sleepwalker" go way-way too far over the top) but this record SHOCKED me in it's boldness and creativity. It still does seem a touch over-thought, which hopefully will be eaten away once Lambert finishes the promotion and tour of this album and dives into his sophomore set. It's a pop record for sure... but one of the most perverse made-for-the-masses product I've certainly heard. I'm watching full-bore now Adam.


Music Again

Whataya Want From Me


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