Adam Lambert – For Your Entertainment – An Album Review

So there has been a lot of hype about Adam Lambert ever since he first made himself known as a front runner on American Idol. I was a huge Adam Lambert fan last season, despite being from Arkansas, and so when his CD hit shelves I actually went to a store and purchased it. I think it is the first time I purchased a CD in a store in years, and it is a purchase I am happy I made.

Adam’s CD gives his listeners a lot of what they would most likely want/expect from his album. This is actually a pretty big accomplishment. Katharine McPhee’s first CD had nothing to do with the amazing vocals she gave us on the show, and I heard that Paris Bennett put out a terrible R&B album. So I was happy that Adam’s label was willing to let him sing what we came to love him for.

Adam’s CD seems to focus on 2 styles: Dance music & Glam Rock. There is some cross over between these, and both have pop infused in them, but for most part we are treated to a lot of material that sounds like a modern versions of Queen and David Bowie. This is not to say that Adam’s CD is not unique. It certainly feels like a CD the Adam we saw on American Idol would make. The only real problem is that the CD seems like Adam trying on a few hats, and he isn’t sure which one fits him best. Adam seems to be experimenting with several genres, and so it is uncertain what style Adam will be best known for. I think it is great that he chose to experiment, but the lack of focus does seem to make it a hard CD to listen to as a whole. If I’m in the mood to dance, I’ll certainly load the dance songs onto my mix and dance around. If I’m in the mood to listen to Adam sing those amazing high notes I’ll add the tracks from his CD to the ones I lovingly already have on my iPod from his American Idol days. Considering there are 14 tracks on his CD, I’d say 80% will be found on my iPod under one mix or another. However, because the album is so experimental, it doesn’t really lend itself to a fun listen to from start to finish.

If I had the chance, I’d go see Adam’s concert. I bet it is incredible, and I would love to just be in the room with him when he sings those soaring high notes. I hope this CD sells well, because I want to hear more from Adam in the future. Here is my brief reaction to each track:

  1. Music Again: Lots of shades of queen, but not really a memorable track.
  2. For Your Entertainment: Cannot wait to dance to this!
  3. Whataya Want From Me: Solid Vocal work. I’d sing this J
  4. Strut: Kara cannot write songs. This is a total yawn job.
  5. Soaked: My favorite vocal on the entire CD! Probably the best demonstration of how amazing Adam is.
  6. Sure Fire Winners: Sure to be a concert pleaser! Would be fun to sing refrain back to Adam.
  7. A Loaded Smile: Very slow and sexual. Good for background.
  8. If I Had You: I was shocked to know that this is not a song Adam helped write. It’s so him! Sure to be the new gay dance anthem J
  9. Pick U Up: Nice follow-up. Not as much fun as track 8.
  10. Fever: Adam owes Lady Gaga thanks. It’s a mix of Gaga and Scissor Sisters.
  11. Sleepwalker: Good not great.
  12. Aftermath: A nice new direction for Adam. Sounds like a typical idol song, which Adam sings well. Nice reminder that Adam can sing more mainstream hits and have it still feel like an Adam Lambert song.
  13. Broken Open: It’s weird, but I like it. Nice original closing track.
  14. Time For Miracles [bonus track]: As much as I love Adam this songs like a really dumb sappy ballad that you’d hear at the end of a fantasy/roleplaying game type of movie. No matter how many times Adam sings insanely high, there is just nothing he can do to make this song not suck.
Advertisements

7 Comments

  1. CJ said,

    December 2, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    That pic reminds me of Dave Navarro!

  2. Shellie said,

    December 2, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Adam’s CD is my favorite of the year. I just love his voice, and I love all of the songs on the CD. Some of my favorites are Music Again, Strut (which Adam co-wrote), and Sleepwalker. I guess I don’t quite agree with the person that wrote this review.

  3. kyoske said,

    December 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Shellie: Well we both agree that Adam is amazing, and we both like them. I’m interested in why “Strut” is a particular favorite of yours. Can you explain?

  4. melanie said,

    December 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    well, i think i’ve listened to “for your entertainment” (the song) about 10 times since yesterday because you posted this. i shouldn’t be surprised, though; you show me a man in guyliner who sings pop music, and i should expect to love it 😉
    thanks, richard, for introducing me to yet another singer i won’t get enough of!
    oh, and BTW, i like the snow on the blog 🙂

  5. kyoske said,

    December 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Glad to hear it Melanie! Yeah, when Adam would sing on Idol I would get goosebumps. I think that is amazing! Have you seen Adam’s video for “For Your Entertainment?” His website has a streaming high resolution version that you can watch. It is a lot of fun. Here is a direct link:

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid51728971001?bclid=23754280001&bctid=52480226001

  6. Jules said,

    February 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Nice review on Adam’s excellent first album ! … However ~
    … I really must disagree with you on one small particular point : … And please note, I’m not even particularly a big, or otherwise, fan of Ms.DioGuardi (i.e. Kara’s), … and maybe even “Strut” (co-written by Adam !) aint perhaps one of her best !? … But for someone who has a songwriting catalog of several hundred (yep, no “typo” ~ Several Hundred !) songs under her belt. Of which over 250 have been released on major labels worldwide, and over 150 have appeared on multi-platinum selling albums. With nearly 50 international charting singles over the course of her career, and songs that have appeared on records that have sold more than 100 million combined …
    I really have to therefore insist that to flippantly state, and I quote : “Kara cannot write songs” … Is not only “bullshit” and unfair, but also very much inaccurate ! … Songwriting is without a doubt something she’s proven she can do, and well !!! … I’d say that’s one damned impressive “track record” ! (No pun intended ! :o)

    • kyoske said,

      March 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      So Jules, I am glad you recalled my attention to this review. I have to say, I wonder if I was a little over harsh on Adam’s album. I still listen to it once a week, and that’s pretty impressive for/to me.

      As for my comment of “Kara cannot write songs” I applaud you for calling me out on it. I agree Kara at one time seems to have written music, but after researching it a little further I was shocked to find that she managed to write a number of songs I hated for artists I liked. That seems to be her forte. “Sober” by Pink was a song I enjoyed live, but mainly because of Pink’s performance, not because I think the song is very good. I found this was true with other examples. So you are correct, it was careless of me to make the statement I did. I would say Kara has the ability to write songs, but I now wonder whether she can write any good songs anymore? Kara appears to be phoning it in a lot, and relying on outdated music theory. Her past as a composer/lyricist aside, she has failed to pen anything I consider “excellent” in the past 5 years.

      I don’t think Kara is the worst music writer in the world, but I find her unimpressive for the most part. Her contribution’s to Lambert’s career are the two worst songs he has recorded since American Idol brought him into the public spotlight. I think “No Boundaries” is terrible, and actually seemed to be written to make both Adam and Kris look bad. Following that trend, nothing about “Strut” uses Adam’s multiple talents.

      I will concede that, much like Pink, Adam probably has a lot of fun performing the number, but I wonder whether that is the more the mark of an excellent performer as opposed to a composer/lyricist.

      I enjoy Kara on the show for the most part. I think she is competent, and she seems to discuss music from a somewhat interesting perspective. Still, one would think that, what with the nation paying attention, she would be able to write some better stuff.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: