Ok...how did this guy not win American Idol?? -My first thought while listening to Adam Lambert's latest album, "Trespassing."
I've been meaning to post this for quite a while now (since May), but I've been rather busy with school, work, performing...blah blah blah. But the aforementioned album is pretty great and I've listened to it a lot. Here are my thoughts on it in a full review.
What's black and white and yellow all over? ;)
This color scheme is a big trend in album art right now (this, for example). I like it. It's gritty, but the pop of color gives it life at the same time.
"Trespassing"- As the title track of the album, this song represents its artist well. It makes a bold statement: I am who I am, like it or not. The hand claps that can be heard in the background and thumping bass give it a nice anthem-like feel.
"Cuckoo"- This one is a club jam, no doubt. Its lyrics describe wanting to party so much that it makes you feel crazy. I can definitely relate to that.
"Shady"- Nile Rodgers rocks out on the guitar and Sam Sparro lends some vocals here for a grimy dance tune. The sexual references that began in the first track continue here, but given the song's title, I guess that's not too surprising.
"Never Close Our Eyes"- In the vein of "Till the World Ends," this song talks about the desire to party endlessly. And it has the thrilling production to match. This party-ready joint was chosen to be the album's second single. I hope there are more singles after this one, but that remains to be seen. Below is its music video, complete with a creative science fiction premise. Check it!
This video has a cool, futuristic vibe to it. It kinda reminds me of "Ready, Set, Go!" by Tokio Hotel from back in the day. Anyone remember that?
"Kickin' In"- This song is very offbeat and funky. It's another club tune and speaks of drinking, dancing, etc. In fact, drinking is mentioned several times within this album. Lambert is not exactly wholesome, but I already knew that and consider it to be part of his charm.
"Naked Love"- This song is very melodic. Because the main subject matter here is infatuation, the lyrics speak directly to Adam's object of affection. The production is very carefree and adds quite well to that tone. It reminds me a little of an old Michael Jackson song. Except dirtier, of course. ;)
"Pop That Lock"- My favorite song on the album! Complete with a wicked dubstep breakdown, this one is great for dancing. Metaphors are used throughout to represent pursuing your dreams. If you're only gonna listen to one track on this album, make sure it's this one.
"Better Than I Know Myself"- This served as the first single off the album. It's a breathtaking ballad that really shows off Adam's belting skills. The lyrics say that you can't really leave someone who is perfect for you, though you may want to at times. Its video can be seen below, which Lambert himself has described as his "abstract" moment.
Light & Darkness
This music video is an interesting depiction of the two sides of oneself. Such is a major theme represented in the album. The two colored eyes at the end give me chills.
"Broken English"- Seeing as Finnish reality TV personality Sauli Koskinen is Adam's boyfriend, I have a hunch that this song is about him. The harmonies here are gorgeous. They make me want to sing with him. :)
"Underneath"- I find this song to be a little boring, to tell you the truth. The lyrics are generally depressing and the production doesn't excite me too much. Sorry if you like it, it's just not my fave.
"Chokehold"- This song is mid-tempo rocker. The concept is actually pretty interesting- wanting someone even though they hurt you. Perhaps its about abuse?
"Outlaws of Love"- I think that this song is really sweet. Its lyrics describe the feelings of not fitting into society because of the one you love, which I can only assume is about being gay. The minimal instrumentation helps add nicely to this feeling.
"Runnin'"- There's a cool, mysterious tone that can be found here. Adam singing in lower registers at the beginning really adds to that. My only critique is that the word "runnin'" is repeated just a little too much.
"Take Back"- The beginning piano part of this song sorta reminds me of "Va Va Voom" by Nicki Minaj, but the rest of the song is all its own. Its subject matter is that of wanting things to be good again with a loved one. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that.
"Nirvana"- This song is very relaxing. True to its name, it's lyrically about wanting to find a special place that's all your own. "Pocketful of Sunshine," anyone?
"By the Rules"- There's an almost island sound to this song, with its Caribbean drums and hazy synthesizers. The lyrics are fairly metaphorical, symbolizing the act of giving in to love. "Let nature have its way" is the line that stands out the most to me in this regard.
"Map"- This song plays like an upbeat music box. Some of the melody is comparable to "Outlaws of Love," but each song still has its own identity. Here, Adam sings of how he doesn't need a map to know how to get to his true love. I find that to be a pretty cute concept.
My final verdict on this album is that it's both fun and serious at the same time, which I think is a commendable thing. Adam also shows real strength and versatility in his vocals throughout. I'd also like to note that this was the first time an openly gay artist has ever had an album debut at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Way to go, AL. :)