Review - Adam Lambert - Trespassing
Adam Lambert has a chance to be what the pop music industry is missing: a real, chart-topping gay success. When the gay world talks about its famous singers – the ones that LGBT community members around the world look up to and speak of, often times they are either still very much under the radar, or they are past their prime. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rufus Wainwright and Elton John as much as the last homo, but when was the last time either of them had a real radio hit in…well…anywhere? Instead, we idolize the Lady Gagas and Katy Perrys of the world, artists who have spoken out for gays and lesbians everywhere. While this is fantastic and I love them for it, wouldn’t it be great to have someone from our own little group make it?
Lambert’s last album peaked at #3 in the US and went platinum. Single-wise, he made it work. Believe it or not, ‘For Your Entertainment’ actually released seven singles – only one of which made it to the top 40 in the US (“Whataya Want From Me” did reach the top tier).
The direction of Lambert’s career is very much defined by this, his second album. Will he make it to the big time and keep his career in the limelight, or, like so many before him, will he be relegated to a B-list celebrity who still has an amazing career, but is not the gay star we’ve been looking for?
From the sounds of ‘Trespassing’, it seems like we’re leaning towards the latter. The sad thing about Lambert is that he just isn’t a mainstream singles artist. I personally don’t really care for his sound, but I actually have a lot of praise for him. I think he does the whole “glam/rock/gay” thing extremely well. It is who he is, and he completely owns it and rocks it, almost effortlessly. ‘Trespassing’ is true to his style and sound, and I think his fans will rejoice in this album.
His label on the other hand, might not be so thrilled. While the CD is sure to debut somewhere in the top 10, I don’t see it staying there very long. ‘Trespassing’ sounds fairly devoid of singles, which sadly is what it comes down to a lot these days. Lead single “Better Than I Know Myself” only made it to #76, and second single (which I thought was infinitely better) “Never Close Our Eyes” has yet to affect the Hot 100, though being released almost a month ago (to be fair, it hasn’t been sent to radio yet – that is happening later this month, so let’s not completely count it out).
The album itself is rather good. It shows Adam at his over-the-top best. Every song has him hitting those ridiculous high notes and feeling things a lot stronger than he probably should, but that’s why you love him. Again, this isn’t my favorite album just because it isn’t my thing, but I am really going to give him a round of applause for it. Many artists, knowing what was riding on the commercial success of this CD would have sold out and just done anything for a radio hit. While Adam did hire some of the most radio-friendly and successful people out there to try to make this happen (production by Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, and Pharell Williams; songwriting by Bruno Mars and The Smeezingtons), it is clear he was still in charge (he actually is the only ‘executive producer’ on the album). He wrote or co-wrote almost every song on the album, and it is undeniably him.
There are still a few chances for glory in future singles. If his label will give him the support he needs, tracks like “Naked Love” and “Pop That Lock” are likely to be his third and fourth choices for further pushes on the album, and they are some of my favorites on the album.
In the end, Adam Lambert is just as in-your-face as he was on American Idol and when he made out with that guy on stage at the American Music Awards (‘member that?), and he shows absolutely zero signs that he is ashamed, doing it for publicity, really gives a fuck what anyone thinks, or is going to stop any time soon. Even if he doesn’t turn out to be that great star we wanted to represent all of us, you gotta be glad he’s here.
Listen to: “Shady (ft. Nile Rodgers and Sam Sparro)”, “Never Close Our Eyes”, “Naked Love”, “Pop That Lock”, “Broken English”, “Chokehold”, and “Take Back”