Thursday, 31 December 2009

Whataya Want From Me? Whataya Want From Me?


It's been another day of celebration as Adam's sales figures are much better than expected, having sold 62,000 copies of FYE this week, increasing the total US sales to 417,000.

Yesterday was the first time I'd been aware (thanks to my fellow Lambrits) of WWFM getting played on UK radio via BBC Radio 2's 'The class of 2009,' a show where Paul Gambaccini presented his choice of the breakthrough artists of 2009. For those who can't listen to the segment that starts at about 20:30, I've transcribed the comments:
“The year's best selling album by a UK artist in the US was 'I Dreamed a Dream' by Susan Boyle. This made a mockery of the year-end polls that attempt to predict who the stars of the following year are going to be, because at the end of 2008, Susan Boyle was on nobody's radar, not even the United States' early warning system. Her life and apparently ours, changed on the eleventh of April this year when she appeared on Britain's Got Talent. Within a week, her talent triumphs over prejudice video had been viewed millions of times around the world, and the 48 year old Scotswoman was a household name in America. Such is the power of modern media, and such is the influence of Simon Cowell. He is, in this phase of popular music history, the most significant single figure. There always is one, but usually it's an artist, like Elvis, the Beatles, or Michael Jackson. But beginning with Pop Idol, which he started with Simon Fuller of 19 Management, Cowell has built an empire of reality talent shows, that is the public's favourite mode of packaging and delivering ready-made, if usually short-term, pop stars. But no matter how strong his commercial sense, Simon can't control who the public votes for on his reality shows. This year, the two most obvious record-sellers came second. Susan Boyle lost to Diversity in the Britain's Got Talent final, and in the States, the dynamic Adam Lambert was beaten in American Idol by a more middle of the road artist, Kris Allen. Rarely am I musically impressed by reality show winners, but this year, both Lambert and Joe McElderry of X-Factor convinced me that they could have lengthy careers. Sure enough, when the new albums by Adam Lambert and Kris Allen were released at the end of the year, the man who made the top 10 debut was, Adam Lambert.
Whataya Want From Me?
Whataya Want From Me? by Adam Lambert. The young Californian came to prominence this year via TV, which has also been the medium that has made Ingrid Michaelson. Granted, it's been a little slower for Ingrid, but her method of exposure was to get her songs featured in drama series popular with young viewers such as Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill.”

As you can gather from the title, this post compares all the different versions of WWFM as I did for MW. I'd been holding out for a video of the Vevo performance of WWFM to turn up before making this post, but decided to go ahead because we might be in for quite a wait.

The debut performance of WWFM was a live one at The Early Show, a last-minute booking after the GMA cancellation. This was before the magnitude of the over-reaction of drama-queen proportions had really sunk in. Vocally it's very strong and has my favourite 'don't' high note to date, which he nailed better than in any others as it's both powerful and full of grit. When I watch it now, I feel a little different about the presentation than I did at the time. I think the sassy outfit and look is the one that's least suited to WWFM but works better for Music Again.



The David Letterman one was the next to be broadcast but was actually the first performance of WWFM. This was filmed shortly after the AMAs and just after the news that the GMA performance had been cancelled. It feels much less polished than The Early Show one and is my least favourite of them all. There's too much echo and the timbre of Adam's voice doesn't sound as pleasant or as well-controlled as usual, even shouty in places. Anger and passion over the AMA fall-out probably played a significant role in the delivery. The vocals and expressions remind me of BoW.



The Ellen performance came after a rather depressing week which may have influenced how I perceived it. It was sad and breathy with slightly dissonant backing vocals. More cancellations, tweets that seemed to show he was shaken enough to shift his direction and his crestfallen demeanour all made this the softest and most vulnerable of his performances.



The View came at a time when I was buoyed by the fact that Adam's recent critics all did a U-turn, in effect looking like idiots while spraying him with the fragrant scent of roses. This was my favourite set design and he was dressed all in black, merging into the background a little. The soft glow from the lighting gave it a floaty glam dream-like feel from a different era, much like the album cover. This wasn't the tightest but very solid and felt quite relaxed. Circumstances probably made me project an atmosphere of serenity to this rendition.



The mix on Conan sounds a little thin to me, and Adam didn't hit the 'don't' but there was the introduction of the beautiful falsetto 'me'. This is quite a physical performance where he's comparatively animated with his movements and expressions, clad in plenty of leather to add a little spice.



I was a little nervous going into SYTYCD because there had been a few shaky notes in each of the performances so far. I didn't need to be though, as its my favourite one. The instrumental mix sounds much better and the voice is at its most dynamic, with the inclusion of the falsetto and showing plenty of lightness and shade. This is a near-perfect vocal and the best visual performance with fitting expressions, and make-up and styling that represent the song very well.



The universally positive reception on SYTYCD I think must have contributed to the the most polished and assured rendition on Leno. With a casual, almost grungy look like a loner being left out in the cold, the visuals are my favourite out of all the talk shows and come a very close second behind SYTYCD. Vocally, it's the cleanest yet with a new, low 'Please don't give in' but with the omission of the falsetto that I love.



I still feel that the song lacks punch and excitement, but it has grown on me because it's a fitting narrative to Adam's real-life situation. It does help to really be able feel it as you sing. There is one thing that I miss from these performances though, and it's the 'Ahh' at the synth break that's included in the single which is beautifully tender. Being obsessive, I've tried overlaying the different versions and synching them up to play simultaneously. I have to say I'm very impressed that the band is very tight. The timings are all remarkably precise as every single one stays exactly in time from start to finish. Try it!

And just because it's available, I've also included Ferras's cover which makes me very excited to hear an acoustic version from Adam sometime:



Which version of WWFM do you like the most?

Friday, 25 December 2009

Crazy Time of Year


Season's greetings everyone! And happy festival of rampant consumerism for all you jaded cynics out there! I hope you all have an enjoyable time no matter what you do. As a little something to say thank you for all your support, I've re-worked a classic Adam performance for you where I've enhanced the picture and stitched together the best shots from the three videos available. This ranks near the top of my favourite pre-Idol gigs and was one that nudged me off the precipice all those months ago, leaving an indelible impression.



A little thumbnail of Adam lined up with the dancers popped up when I performed that fateful Google search. This didn't look like Adam, didn't quite fit in with my impression of Adam at the time and I wondered whether he had a namesake. This matter was put to rest as soon as I heard that unmistakable voice.

From the wide-mouthed lick of the finger in the blue light, I could tell this was going to be one sexy performance. The bassline kicking in is dangerously seductive as Adam lazily rolls his head, stretching as if just waking up, preparing for round two, moaning in horny recovery. The clinging red trousers and vest not only reveal a lot of skin but also Adam's lithe figure amongst other things. His movements are a dance of sexual foreplay and I remember thinking that no straight guy moves like that. There's much focus on the crotch as he sits open-legged and grabs it like a handle to pull himself up with. He prowls the stage like a feline with dance moves that pay homage to Michael Jackson, Elvis and Britney. There's one part in the song where he's a little late coming in, but I love that imperfection because to me it shows that he's totally absorbed in the moment. Just seconds later, we get the crowning note with that astounding riff and just when I think he can't go higher, he hits me with the most incredible sustained and powerful belt. I remember my eyes just widened and I gasped completely awestruck by this bare-footed other-worldly creature who looked like a manga character and was armed with a supernatural voice. I loved the moves that followed. There's something extremely sexy about the neck roll followed by the grace of the pirouette and the lap-dancer gyration back into the chair. He's on fire, which in turn arouses us, the audience. After it's over, we see Adam out of the character, beaming back a smile that would guarantee he would always have his way.

This was one sizzling performance that cranked up the heat, turning me on and teasing me enough to be fucking begging for it by the end. I watched it over and over. This was the performance that told me about Adam's shape-shifting abilities, his sexuality, his swivel hips, his boldness, his boyish charm, his irresistible sex appeal, his talent, his shockingly perfect, powerhouse vocals. This was the performance that got me really excited about him, willing him to push it further on AI and freak people out, eager to see what he would do next. This was what seduced me into falling for him, tipping me over the edge and getting me committed to following him and obsessing about him all this time. He makes us all crazy, but there's something so pleasant about that space, no?

Happy holidays!

DOWNLOAD Crazy - iPod compatible mp4 40.1MB

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Leno Plucking Adam Out


I watched Leno in a very happy frame of mind after finding out Adam's album sales figures for the week, which were much higher than what I'd been expecting. Adam had already been a part of a few of Leno's sketches leading up to the appearance so I was looking forward to seeing the interaction between them.



I was amused by the house band's attempt to play FYE at Adam's entrance without any electronic effects, and the hug he gave Leno reminded me of the one he gave Randy Travis. Adam's look was the most casual I'd seen of late - no leather, not glam, and even slightly grungy. It most closely resembled that from the TFM video. There was plenty of make-up though, and I liked the jewellery, especially the snake.

The interview itself was one of the most enjoyable so far, talking about Adam's past and his family. He was so natural at endearing us to his human side and his voice impressions were funny. The pregnant pause and mischievous expression after Jay's emphasis on 'plucked' was a classic, and the 'safe plucking' response was hilarious, leaving us in no doubt once again as to his lightning-quick wit. It was reassuring that Jay was fanboying all over Adam, unable to resist touching him. One with lesser integrity and articulation skills may have nodded along and agreed with Jay's cynical take over the AMA furore, but it was admirable that Adam consistently continued to take responsibility for his actions. I loved the little sarcastic mention of Billy O'Reilly with a twinkle in the eye. I'm really curious to see them head-to-head, and whether he'd be able to resist Adam's charm.



Monte returned with the bejewelled guitar, with the foggy atmosphere and lighting Mad World-like. It was another beautiful and solid performance with a few changes like a low 'Please don't give in'. It just keeps improving. There was another back-to-back moment with Tommy but the camera went towards Lisa for the synth break. The sound mix was good and this was one of the best vocals of WWFM so far. Not glitzy, not angry, not sad but assured, very natural, understated and quietly confident.

I'll leave you the tweet of mine you liked the most, and as promised, part of the best plucking episode of Rainbow, a children's TV show - well worth watching for its innnuendo.



Thursday, 17 December 2009

We KNOW Adam Can Sang!


When I'd heard that Adam was singing WWFM on the final of So You Think You Can Dance, I was disappointed that this was probably the end for TV performances of FYE in the US. I was hoping he'd be able to derive the satisfaction of nailing a new and improved FYE dance number proving he could sing it live, but alas it was not to be. My expectations of this performance after seeing all the multiple versions of WWFM had been tweaked. I thought it might be a slightly toned-down affair where he would dial it back and put the focus back onto his voice.



As soon as he got introduced (notice how Cat Deeley's face suddenly lit up on mentioning his name), I was scrambling to see what he looked like and it seemed to take a frustratingly long time to pan in from various wide-angle shots. After seeing all the photos of him dressed down in 'day clothes' on the various shows and hosting gigs, I yelped with delight that he'd dressed up for the occasion. The light grey suit was slim-fitting and was jazzed up a with a random dead black thing as a shoulder accoutrement. One of the first things that came to mind for some reason was a Bond villain, namely Blofeld with his cat. I half expected him, with a menacing grin to stroke it and it would twitch back to life. The button-down shirt was the one from the AMA red carpet, and the hairdo was an upswept asymmetrical fauxhawk. To give him that extra bit of edge, the look was completed with a metallic-looking glittery tie, fingerless leather gloves and spats on his feet. His makeup with the tear streak was a beautiful touch.

One of the things that struck me was the similarity to the AMA look and I think this was a clever move. Since the song has a very different vibe, he could've chosen a very different look to disassociate himself with the AMA performance, re-establishing himself with a different image, but I think the point was to stamp his identity even further into our consciousness. The fact that he came out looking similar says to me that he's owning that performance and and has no regrets. It's to confirm that, yes, it's the same person doing both performances even though they're very different, and range is an integral part of who Adam is as an artist. There are also some marked differences as well. Where he previously had vicious spikes adorning his shoulder, there's something quite mournful about the slightly pitiful remains of the twisted black 'corsage'. There's no aggression, and coupled with the tear stain the look suggests a vulnerable and tragic hero who has somewhat fallen from grace and is pleading for patience, fitting in perfectly with the song's narrative and real-life circumstance.


Leona didn't sound great earlier on in the evening, so I wasn't without concern about sound issues and held my breath for so long I almost fainted. But WOWOWOWOW! Fucking hell! That was by far the best vocal of WWFM yet! Those first few soft notes were very promising, delivered as Adam scanned the crowd before pulling out his earpiece. I loved the scrapey tone of 'afraid' that was missing from the recent renditions and was pleased that the sound mix was was much better and fuller. He was subtle with his expressions but did look straight at the camera with a knowing twitch of the eyebrow at 'But now'. The falsetto 'It's me' first debuted on Conan made a very welcome return. When he took the mic off the stand, about 50 different clip snippets of WLL from the tour flashed in front of my eyes and I wonder how much conscious effort it took to refrain from stroking it suggestively. I worried for a moment that he got caught short of breath at 'Please, please don't give in' but it was just a means of varying up the song. When Tommy pressed his back to Adam's I half expected a butt-grab, especially as I'd been looking at the looping gif from the FYE music video. But what we got was an even more delicious blink-and-you'll-miss-it sneaky smirk with a quick and naughty flick of the tongue. Oh Adam! Even on his best behaviour he can't resist a little mischief! We got to see the Lite Stix that Longineu was campaigning for, and did you notice Monte's huge platforms and Lisa's new hairdo? Well neither did I as it took me several watches too, but the whole ensemble looked fabulous. The bit of the song I'd been most nervous about was the high 'don't' after the synth break because he'd often been sharp on it but I found myself whooping and punching the air in exhaltation as he nailed it. When he let rip at the end, I was already celebrating and doing a happy dance at what had been a fantastic few days in the Adam world. The last shot was of a strained face as on the end of ToMT before the camera zoomed out. There were a few too many wide angle shots during the song for my liking, but right at the end when Adam, smiling and gracious, turned to acknowledge the band, I was transported all the way back to AI and felt like I was about to burst with pride. It had been a while since I'd last felt such a happy buzz after watching Adam. It was a beautiful performance which I loved.

This brought the focus back to Adam's undeniable talent and once-in-a-generation voice. Although his shoulder ornament is an amusing talking point and has taken some column inches, there is absolutely no slack to hand to the critics. It was the most perfect vocal of WWFM to date and he certainly stepped it up and delivered on the right occasion. He worked the stage like an ex-lover confidently dressed to the nines, bringing everyone touched by his aura onto their knees and eliciting schadenfreude-loaded glances directed at ABC. The tease painfully wrung out of ABC nothing but regret. This was the ideal high-profile follow-up which has successfully exorcised the demons of the AMA fall-out. Maybe that's what those shoulder remnants are.

Bravo Adam & band! *Standing ovation*



I was still buzzing with excitement and wide awake when Chelsea Lately was on but unfortunately couldn't find a stream. She seemed to be rushing the interview along and I would have preferred if she'd done a little less talking. I loved Adam's sarcasm when dealing with the erroneous assumption that gay people automatically find other gay people attractive. It's rather ridiculous when you think of the straight equivalent. Adam was charming throughout and I was pleased that he was so comfortable and open talking about his acid trip.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

It's Me on Conan


As you can tell from the title, my favourite part of the performance on Conan is where Adam changed up the song to emphasise the most pertinent 'It's me, I'm a freak' line at 1:50 with a startling 'nervous'-like jump into falsetto on 'me' with a little run on 'freak'. A beautiful touch. I would like to hear a little more rock grit tone from him but neverthless, a strong show. He looked fabulous once again with newly trimmed hair and plenty of makeup. Who else can work a brown leather jacket with tight leather trousers in combo with a shirt and a tie so well? We didn't see the return of the camp retro set from The View, but Monte's new bejewelled guitar was a nice touch.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Our Glitter-Spangled Star


This must be one of the most eagerly anticipated videos of Adam's performances so far after that little teaser from Fox News. This is still only partial, but it's enough to become awestruck once again by the marvel that is Adam's voice. The precision of the pitch through the octave-jumping, the control, the dynamism, the power and the clarity of tone are just stunning stunning stunning. And the riffing is a superb touch which adds that little bit of glittery pizzazz for a star-studded occasion. It's impossible not to feel both moved and proud.



Now compare this to Adam's beautifully sombre and sensitive performance at the military base way back during his AI homecoming, sung in a lower key and without any of the show notes:



And let's not forget this incredible vocal from Burning Man, which is a sung with musical accompaniment in such a high key that Adam breaks in to 'Baa's half way through. It's zany, chaotic and hilarious:



Still have my fingers crossed for a full length video and a video of the duet from the ADL evening.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A View of Lions Tamed


The quote of the day from Ringmaster Adam has to be “I'm a little different. My dreidel spins the other way.”

Impatience has a time-warping effect and it seems like such a long time since the last televised performance. It doesn't help that we know Adam gave performances at the Vevo and ADL events but have yet to see videos of those. His appearance as one of the ten most fascinating people was disappointingly short, just going over AMA and gay, with little more than a few sentences from him. There was nothing new there for fans, but at least there were plenty of clips showcasing Adam's voice. Again, there followed more controversy and proof of Adam's point about double standards because Gaga's same-sex kiss was shown but Adam's wasn't.

Adam's announcement about appearing on The View was one of the many WTF? moments recently, but it seemed that Barbara Walters had already been won over. The show would be pre-taped just so that ABC wouldn't have to concede complete and utter defeat in the matter. I guess they wanted to make a point to show that Adam hadn't earned back the trust of the network yet, rather than really believe he wouldn't be able to resist tempting everyone into simulating oral sex with him.


I'd never seen The View but had seen the clips of their conservative prude Elisabeth Hasselbeck criticising Adam's AMA performance. I thought this would make for an interesting showdown coming second only to one with Billy O'Reilly. It seems that she got warned (threatened?) by Adam's fans to be pleasant to him and in order to reassure everyone, she gave Adam her phone to tweet from.

Well there was never any doubt in my mind of the power of Adam's charms once the ladies got within his glittery aura. I'd seen it time and time and again throughout every single interview. Adam always manages to disarm even those with the sharpest of knives aimed at him and this was no different. From the photo that was released before the show of Adam with huge fluffy hair all coiffed up dressed as rockstar for the daytime, we could tell. From the body language of smiling eyes all fixed upon him and legs crossed towards him I could see that the ladies were putty. They weren't lions hungry for a mauling but kittens playfully tugging him for attention. Hasselbeck even ended up defending Adam's AMA performance and made sure to give him a chance to talk about his charity work.





We'd already seen three recent performances of WWFM, all subtly different though I couldn't help but feel that I was going to get bored of this being the only song that Adam would be performing on the promo circuit, much like I did with MW straight after AI. I don't find it the most exciting song and wondered how Adam would keep it interesting. That was answered the moment the camera showed the jaw-droppingly brilliant set. It was hilariously camp and reminded me of Top Of The Pops re-runs from the 70s. The crudely written ADAM at the back was in a punk style, but the pink, red and yellow neon were so cheesily OTT disco-glam. Are you sure there were enough lights Adam?! This, unlike the album cover, needed no explaining for it was extremely and unashamedly kitsch. Like a kid at Christmas, I was so mesmerised by the lighting I paid little attention to the song when I first saw it on the stream. I just couldn't believe that this set was on daytime TV on The View. Adam sang it beautifully and the mix sounded better than in the previous performances. It wasn't quite perfect though, as the guitar and the voice lacked a little richness for me, but the backing vocals showed no signs of dissonance nor were they overpowering. My favourite part of the vocals are the very soft extended notes with a little vibrato mixed in, like 'down' at 3:06. There were a few iffy notes after that, like the 'don't' which he's been sharp on before, but the final note with the breath at the end just takes my breath away.

This was family-friendly Adam being his charming self warning people this is no longer Idol but his career, and to expect a difference. With the cancellation of Larry King, let's just hope that this is the point at which a bright, neon-lit line has been drawn underneath the AMAs. This was a great interview from Adam, who was assertive, personable and quick-witted, the perfect combination of 'Aww!' and 'Phwoar!'

Monday, 7 December 2009

Test: What is Your Score on the Adamometer?


The last week has been full of WTF? with the ABC dis-invitations and now a new invitation for The View, then the lack of GLAAD support and their subsequent U-turn. The fact that Adam has come out of it still smelling of roses has convinced me that he's coated with Teflon because once again, shit has been thrown at him but has been repelled back onto the hurlers in his wake. ABC and GLAAD look like weak idiots. I don't know how he manages it, but it's an incredible skill and I admire his tact in refraining from blaming or criticising anyone else.

Since it's been such a hell of a rollercoaster ride of late, I thought it was time for a light-hearted and silly test to work out where you sit on the Adamometer (sorry for the cheesy neologism). Like the last test, there are fifteen questions in total. Feel free to leave a comment about your results:

1. What did you think of Adam's AMA peformance?
It was rubbish and tasteless. He tried to disguise his terrible vocals with all those awful gimmicks.
I couldn't connect with it. I think he tried too hard and I wish he just focussed on the singing.
I loved it! What an amazing spectacle!
I really like and respect what he attempted but feel terrible for him that he fell and didn't nail the vocals.

2. What did you think of Adam rubbing someone's face in his crotch?
I love his subversive side and found it funny. It suited the sexy feel of the song.
He tried too hard to shock and went too far. He should have been more considerate of his audience.
I'd love to be that gimp and would happily rub my face in his crotch any time!
Absolutely repugnant. I do not want to be subjected to that again, it was so desperate.

3. What do you think of ABC's decision to drop Adam from a number of shows?
They are despicable hypocrites and shot themselves in the foot for their over-reaction.
He totally deserves it as he obviously can't be trusted not to pull any silly stunts.
It's a little harsh, but I think it's valuable lesson for Adam.
It's ridiculous as Adam obviously isn't going to repeat the AMA performance after all the furore.

4. What do you think of the way has Adam dealt with the aftermath of the AMA/ABC fiasco?
He should take more responsibility for his actions rather than use the discrimination card as justification.
He cleverly deflected much of the blame but he needs to be careful and learn from this.
It must've been hard but he did brilliantly, highlighting our hypocrisy and I'm glad he was unapologetic.
He should be ashamed of himself for refusing to apologise to us and to ABC for his antics.

5. What do you think of Adam's album cover?
I prefer the single cover but it's done a great job in grabbing headlines and people's attention.
It looks like some really awful fan art. It's a joke and will put off plenty of people.
It's so naff and dated, it doesn't work for me but it's the music that matters.
I love it and can't stop staring at it. It's mesmerising.

6. What do you think of Adam's album?
I wasn't sure about some of the material at first but I've grown to love most of it.
Not my thing at all. The music is really boring, overproduced and there's too much screeching.
There are a few songs I like that really showcase his voice but overall, it's too much of a mish-mash.
I love it! It's been on repeat and it's impossible to choose a favourite as they're all so strong.

7. How many copies of the album do you have?
I've lost count! The collector's edition, the iTunes and Amazon downloads and I've bought plenty as gifts.
None yet, but I have been listening to the streams.
None, I'd never waste my money on that crap.
One or two.

8. What do you think of Adam's skills as a songwriter?
He's shown great promise so far. I really like most of the songs he's had a hand in writing.
He's so unimaginative, writing about the same old tired clichés.
A little hit and miss so far but it's hard to tell as we don't know how much he actually contributed.
Genius! I love the songs he co-wrote more than the others and hope he writes more in the future.

9. Have you requested Adam on your local radio station?
No, but I've streamed and rated his songs on a few of their sites and will tune in if I know he's on.
Hell no! If he comes on I have to change the station.
In addition to countless direct requests, I have about 10 stations simultaneously streaming his songs.
No, I'll just listen if he happens to come on.

10. What do you think of Adam's Details photos?
The make me cringe because he sold out and de-gayed himself to pander to the masses.
They make me a little uncomfortable because I know that's not his orientation.
They make me horny just thinking about them... be back in 10 mins.
The photos are beautiful and complement the article well, fuelling plenty of fantasies.

11. Did you follow Adam on the AI tour?
I've seen most or all of the performances. My list of favourites are full of them.
I've seen quite a few of the videos but didn't bother following the tour.
I've done my best to avoid them like the plague.
Show me any tour video and I can tell you the videographer and the stop. I could write a thesis!

12. Has Adam affected the music that you listen to?
I still listen to the same stuff with the addition of Adam's best songs.
There's so much great music I've now discovered and appreciate now thanks to Adam.
He has completely opened my mind and inspired me to even listen to music I was previously dismissive of.
He's made me aware that I definitely don't want to listen to anything by him.

13. What do you think of the way Adam styles himself?
There is the odd choice like that baseball cap or moustache I don't like, but he usually gets it spot on.
He always looks fabulous without exception, whether he's dressed up or down. He's an incredible stylist.
He looks ridiculous with those silly hairdos and all that makeup that he spends hours doing.
He often over-dresses and some of his looks are quite unflattering.

14. Do you think Adam has helped in the fight for gay rights?
No, he's so self-serving, bringing up politics when it suits him but otherwise distancing himself from it
I think he could make an even bigger difference but he's doing well without being the poster boy.
He's done much more harm than good with his recent appalling behaviour.
He's started a debate and inspired me to get involved by openly being himself. It's unfair to expect more.

15. What do you think the future holds for Adam Lambert?
He's a supernova destined for world domination in music, art, film and fashion! Actually, not just this world!
I think he's too niche to survive for long in pop so will end up doing avant garde underground gigs.
He's going to be a huge star with a long and successful career ahead of him.
He's style over substance and will fade into obscurity once his five minutes of fame are over.










How did you score?



BETWEEN 0 AND 50
Erm, what are you doing here? Decided to become a Glamvert? This is obviously not the right place for you unless you're a bit of a sado-masochist. You think Adam is the most over-hyped and over-rated Idol ever and can't understand why people are crazy about his screechy voice and his outrageous theatrics. You think he's just an arrogant attention whore trying to shock with his cheap publicity stunts. You hate that he behaves like a diva even though he's nowhere near to earning that right. You think he lacks originality and the only reason people are buying his album is because of all the collaborators who have pulled him along. You hope he'll disappear from the spotlight soon so that other more worthy artists and musicians get the recognition they deserve. You're probably an obsessive fan of a rival Idol. But due to the fact that you are here, methinks you are in complete denial because you are scared that he gets your nether reasons twitching like mad. Let me save you some time by informing you that resistance is futile. Quit fighting! It's time to cast off those pearls and proudly become lambosessed by letting your freak flag fly!

BETWEEN 50 AND 120
You're slightly on the fence when it comes to Adam, perhaps because you've only recently discovered him . You know who he is from all the media hype, but you don't really follow him. You generally don't go for artists whose purpose is to shock and prefer the music to do all the talking. You're not that keen on all the theatrics that accompany him and believe that less is more. You usually turn your nose up at anything related to AI for the bland rubbish they churn out. While you can't deny that he's got a good voice and can sing really well, you just don't rate the majority of his material as it masks his voice and is over-produced. You're likely to prefer the ballads or the straight-up rock rather than the more electronic and dancier tunes. You prefer when he doesn't showboat with all his big notes and shrill riffing which you find unpleasant. Although he's usually gracious, you think he sometimes comes across as a little cocky and inconsiderate. You'll stay tuned to see what he does the next time he's on TV, especially after that AMA performance. He could be great but also has plenty of train-wreck potential and that's why you find him fascinating. You are far from it at the moment, but you do have the potential to become lambosessed.

BETWEEN 120 AND 175
You've been following Adam for a while via various communities and would definitely consider yourself a fan though not as crazy as some of those rabid ones out there. In fact you may be a recovering one who has calmed down a bit. You like most of his music but above all, love his voice and would happily buy his CD and pay to see him in concert. You find him a compelling combination of looks, talent, charisma and savvy but you still retain some semblance of objectivity and wouldn't let him get away with murder despite his sweetness. You don't worship every single thing he does and are able to criticise the things you don't like but would still continue to support him as long as he doesn't go too far. You love his positivity and are generally impressed by the way he conducts himself during interviews, finding him very witty, charming, smart, articulate and self-aware. However, there have been a few comments that you think were inappropriate and a bit of a miss-step for him. You think he's an extremely rare talent and has the potential for huge worldwide success as long as he continues to create great music and doesn't alienate too many people with silly gestures such as giving the finger. You're impressed that he's able to tackle so many different genres with ease but tend to prefer the material that's a bit more left-field. You admire the fact that he's bold and takes huge risks, and you hope he continues to resist selling out by staying true to himself under all the pressure. You have found a fairly happy medium being mildly lambosessed.

BETWEEN 175 AND 225
I didn't realise loony bins offered internet access these days. You've got it bad and could be considered 'overzealous'. Sometimes you wonder what happened to your life, but you don't care and are happy to continue worshipping at the Temple Of Glam. You signed up for Twitter with the sole purpose of stalking Adam and his friends, and have joined zillions of sites just to validate your insanity. You've had to buy at least one extra hard drive to accommodate the myriad videos and gifs of pelvic thrusting, mike molestation, lip licking and a huge range of expressions, all of which you have neatly filed. You remember all his performances off by heart so if you see a still, you immediately know what he's singing. You probably sat through hours of live streams just to see a tuft of his hair on the red carpet or a blurry speck that may or may not have been Adam singing amongst ear-bleeding static on a cellcast, despite knowing that the YouTubes would have been up in a matter of minutes. You probably saw 2012 in the cinema just so you could listen to Adam's voice in surround-sound. You think he's the prettiest, sweetest, most inspirational, articulate and intelligent person alive and won't accept any critcism of him. Your objectivity disappeared the moment you got your ticket for the Glambert Express so as far as you're concerned, Adam can do no wrong and you can always find inventive ways to justify even his most inflammatory of actions. Even when he's foul-mouthed, he's adorable and you truly believe he shits rainbows and jizzes glitter. You're going to name your kids after him if you haven't already given them away in exchange for some random bit of Adam-related paraphernalia. Your crazy unwavering dedication is admirable - you are well and truly lambosessed!

Disclaimer: This blogger accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this skanky test, which is based entirely on scientific bullshit and conceived out of insanity.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Bare and Beautiful


It's rare that there's little writing in one of my posts but I thought I would let this heart-stopping photo speak for itself:

Adam Lambert bare no make-up

We've gotten so used to seeing Adam glammed up, it's quite a shock to see him so bare. It coincides with the vulnerability he's shown since the AMA fall-out. Beneath the fierceness, beneath the glitz, beneath the makeup, beneath the sexy, beneath the showman, beneath the rock god veneer, is a beautiful human.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Back Down to Earth


Despite seeming quite upbeat on CBS, it seems that Adam has done plenty of self-reflection since then in a really difficult week. It's disheartening to know that he's feeling the pressure and as a result of that, has had to respond and back down somewhat. He tweeted about taking things in a different direction in the aftermath of the AMA controversy. I really hope that it doesn't mean he'll be too cautious and over-think everything he does in future, because it's his subversive streak and his spontaneity — which makes every performance unique — that are the very things that add the passion to my fandom. Here is his interview on Ellen:



Again, Adam looked great, smart but very understated with minimal makeup, which seemed to distance him from AMA Adam. He wore a brown leather jacket that had the cut of the WATC one without the embellishments, dark shirt, black trousers and gold tie. This look seemed to say that this was Adam, the real, bare human being rather than the fiercely sexual rockstar performer.

From the interview, I think Adam has analysed everything to death and has come to regret that the AMA performance wasn't quite suited to the intended audience, but I'm glad he still feels the content of the performance wasn't a mistake. Unlike after RoF where he talked about getting a kick out of the love/hate split in reactions, I get the feeling that he was much less happy about the negativity amongst even the fan boards where many voiced their disappointment. For fans to be lukewarm about your big debut performance in which you put so much effort must hurt, and I imagine that he has been harder on himself than anyone else.

Adam is so many different things to so many different people that everyone has different expectations. His versatility in applying himself to any style — one of his greatest strengths — makes it an impossible task to please all fans and I hope it's not something he's going to focus on. It would be a shame if he felt the need to tone down in order to make himself more palatable to those who aren't as open-minded as he initially assumed. I was hoping that he would now have much more artistic freedom after the Idol days of staying on his best behaviour so people would keep him on their screens. Unfortunately it looks as if it's not going to be vastly different now. Back then, it was arguably down to individual votes, but now the power is all in the hands of the networks and corporations and that's a different matter. Adam inadvertently made ABC and CBS look like fools and they can't have taken kindly to it. He may have enough buzz now to attract a huge audiences, but like it or not he needs the networks for promotion and has to be careful to keep them on board. As frustrating as it is, there will still be that balancing act between keeping his subversive edge by staying true to his art, and being TV friendly. Through various iterations, I'm sure he'll manage to nail the right balance for TV and perhaps leave the risqué for his tour. Although I hate that Adam felt the need to back down and concede his shortcomings, I think his humility during the interview was enough to pacify many and win over some.

This week has been a bit of reality check for us all and we've rather depressingly been reminded that corporations rule over artistic expression, especially in the US. Adam, despite all his fabulous alien glitteriness, is still subject to their rules. There is plenty of hope though, as without him, the debate about male sexuality would not be taking place. Without him, individuals would not have campaigned to stop ABC from condoning violence with GMA's invition to Chris Brown. I'd like for Adam to know that there are plenty of us in other parts of the world who don't think he went too far. I understand that he'll have to make concessions, but for me it's his dedication to staying true to himself, taking bold risks and pushing boundaries that win my respect and admiration. I think he's learned a lot over the past week and believe his positivity will make him much stronger after this. For now, I hope he knows he has enough support to feel confident in continuing to be bold and unapologetically Adam.



This version of Whataya Want From Me? was a vulnerable one and the vibe I got from this was closest to his performance of One, where he seemed very exposed. There were a few shaky notes and it wasn't as perfect as the one on The Early Show but he poured in plenty of passion and I loved it when he let rip with his vocals at the end.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Take Me to Wonderland!


Amidst the rollercoaster ride of the last few days, I wanted to make sure that this dazzling jewel of a song didn't get overshadowed and lost in all the commotion. I admit, I am completely biased and loved Down the Rabbit Hole even before I'd heard single note because the title very succinctly describes the journey since we boarded the Glambert Express. It's taken us to a world that we may previously have been unaware of and there's no turning back. We love this escapism. Plus, I used those exact words in my RoF review all those months ago as I was sure we hadn't seen nothin' yet.



Right from the start I love the sound of the continuous heavy throbbing electronic bassline. It's a skittish, funky and slightly distorted modern nod to disco. The vocals in the verses are fresh and lively with just a bit of backing, singing trippy drug-induced mashed-up thoughts about getting kicks. The chorus is more rock and brings us some frantic guitar riffing and drawly vocal stylings with interesting harmonies straight after (I can't quite recall who they remind me of). The bridge introduces some echoey early '90s rave synths, then it all gets rather psychedelic at the break with amazing studio RoF-type middle-eastern trills set to a trance beat. And if that isn't enough to freak you out, we have Adam channelling Vincent Price doing his scariest beyond-the-grave voice as the Caterpillar, over the manic instrumentals. This song is so in-your-face and over-the-top and all-over-the-place schizophrenic but hits the spot that I felt was missing on the album as the far-out crazy WTF? song. It's not for an agitated mood, nor is it very radio-friendly but it makes a super club and party track which I can imagine being used as the soundtrack to a darkly comical high-energy chase. Down the Rabbit Hole is such a thrilling adrenaline-pumped hallucinogenic acid trip whirlwind of a song and I absolutely love it.

Written by Adam Lambert, Evan Bogart and Greg Wells. Produced by Greg Wells
Here are what I can make of the lyrics, though I'm sure most of them are wrong:
Break out of the mechanical
Step right up to the freaky intangible
Hands uncuffed, take the leash on this animal
If it's gettin' hyphey, hit me with a night C

Slip right into your stripper shoes
Roll the dice, I got snake-eyes and déjà-vu
Poppin' off, I'm announcin' with ballyhoo
Tune in, (tune in), turn on, (turn on), drop out

Going down the rabbit hole
Get away from all we know
Come on, follow, come on and follow me
Goin' down the rabbit hole
Even hoes and gigolos
Come on, follow, come on and follow me

Quick, slow, high or low
You're never gonna know for sure
See in stereo
Down the rabbit hole, ooh

Catnip and honey
Tea time and all over town (all over town, all over town)
Houses of candy
Build 'em up and then burn 'em down (burn 'em down, just burn 'em down)
It melts in your face and not in your armour-all
It starts in the vase and it ends in the crystal ball, yeah

Going down the rabbit hole
Get away from all we know
Come on, follow, come on and follow me
Goin' down the rabbit hole
Even hoes and gigolos
Come on, follow, come on and follow me

Disco rodeo
My kaleidoscope
Cleopatra knows
What’s down the rabbit hole

Going down the rabbit hole
Get away from all we know
Come on, follow, come on and follow me
Goin' down the rabbit hole
Even hoes and gigolos
Come on, follow, come on and follow me

Quick, slow, high or low
You're never gonna know for sure
See in stereo
Down the rabbit hole

Who are you?
Who are you?
Who are you?
Who are you?
Who are you?
Who are you?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

FU With a Loaded Smile - The Perfect Vindication


The fall-out from the AMAs gave Adam plenty of publicity with the cancellation by GMA inadvertently giving him another huge boost and plenty of backing. That The Early Show immediately snapped him up just proves how much he is in demand. We were all curious as to how Adam would handle his first live TV appearance after the AMAs and I was eager for him to show the low-key side of him, reminiscent of the RoF-ToMT arc on AI. I wanted him to show everyone how well he could sing and that he wasn't a just gimmick meant to shock.


His morning look was great with light make-up and perfect imperfectly sculpted pompadour - very Elvis. He was still undoubtedly rockstar with his AMA red carpet jacket, some spray-on trousers with sparkle, clunky boots and fingerless leather gloves. There would no doubt be some questions about the awards show and Adam handled them with grace. Some of the questions were difficult and perhaps pushing for an apology or an admission of regret, but Adam seemed unflustered, speaking eloquently. He gave convincing and intelligent arguments, backing them up with valid examples and opened up a debate about sexist double-standards. He spoke with conviction and made me proud that he refused to back down.



Whataya Want From Me? was the ideal choice of song after all the controversy. The way it related to the situation gave it that extra poignancy. There was a slightly distracting plucky sound throughout the song but the arrangement stuck close to that of the album. Adam was pitch perfect in his heartfelt plea for patience and understanding. This was perfect answer and antidote to the criticism over his AMA performance. Bringing Leila on was a transparent attempt to turn him into sweet momma's boy Adam suitable for kids and daytime TV, but by doing that, it was also giving the finger to ABC for deeming him unsuitable for a morning show. And I loved the comment about the how shoulderpads help him bear the weight of the pressure.



Music Again had a completely different energy that was lively and fun. He did forget the lyrics by singing the betterer line twice and missed the first jump into falsetto but nailed everything else. I loved the interaction with Monte and the timbre of his vocals was beautiful. His interaction with the fans after leaving the studio only further endeared him.



Whataya Want From Me? on Letterman was filmed the day after the AMAs and Adam toned himself down to suit the occasion, looking smart in a satin jacket and tight sliver trousers. This wasn't as pitch perfect as the Early Show performance as some places could have done with a little fine tuning. The vibe was different though, being impassioned and angrier-sounding, reminding me much of his BoW performance. You could see that he meant every word of that song, which injected that extra intensity.

I think after these peformances, there may be people who will be revising their opinions on Adam after the AMA debacle, thinking they over-reacted. He's certainly proven that he can sing well live, he's shown himself to be articulate and charming under fire and demonstrated that he can tone it down to suit whatever platform he's on. As far as I'm concerned, Adam is the big winner out of this because he's rightly pointed out and made us question our hypocrisies while the networks have only further proven his point. He's expertly managed to deflect the bulk of the fire and remained consistently unapologetic for his actions. This was a measured 'Fuck You!' response to his critics delivered with a sweet and confident smile, earning even more respect from me. Well done Adam!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Can You Handle This Entertainment?


Oh Adam, I'm never going to catch up on sleep at this rate! Here's the For Your Entertainment music video:



The video starts off with a calm and mundane evening street scene before panning underground. It's going from who we are on the surface to our deep dark decadent desires and this is where we explore them, guided by Adam. The underground scenes start off with a Matrixy vibe where he leads the way down a dark alley in leather trenchcoat and dark glasses. We follow him through a curtain into a seedy dimly lit club that's been squatted. It's a derelict but once grand opulent ballroom decorated with an ornate stuccoed ceiling and crystal chandeliers.

He's the one wearing a tie and clutching a blinging cane so there's no doubt as to who's in charge of the power dynamic and dominating proceedings. There are a lot of blurred, out of focus and warped shots, perhaps suggesting an altered state of consciousness from intoxication. Racy stiletto heels worn on lacy legs spread-eagled and pointing skyward, lots of leather, and plenty of pleasured hands roughly seizing what they can, hint at more than a bit of debauchery.

We then get some close-ups of Adam on what looks to be his throne under a warmer brighter light. These shots during the video feel a little awkward for me because it's a break in the fierceness of the atmosphere. His fluid eyebrows and expressions over-act a little, affecting the believability. As if Adam's masculinity weren't enough, we get him playing with the phallic symbolism of the snake. The chorus is the first time we get to see Adam's other outfit, which is fabulous. He has a leather sash adorned with vicious-looking shiny shoulder spikes and chains. The look is completed with patent leather cubit-length gloves, a leather corset and jewellery that gives the look of a metallic clergy collar, like he would happily give these sinful pleasures his complete absoution. We get into a little more of an S&M vibe when Adam appears to grab some dancers by the throat then pull and whip them with an invisible leash.

He then beckons us to follow him into what resembles a secret garden under the cover of thick foliage where all the forbidden pleasures are satiated. It's more secretive and seems to be a bit of a hedonistic free-for-all make-out with untold numbers of hands indiscriminately wandering and feeling. We can only assume there's a bit of an orgy going on off-camera. There's another nod to light bondage with the appearance of a lacy blindfold. The video continues with sped-up shots of dancers and a couple of references to the garden of Eden with the snake and apple where we've given in to temptation and said 'To hell!' with our morals. The video regularly cuts to one dancer in sparkly sequins lit with red who doesn't quite fit in with the whole bondage theme and to me, she the safe object of desire for those who have yet to finish chapter one of 'S&M For Beginners'. The video finishes with Adam and his band performing in the club, shot from the mosh pit of the frenzied crowd with arms in the air, complete with shaking floor. With a lick of the lips and one last look that sends us an open invitation to return, the camera pans back to the normality of street-level goings on and it's the end of our brief escapist foray, enriched with the knowledge of what lies beneath.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't spoiled myself so I could enjoy a surprise but it is in keeping with what I had imagined when I first heard FYE:
"I'm picturing Adam looking particularly fierce. He'd be dressed up in a mind-blowing costume and would work the part of a dominator getting down and dirty with risqué moves against other amazingly costumed and beautiful folk on the dance-floor. There'd be lots of glitter and glistening sweat on luminous skin with a feeling of danger and debauchery amongst the ecstasy."
The video didn't go as far sexually as the AMA performance but it's still hot and sexy with much less aggression and more play. There wasn't as much dancing or interaction with the dancers from Adam as I'd expected but the imagery and visuals leave a strong impression of brand Adam Lambert, the entertainer. A job well done.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Jaw-Dropping Show-Stopper


After what seemed like an incredibly long wait, Adam showed up with pimp-spot timing on the red carpet. The look was very understated in terms of sparkly embellishments and was one of the simplest I think I've seen from him. The look consisted of a skinny black tie and button-down shirt with pointy collars, underneath an elongated jacket with thin slivers for lapels. The bling was provided by patent leather boots and a knuckle-duster of garish chunky rings. His hair was styled in a high pompadour which I find smarter and more appropriate for the red carpet than his spikes. I thought he might have arrived in something more outrageous but because he didn't, it made me all the more curious about what he would bring to the performance. He looked fabulous nonetheless and was his usual charming self.



The expectations for this were virtually insurmountable as the hype grew with each ad break thanks to the AMA voice-over which I really didn't appreciate. The pressure must have been enormous. As the evening of bad sound and vocals progressed, my first doubts started to creep in but my confidence in Adam's performance skills swept them away until the performance. That Adam wasn't at his best made the viewing a little uncomfortable and less-than glowing performances are always the most difficult to write about but here you go.

Seeing Adam's name in lights was incredible and gave me a lump in my throat. Everything was dark apart from that and a dim spotlight locked onto the lone but powerful figure at the centre of the stage. The bright sparkly keys gave off a slightly oriental melody as Adam began to sing. It took a very dramatic turn, sounding like the score for the villain's entrance in a silent movie as Adam surveyed and sneered at his subjects. We got a close-up of his outfit, which possibly ranks as my favourite. I think it hit the spot that the Sebree look homed in on but missed. I loved the camp glittery silver three-piece suit and the gold tie that were complemented by the hardness of his glove and shoulder spikes. It was a grand opening full of theatrics and strong vocals and he commanded every one of us - I absolutely loved it.

With such a strong start, I had high hopes for the rest of the performance. But soon after the band kicked in, the thin and shaky vocals upset my engagement of the performance and I just couldn't get back into it. The rest went by in a bit of a blur. It was frustrating because the stream wasn't particularly good, there were silent spots, there was a lot of glare and the camerawork was a bit of a failure. The things I remember were swelling with pride, a huge mental 'Yes!' and cackling with glee at his sexual predator moves, wincing when I heard the backing singers, wondering if rolling on the floor was part of the plan, and thinking 'WTF?' when I thought I saw him snogging Lisa, the band's keyboardist.

It's only on subsequent viewings was I able to take it in properly. FYE isn't a song that sells Adam's vocals well with the verses in a low range that sits outside his sweet spot. I think it needs big notes to impress as a live performance otherwise it lacks power. There may have been some nerves but as he pulled the dancer across the floor, he wasn't really able to sustain the quality of the notes and think he would have perhaps done better in a higher key at the expense of a growly tone. He gyrated and prowled around the stage and I loved the visual of his whipping the dancer gimps on leashes, as if there were any doubt as to which bitch was in charge. I find myself bemused by the highly exaggerated claims of simulating fellatio and annoyed that not only was it muted, but the cameras were made to pan out to the audience. Do these people not understand what a blow-job is? That was nothing more than Adam rubbing a willing face into his horny crotch, that lucky bastard!

I still wince when I hear the backing singers kick in with the voices both dissonant and out of time I can't imagine how distracting it must have been for Adam. There was a crotch-grab before he tripped and did his best stuntman roll. It was only after multiple slow-mo replays that I've decided it wasn't intentional but a great cover-up. He fell a little hard on his knee but he expertly picked up the cane and rolled with it. It makes me wonder how he was supposed to pick it up and whether there was some sort of alternative roll involved. He seemed a little thrown by it and for some reason skipped the lyric 'Take the pleasure' but did recover. The interaction with the dancers after Adam walked through the mirrored door was the best part of the choreographed routine and was one of the only parts where the camera did it justice. He appeared to have some trouble finding the right pitch during the following high note which started quite flat but he managed to tune it back up towards the end. I intially had no idea what Adam was doing with the dancer's crotch at the chair until a HD replay, but it wasn't as lewd as it might have appeared and would have benefitted from a closer shot. He attacked the next high note and nailed it with a look of wild ferocity. The feel of the performance got aggressive, especially when he devoured Tommy with that violently passionate kiss. Had the camera been up closer, it might have taken the edge off the seriousness as Adam lit his eyes and raised his eyebrows singing 'Can you handle what I'm about to do?' before going in for the kill. It felt like Adam had gotten carried away in the heat of the moment and it was an expression of his frustration that the performance wasn't going well. The rest of it was much better as he let out more of his trademark big notes, especially the end note that was filled with plenty of emotion and grit. When I saw Adam's face at the end and he seemed out of breath, my heart sank and I felt sad and disappointed for him as he obviously knew the performance wasn't up to his usual standard.

As much as I try to convince myself otherwise, I found the performance disappointing because it wasn't well executed and I couldn't really connect with it. The sound was bad, the lighting glare and camera work made it much more of an effort to watch, detracting from the performance, and Adam was vocally below-par. It felt as though it was targeted at the theatre audience rather than the television one because the screen just seemed too busy. I wanted more focus on him and think the lighting should have enabled that. I did get the feeling that Adam was being destructive in mauling Tommy as my instinct was that it might cause awkwardness within the band.

I can see what he was trying to achieve with that performance though, which was unmistakably Adam. I liked the way the dancers moved in their kooky costumes even though due to having seen them in the spoilers I paid them little attention. I liked the colours of the performance with the set and costumes all reminding me of Duran Duran's 'Wild Boys' video. I liked the raunchy S&M bondage theme and the provocative character Adam assumed, although the anger/aggression could have been toned down a notch and the fun cranked up a few. I'm proud and love that Adam didn't shy away from taking such a risk and it was a ballsy, subversive 'Fuck you!' to generic bubblegum pop and to anyone who thinks he's de-gaying to pander to the audience. I do think giving the finger wasn't necessary though, and it should have remained implied. I so wanted that statement to have been made without giving the critics any ammo but the standard of the vocals lessened the impact. In that respect I can't place it with RoF, which was technically flawless. Although the kinky sexual nature might have been too shocking and gratuitous for many, I just think it was a bit of harmless groping, no more. It's similar to what he did for the Zodiac Show, which had plenty of grinding and crotch-grabbing and sexually suggestive moves. I don't see it as a cheap attempt to get headlines because he's staying true to himself bringing underground performance art to the masses and I hope he succeeds. I did feel uncomfortable watching the FYE because it didn't go smoothly and didn't do justice to Adam's mind-blowing talent. I was worried he might have ended up kamikaze-ing it after feeling it slip away a little and was sad for him. After watching the post-performance interviews though, it seemed fairly upbeat, which left me feeling reassured and more positive.

Being invested fans, we've been building up our expectations over a period of months and this performance got blown into a massive event. Perhaps we rested all our hopes and attached too much importance onto this debut performance. Yes this was a stumble and he may have alienated many, but I think the re-branding was successful and he couldn't distance himself any further from cookie-cutter Idol. He's shown that he can hold his own against established stars despite being sub-par. The result is it's grabbed plenty of headlines and gotten people talking. As their curiosity has been stoked, there will be many more who'll be wondering what he does next. Some of them will have opened Pandora's box by Googling him and seeing other amazing performances. Some may even have stepped off the precipice and been swallowed into this obsession. Adam is a brilliant rainbow and it's his spectrum of colours that's one of his greatest strengths. It's rare for anyone to like every colour so if you didn't like his vision for this performance, there will be many more to come that'll show off his other colours.


Apologies for the delay, it's been a tough day with the end of a relationship.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Countdown


This is what we've been eagerly anticipating since May when Adam would once again explode onto our screens. I almost heard the collective intake of breath as we realised that he has the pimp spot at the AMAs. The excitement is palpable and I am already holding my breath amidst my dusted-off but familiar feelings of anticipation.


How's he going to change up the song? What's he going to be wearing? How's he going to style his hair? What kind of dance moves does he have planned? What are going to be the colours of the performance?  What's going to be the feel of the performance? What kind of vocal improvisations are we going to hear? How's the arrangement going to be different to that of the single? What's the band going to be like? Will the band give it more of a rock rather than electronic sound and will they be doing much improvisation? Is he going to give us another provocative pivotal TV moment that's going to get everyone talking? One that's going to leave pearl dust all over the floors of conservative America? One that's going to cause a major earthquake as the whole of the US is collectively spasming in Adamgasm? Will they appreciate the message he's trying to put across? Will they be shocked in a good way or will they consider it gratuitous? Will it cause outrage? Will he push it a little too far? I can't freakin' wait! Get those defibrillators at the ready!


Many of these questions I found myself asking before the AI final but now I'm asking them again with the added bonus of feeling like Adam's already won. That he has the pimp spot is a major coup and speaks volumes about the confidence the show's producers have in him giving us a show-stopping performance. It's the perfect platform on which to promote his music and reach out to music fans who were too cool for AI. It's a chance to widen his fanbase but it's also possible he might alienate some.

The performance is supposed to be an extension of the music video, which contains plenty of scatily clad dancers dressed like they just walked off the set of Mad Max, or a Camden of warmer climes, writhing around in decadence in dark and opulent surroundings. From what I can tell of the rehearsal footage, it's going to be one sexy sizzling performance with pyrotechnics and dancers each doing something different. I think there's a light bondage theme in the costumes, with rumours of people on leashes and Adam wearing nipple tassels. I expect he'll be the dominator spanking up a storm with a cane or a whip, making us crawl on all fours screaming in agony for more. On the video, I can hear some changes that have been made to the song, including a new glory note and there are rumours of it starting a cappella. I've always preferred his live performances to his studio recordings so I expect the energy will be explosive. I have no doubt the performance is going to be deliciously risqué and hope it's well received. I'm looking forward to being blown away, screw sleep!


This performance signals the birth of post-AI Adam. This is where he's going to be re-branded and I realise that THIS is his fucking coronation! It's back to the same Nokia stage but not as the winner from a load of wannabes on some reality karaoke show dialling it down and singing a crap song, but as a fucking SUPERSTAR with his own awesome ideas, singing how he wants to sing his own awesome shit, crowning off a night of established stars. And it's a coronation with style. Fuck confetti, give me fire and bondage!!!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Out of Order


Much has been said of the controversial letter by Aaron Hicklin, Editor in Chief of Out, addressed to Adam Lambert. His veiled criticisms of Adam through his management, accusing them of toning down his gayness has annoyed many. Whilst it won't get me spouting vitriol, I don't think the letter has done Out any favours. It was an irritation that this came on the day of the album's streaming and overshadowed it a little.

I think Hicklin did have a valid point to make, but it lost support because he stuck the knives in before rolling it around in bullshit. After reading the interviewer's response, the heart of all the controversy seems to have been triggered by Adam's publicist not wanting the interview to sound 'too gay' and wanting to stay away from politics. There was no clarification of what exactly 'too gay' meant and we don't have the full context. Had Adam evaded talk about being gay in the interview, then Hicklin would have had a case. As it was, Adam gave a fascinating, enlightening and frank interview, talking openly about matters relating to his homosexuality. It's interesting, and perhaps deceptive, that the article in print is an edited version of the one online which I think has been spun to lend support to Hicklin's letter. From the results of the online interview though, there's scant justification for launching into a tirade about how Adam's management has been de-gaying his image. From all the evidence of his work so far, whether it's his song lyrics, his appearance or his album cover, this rant just makes Hicklin appear ill-informed. I can see why Hicklin took exception to the publicist wanting Out to tone down the gayness, but considering the results, it's a complete a non-issue. Laying into him for the Details article for not mentioning gay fans just seems petty and smacks of sour grapes. I mean, seriously, would only a public display of sodomy be enough for him? There are a multitude of reasons why Adam's management may have chosen to turn down the cover but Hicklin went for headline-grabbing homophobia. Coat-tails anyone?


While I think Hicklin has done his cause no favours through his bitchiness and inability to demonstrate his backing of an emerging gay artist, Adam on the other hand, I think has done plenty. He's played a part in challenging a number of gay stereotypes and has done much more for awareness — by living openly and unapologetically and in doing so, encouraging others to not be afraid — than by getting on any soap-box. The problem Adam faces is that, like it or not, and despite stating that he doesn't want to become the poster-boy for gay rights, he won't be able to completely escape the politics and the burden of responsibility thrust upon him. That could have been one of the many reasons for turning down an Out cover. The pressure of being put on a pedestal to represent the gay community must be immense and is not something a heterosexual counterpart is required to bear.

We should respect that Adam doesn't want to be a political figure and just wants to make music now. It's out of order to expect him to follow paths that we dictate or to feel disappointed when he doesn't. Entitlement is not sexy. It may be frustrating for those who want Adam to champion their causes because the set of qualities that create such buzz around him would put him in good stead for being a successful torch-bearer. He makes a great role-model and I can see why some would want him to front their campaigns. Looking at the curt reponse he tweeted, it was perfect: mildly sympathetic, assertive, sarcastic and with the right amount of venom for an appropriate bitchslap. Not only does he handle himself expertly in the media, but he comes across as thoughtful, articulate, intelligent, honest, bold, proud of his sexuality and a great orator. He possesses the exceptional ability to inspire, and right now he's choosing to do that through his music.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Spaceship Has Landed! - FYE Album Stream With Lyrics & REVIEW


For Your Entertainment the album is now available for listening in its entirety, streamed from Spotify:



JUMP TO:
1. Music Again
2. For Your Entertainment
3. Whataya Want From Me?
4. Strut
5. Soaked
6. Sure Fire Winners
7. A Loaded Smile
8. If I Had You
9. Pick U Up
10. Fever
11. Sleepwalker
12. Aftermath
13. Broken Open
14. Time For Miracles

Here are the full set of lyrics with help from the scans of the CD booklet. Let me know you think of the album.

1. MUSIC AGAIN
Writer: Justin Hawkins Producer: Rob Cavallo

The tension is made palpable by the bouncing ascending introduction, which is like a countdown to blast-off. This is one of the songs I was most excited by from the previews. Although it's not quite as crazy throughout as I'd imagined, it doesn't disappoint. I love the OTT falsetto of 'eyes baby eyes' and the slightly punky delivery of the verses. The lyrics are fun and unabashedly shallow but they hit the nail on the head for many of us who have been inspired by Adam to take an interest in pop music again. It's vocal rollercoaster with a retro rock feel and harmonies reminiscent of Queen. It's a great party track to sing along to in your most ridiculous voice and to let your outrageous alter ego out to. Get ready to leap off the nearest piece of furniture towards Planet Fierce with your air guitars firmly in hand! Adam proudly flies his freak flag high in this camp glam rock extravaganza of an album opener which I shouldn't like, but despite my musical snobbery, I love.

“I told the producer, 'I want it to feel like it's a time capsule to the Seventies, and we're going to blast off into space.' It's a rock song at the core, but it has all this sonic ear candy all over it.” - RS 26/11/09

“It has a classic rock riff to it that I thought was so sexy. Another band that was a major reference was Queen. You hear that influence in a couple different songs, and the chorus of that song, I wanted the harmonies to sound like Queen, I wanted it to be really full. Also, bands like Sweet used to do that with their vocals, glam bands. I just wanted to show people I had a sense of humor with this shit. It's fun, it's supposed to be kind of campy.” - RS 11/11/09
I want your body, mind, soul, et cetera
And one day you'll see, you should give it to me
And I don't want anyone instead of ya
Oh babe I'm goin' crazy, come on and give it to me
And I ain't never met nobody betterer
You're someone else's baby

I'm so sick of living for other people
Took meeting you to realise
I don't wanna lose ya, I wanna keep ya

Put your little hand in mine and
Look into my eyes, baby eyes
Oh, you made me wanna listen to music again
Yeah, you make me wanna listen to music again

There had been many moons before I met ya
And I don't know when I last put paper to pen
But now you're giving me back my raison d'être
And I'm inspired again

And I know that in some ways we're kinda evil
I've got my roots and you've got ties
But my heart's no stranger to upheaval

Put your little hand in mine and
Look into my eyes, baby eyes
Oh, you made me wanna listen to music again
Yeah, you make me wanna listen to music again

Ahhh, music again
Look in to my eyes, baby eyes
Make me wanna listen to music again
Oh yeah oh yeah whoa yeah wooh oh hey!

I'm so sick of living for other people
Took meeting you to realise
I don't wanna lose ya, I wanna keep ya

Put your little hand in mine and
Look into my eyes, baby eyes, whoa
Oh, you made me wanna listen to music again, whoa
Yeah, you make me wanna listen to music again, whoa
Oh, you made me wanna listen to music again, whoa
Yeah, you make me wanna listen to music again
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2. FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
Writers: Claude Kelly/Dr. Luke Producer: Dr. Luke
Full review here

“I just thought that the song was cool, it was sexy, it kinda summed up everything I'm about, it's for your entertainment, that's why I'm here. I'm here to entertain people and I thought it was a great first look for me, and I wanted to get something out in the clubs that would get people dancing, and kind of go a route that people wouldn't expect from me. You know, coming off of American Idol, you don't really hear a lot of them coming out with dance-pop music, and I really, really wanted that in there. What's cool about it is that the rhythm of it is a shuffle, it's glam rock. It was made popular by people like T-Rex and Sweet and sonically it doesn't sound exactly like it, but it moves that way. Goong-goo-ga-ka goong-goo-ga-ka goong-goo-ga...” - ET 19/11/09

“As for the single 'For Your Entertainment', we wanted to release something that was dance club ready. I wanted to get people dancing, drinking to it and shaking and feeling kind of sexy.” - Inquirer 07/11/09
So hot, out the box, can we pick up the pace?
Turn it up, heat it up, I need to be entertained
Push the limit, are you with it? Baby don't be afraid
I'mma hurt you real good baby

Let's go, it's my show, baby do what I say
Don't trip off the glitz that I'm gonna display
I told ya I'mma hold ya down until you're amazed
Give it to ya 'til you're screaming my name

No escapin' when I start
Once I'm in I own your heart
There's no way you'll ring the alarm
So hold on until it's over

Oh! Do you know what you got into?
Can you handle what I'm 'bout to do?
'Cause it's about to get rough for you
I'm here for your entertainment

Oh! I betcha thought that I was soft and sweet
You thought an angel swept ya off your feet
Well I'm about to turn up the heat
I'm here for your entertainment

It's alright, you'll be fine, baby I'm in control
Take the pain, take the pleasure, I'm the master of both
Close your eyes, not your mind, let me into your soul
I'mma work it 'til you're totally blown

No escapin' when I start
Once I'm in I own your heart
There's no way you'll ring the alarm
So hold on until it's over

Oh! Do you know what you got into?
Can you handle what I'm 'bout to do?
'Cause it's about to get rough for you
I'm here for your entertainment

Oh! I betcha thought that I was soft and sweet
You thought an angel swept you off your feet
Well I'm about to turn up the heat
I'm here for your entertainment

Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
I'm here for your entertainment

Whoa-oh! Do you like what you see?
Whoa-oh! Let me entertain you 'til you scream!

Oh! Do you know what you got into?
Can you handle what I'm 'bout to do?
'Cause it's about to get rough for you
I'm here for your entertainment

Oh! I betcha thought that I was soft and sweet (betcha thought)
Your fallen angel swept you off your feet
Well I'm about to turn up the heat
I'm here for your entertainment
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3. WHATAYA WANT FROM ME?
Writers: Pink, Max Martin, Johan Shellback Producers: Max Martin, Johan Shellback

This wasn't one of my favourites from the snippets, but it's very inoffensive, radio friendly and has set up camp in my head. Those first guitar chords signal a change in pace that's lower key than the preceding songs. Throughout the song, I can hear a bit of a whooshing sound which I'm not sure is intentional and may be due to the quality of the stream. I like the beat and the slightly scrapey timbre of Adam's voice. The lyrics feel very personal, relating to the journey he's embarked on since Idol and because of that, it has added poignancy. It's not as exciting or as distinctive as some of the other songs but the I think the synth break makes sure it's not just bland soft-rock. I love the long 'ahhh' at the bridge and when he lets loose with his vocal improvisations towards the end of the song.

“It works on a relationship level, but I also relate to the sense of talking to the public. Like, 'This whole thing's a little freaked out, but please have faith in me, because I won't disappoint you'” - EW 23/10/09
Hey, slow it down
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Yeah, I'm afraid
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
There might have been a time
When I would give myself away
Oh once upon a time
I didn't give a damn
But now, here we are
So whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?

Just don't give up, I'm working it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep comin' around, hey
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?

There, it's plain to see
That baby you're beautiful
And there's nothing wrong with you
It's me, I'm a freak
But thanks for loving me,
'Cause you're doing it perfectly
And there might have been a time
When I would have let you slip away
I wouldn't even try
But I think you could save my life

Just don't give up, I'm working it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep comin' around, hey
Whataya want from me? Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me? Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?

Just don't give up on me, ah
I won't let you down
No, I won't let ya down

So just don't give up, I'm working it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around, hey
Whataya want from me?

Just don't give up, I'm working it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep comin' around, hey
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Whataya want from me?
Back to top


4. STRUT
Writers: Adam Lambert, Kara DioGuardi, Greg Wells Producer: Greg Wells

This has a thumping beat with a great bassline reminiscent of Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' and is perfectly composed to encapsulate the feeling of strutting. Some of the vocals are a little manipulated at the beginning but I like the sound nonetheless, which reminds me of the effect used in Air's 'Sexy Boy'. I love the way he draws out the last word in each line of each verse to make it that bit sexier. The glory note gives me goosebumps and the way it soars reminds me of the glory note from his studio version of 'Feeling Good'. There are many layers of vocal which somewhat disguises his voice, but overall, I'm a huge fan of the production including the rocking guitar riffs and solos. This is the first song Adam had a hand in writing and the attitude and punch of the lyrics are superb.

“...is about owning your own beauty, walking your own walk. When you learn to let it all hang out, that's how you find love.” - USA Today 18/11/09

“Even 'Strut', it's not incredibly hooky, but it's a self-empowerment thing. Strut it out, work your shit, and feel good about yourself and let it all hang out, sooner or later you're going to find love and be happy in your life. So it's fun and it's lighthearted, but it definitely has some weight to it, as far as what it's trying to say.” - RS 11/11/09

“It's a Gary Glitter/T.Rex-type thing with an empowerment lyric. You're not gonna find love and happiness unless you let your hair down and strut your stuff.” - EW 23/10/09
I wanna start a revolution
A type of personal solution
We all have got our own pollution
It's all about the execution

You got something to say, your hands are tied
Open your mouth, open it wide
Let the freedom begin
Get on the floor, just let it drop
Don't it feel good, don't feel hot?
Feel the fire within

I wanna see ya strut strut strut
C'mon walk for me strut strut strut
How you wanna be
Everybody's looking for some love but they don't know
How to let it all hang out and that's why they're solo solo solo
Don't wanna be so low solo solo
Don't wanna be so low

We're a complicated nation
And now we're in a situation
Let's take a make-believe vacation
And get yourself some validation

You got something to say, your hands are tied
Open your mouth, open it wide
Let the freedom begin
Get on the floor, just let it drop
Don't it feel good, don't feel hot?
Feel the fire within

I wanna see ya strut strut strut
C'mon walk for me strut strut strut
How you wanna be
Everybody's looking for some love but they don't know
How to let it all hang out and that's why they're solo solo solo
Don't wanna be so low solo solo
Don't wanna be so low

I'll be your mirror
Darlin' let your hair down
Show me what you're workin' with
And let me see ya strut strut strut strut strut
How you wanna be
Everybody's looking for some love but they don't know
How to let it all hang out and that's why they're solo solo solo
Don't wanna be so low solo solo
Don't wanna be solo

Strut for me and show me what you're workin' with
Strut for me and show me what you're workin' with

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Back to top


5. SOAKED
Writer: Matthew Bellamy (Muse) Producer: Rob Cavallo

The instrumentals of this song start off very aggressively, from the slicing of the strings to the slamming of keys. The melodies sound Middle-Eastern and evoke images of an epic action-packed voyage through a desert. This diminishes in time for the start of the vocals which are beautifully tender. I just want to drink it all up. It turns to a tortured wail reminiscent of Radiohead's Thom Yorke. The song builds into a spectacularly dramatic huge production with full orchestra that could easily be a Bond theme. Adam carries off this heartbreaking lament with an awe-inspiring vocal performance that's both dynamic and expressive. This song is about the loneliness of one-night stands and he captures the pain of yearning for that elusive love and ending up feeling sad and empty through mechanical affection. I find the ending of the song quite dark, like he's given up caring and is trying to justify continuing the habit despite knowing how he feels afterwards.

“There's three songs that are really emotional, a little bit slower, softer. One of them is a song that Muse wrote, 'Soaked.' That opens up with a real soft vocal, it's very tender, the lyrics are very vulnerable, then it goes into a soaring ballad-type feel. That was another example — we got the song from Muse, and I was shitting myself, I couldn't believe it, I thought, 'This is incredible, I can't believe they're giving me a song.' I'm a huge fan, and it, too, like the rest of the three that I'm talking about, have this real retro feel to it, melodically and even in the style of the production, very Seventies, at times very Sixties, almost like a Shirley Bassey song mixed with a Queen record.” - RS 11/11/09
Soaked to the bone
And sink like a stone
Walk on alone
It's not the first time
It's not the worst crime
Your soul will be OK

And you've had enough
Searching for love
And you miss the touch
Of someone new

Burned by your dreams
It's never how it seems
Cold crushed esteem
Take shelter
And hide forever
Your soul will be OK

And you've had enough
Searching for love
And you miss the touch
Of someone new

And you've had enough
Searching for love
And you miss the touch
Of someone new

Soaked to the bone
Sink like a stone
I will take you home
It's not the first time
It's not the worst crime
Our souls will be OK
Back to top


6. SURE FIRE WINNERS
Writers: David Gamson, Alexander James, Oliver Lieber Producer: Rob Cavallo

This is an electro-infused rock anthem with a great melody sounding like the result of a gangbang between Queen's 'We Will Rock You', LT United's joke Eurovision entry 'We Are The Winners' and even Da Luniz's 'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWBj_fNap28' amongst others. I love the persistent and playful bleeps that accompany the beat throughout the song. The lyrics perfectly capture the spirit of Adam and are suitably cheeky. The verses are more electro whereas the chorus is very much rock and the bridge is classic rock aided by the heavy guitar riffs. I'm not that keen on the sound of the chorus where Adam's voice is a little drowned out for my liking, but I am a fan of the enunciation and aggressive tone during the verses. The rock edge during the bridge is awesome and the way the bleeps bring it back down is incredibly fun. I'm even a fan of the manipulated voice at the end, which sounds very seductive.

“'Sure Fire Winners' is pretty vocally acrobatic. It's crazy — but they all kind of go crazy...
... (sounding like a homage to 'We are the Champions') wasn’t intentional, and I didn’t write that song. But yeah, that’s totally the vibe. I don’t know if the writers did that on purpose or not. But it is like a 'we rock' kind of anthem.” - WSJ 12/11/09
We are the sure fire winners winners winners winners

We're coming up like killing machines
Our big gun's gonna shatter your scene
It's pandemonium on the floor
'Cause everybody wants a little more
They wanna ride on our rocket ship
Right around the moon for a velvet kiss
'Cause all the girls and the boys wanna know
How far this bad wild child's gonna go

We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
Bringing the heat and the word is out
Giving you something to shout about
We are, yeah, we are, we are the sure fire winners
Sure fire winners, sure fire winners, sure fire winners

Flip the switch and the missile will fire
I'm a heat seeker when I'm full of desire
You're all drawn to the heat of the flame
'Cause you wanna be a star in our hall of fame
I was born with glitter on my face
My baby clothes were made of leather and lace
And all the girls in the club wanna know
Where did all their pretty boys go?

We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
Bringing the heat and the word is out
Giving you something to shout about
We are, yeah, we are, we are the sure fire winners
Winners winners

Ooh yeah, take a walk on the wild with me
Gonna take you to the top to the brink of what you believe
Never gonna stop 'til we reach the top
Never gonna stop 'til we reach the top
You'd better get out of the game it's never gonna be the same
Move over 'cause a new boy's callin' your name

We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
Bringing the heat and the word is out
Giving you something to shout about
We are, yeah, we are, we are the sure fire winners

Ooh yeah yeah-oh yeah yeah yeah

We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
We are the sure fire winners
Uh-oh yeah big time hitters
Bringing the heat and the word is out
Giving you something to shout about
Yeah we are, yeah, we are, we are the sure fire winners

Gonna take you to the top to the brink of what you believe
Gonna take you to the top to the brink of what you believe
Gonna take you to the top to the brink of what you believe
Back to top


7. A LOADED SMILE
Writer/Producer - Linda Perry

The intro has the vibe of the start of Zero 7's 'Destiny' and the song is like swimming in an enchanted underwater world. The honeyed vocals gently envelop you. I'm not so keen on the dated feel of the instrumentals during the chorus. It feels much brighter than the verses, which I prefer the sound of, although it does help to further convey the meaning of the song. It seems to take a darkly humorous slant on describing a dysfunctional and turbulent yo-yo-ing love-hate relationship where you're in love, but familiarity has bred so much contempt that you're being driven mad and it's become a headfuck. I think this is well illustrated during the chaotic bridge with what I think sounds like helicopter blades. It's almost schizophrenic, with confused and conflicting voices pulling you in many different directions. The strange instrumentals after the bridge sound clumsy and gives it that comical feel, like it's mocking the ridiculousness of the situation. The end is highly evocative, leaving a strong visual impression of an inevitable break-up.

“It's a bit dark, with all the vocals in falsetto. It feels like you're floating in space.” - EW 23/10/09

“Artistically, I think the Linda Perry song was a departure for me because it was a little out of my obvious comfort zone — vocally, it sits in this falsetto space, and lyrically, if you really listen to it, it’s complicated. The lyrics contradict themselves, which was done on purpose — Linda and I really talked about it. There are two different interpretations: one is that it’s about two members of a relationship, and what’s going on in their heads when they’re with each other. One partner is loving every moment and in bliss, while the other person is feeling empty and not satistfied. The other way to look at it is that it’s about one person, going back and forth about a relationship in their head. Like one day, we feel like we love this person to death, the next, what the hell. It’s emotionally complicated, which makes it special.” - WSJ 12/11/09
If I say I'm sorry
It's just me telling a lie
When you're in my arms
I feel emptier inside
I never felt so satisfied

Everything falls into place
But I think I need a little more time
And yeah, I know my life has changed
But honestly I don't know if we'll survive

A loaded smile
An empty glass
And one last dance

Walking hand in hand
You are all I ever want
And when you're not around dear
Don't even notice that you're gone
We are barely hanging on

Everything falls into place
But I think I need a little more time
And yeah I know my life has changed
But honestly I don't know if we'll survive

Makes me want you baby
Can't you feel it, can't you feel it, can't you feel it?
I do still want to baby
It's a certain kind of crazy
Makes me want you baby
Can't you feel it, can't you feel it, can't you feel it?
I do still want to baby
It's a certain kind of crazy

Everything falls into place
But I think I need a little more time
And yeah I know my life has changed
But honestly I don't know if we'll survive

A loaded smile
An empty glass
And one last dance
Back to top


8. IF I HAD YOU
Writers: Max Martin, Johan Shellback, Savan Kotecha Producers: Max Martin, Johan Shellback

I don't usually like songs with this kind of simple rhythm but I'm powerless to resist the throbbing stomping bassline. Adam's tone in the verses is beautiful with the perfect amount of coarseness and the 'You y-y-y-y do' part is kitsch and annoyingly catchy. The lyrics are brilliantly autobiographical and work as great tongue-in-cheek commentary. For me this is a song of slightly disjointed parts where I love the electro-rock verses and the '80s guitar rock of the bridge but I'm not so keen on the late '90s Ibiza chorus with its sliding scales and less distinctive vocals. Perhaps the '90s just isn't quite far enough in the past for me to feel nostalgic enough to get out my rose-tinted specs yet. Overall, I like this song much more than my initial first impression and much much more than I should.
So I got my boots on, got the right amount of leather
And I'm doing me up with a black colour liner
And I'm working my strut, but I know it don't matter
All we need in this world is some love
There's a thin line 'tween the dark side and the light side, baby tonight
It's a struggle gotta rumble tryin' to find it

But if I had you, that would be the only thing I'd ever need
Yeah if I had you, then money, fame and fortune never could compete
If I had you, life would be a party it'd be ecstasy
Yeah if I had you
You y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do
If I had you

From New York to L.A. getting high rock 'n' rolling
Get a room trash it up 'til it's ten in the morning
Girls in stripper heels, boys rolling in Maseratis
What they need in this world is some love
There's a thin line between a wild time and a flatline, baby tonight
It's a struggle, gotta rumble tryin' to find it

But if I had you, that would be the only thing I'd ever need
Yeah if I had you, then money fame and fortune never could compete
If I had you, life would be a party it'd be ecstasy
Yeah if I had you
You y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do
If I had

The flashing of the lights
It might feel so good, but I got you stuck on my mind, yeah
The fashion and the stage, it might get me high
But it don't mean a thing tonight

That would be the only thing I'd ever need
Yeah if I had you, then money fame and fortune never could compete
If I had you, life would be a party it'd be ecstasy
Yeah if I had you
You y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do
If I had you

That would be the only thing I'd ever need
Yeah if I had you, then money, fame and fortune never could compete (never could compete with you)
If I had you, life would be a party it'd be ecstasy (it'd be ecstasy with you)
Yeah if I had you
You y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do
If I had you
Back to top


9. PICK U UP
Writers: Rivers Cuomo, Greg Wells, Adam Lambert Producer: Greg Wells

My first impression of this from the snippets was quite a way off as I'm liking the full version much more. The jazzy opening piano chords remind me of Ben Folds Five until we hear the unmistakable voice and its grainy tone. I love the fun energy the song embodies and how it bounces along with its quirky lyrics. It's like the wind flowing through your hair leaving you feeling carefree. Again I much prefer the verses to the chorus where I'm not so keen on the wheezy droney sound of the guitars. For me, it's the bridge that really makes this song. The dramatic build-up to the grand climax makes it sound like a song right out of a musical. Adam showboats on final note, which recalls many of Axl Rose's final notes in songs such as 'Don't Cry' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine', except that he chuckles afterwards just to remind us he's having fun with it.
Jumpin' out the window
Movin' on, groovin' on
Which way will the wind blow?
We can't be wrong, so say 'so long'
I'mma pick you up, I'mma pick you up
Whatcha tryin' to say to me?
Catch the train at two, whatcha tryin' to do
Are you gonna play with me?

All my life, I've been waiting
Passed my time, procrastinating
Now, it's a trip, I'm a flip
And flash right through the scene
Can't you see what I mean?

Breaking through the boundaries
Rollin' on, strollin' on
They won't ever find me
And after all, we'll have a ball
I'mma pick you up, I'mma pick u up
We're gonna see where we can go
This is how I live, this is what I give
And you're the one I want to know

All my life, I've been waiting
Passed my time, procrastinating
Now, it's a trip, I'm a flip
And flash right through the sea
Can't you see what I mean?

Tiny minded two-toned suckers
Same old faces make me shudder
Countless times I've screamed 'oh brother!'
Where are you? I need someone to be my lover

All my life, I've been waiting
Passed my time, procrastinating
Now, it's a trip, I'm a flip
And flash right through the scene
Can't you see what I mean?

Yeah, it's a trip, I'm a flip
And flash right through the scene
Can't you see what I mean?
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10. FEVER
Writers: Lady Gaga, Jeff Bhasker Producer: Jeff Bhasker

I've really been enjoying the synthy disco sound of this song. It's got a choppy and slightly menacing bass with catchy beats & synths that remind me of early '90s rave. The feel of the song is fun, youthful and sexy, and the chorus highly remiscent of the Scissor Sisters. I think it's a dance-floor filler that will have people posing and acting out the lyrics. This is an awesome breathy vocal performance that's very camp and playful. My favourite part is the climax that's sung with a rock edge, which is enough to get us all quivering and stuttering with f-f-fever.

“The song was a demo of hers from three or four years ago. At the end of the session, we had a drink - and then recorded more after some whiskey. The song captures us partying.” - RS 26/11/09

“Yeah, I really wanted to work with her; she's just one of my favorites right now. She had an old demo — I think she said she got signed with that demo to her first label deal — and then she never produced it and got it done. I think that it's a really catchy melody; the lyrics are really fun and silly. Overall, I really enjoyed the process of recording with her. She was on the other side of that glass, just egging me on. She was constantly like, 'Go crazier! Go higher! Go louder!'” - WSJ 12/11/09

“We just talked about the direction of which way it would go, and she said, 'I really want to make more current than the demo is, and dance it up, make it a little more disco-y,' and I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it.' I think we accomplished it.” - RS 11/11/09
There he goes
My baby walks so slow
Sexual tic-tac-toe
Yeah, I know we both know
It isn't time, no
But could you be m-mine?

We'll never get too far
Just you 'n' me and the bar
Silly ménage à trois, sometimes
Would you be m-mine?
Would you be m-mine?
Would you be m-mine?

Oh baby, light's on
But you're mom's not home
I’m sick of laying down alone, hey
With this fever fever, yeah
My one and on(ly)
I wanna get you alone
Give you a fever, fever, yeah

There it goes
You stole my so and so
’Cause, sweetheart
No-no-nobody a-know-know-knows me
Or can find mmm ooh
Time to be m-mine, mine

Let's get inside your car
Just you 'n' me and the stars
Kinda ménage étoiles, sometimes
Would you be m-mine?
Would you be m-mine?
Would you be m-mine?

Oh baby, light's on
But you're mom's not home
I’m sick of laying down alone, hey
With this fever, fever, yeah
My one and on(ly)
I wanna get you alone
Give you a fever, fever, yeah

Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
You burn me up, burn me up, baby baby oh baby you're mine
Baby you're mine, mine, you're mine

Oh baby, light's on
But you're mom's not home
I’m sick of laying down alone
With this fever, fever, yeah
My one and on(ly)
I wanna get you alone
I got this fever and I can't sweat it out

Oh baby light's on
But you're mom's not home
I’m sick of laying down alone
With this fever, fever, yeah
My one and on(ly)
I wanna get you alone
Yeah give you a fever, fever yeah

Give you my f-f-fever my f-fever
Give you my f-f-fever my f-fever
Give you a fever, fever, yeah
Give you a fever, fever, yeah
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11. SLEEPWALKER
Writers: Ryan Tedder, Aimee Mayo, Chris Lindsey Producer: Ryan Tedder

The start of this song is a lot like Moby's 'Porcelain' before turning into the sound of an enormous echoey '80s ballad. I think the falsetto is a little weak compared to the instrumentals. I love the harmonies during the verses, which seem to hit a resonant spot in me, and my favourite line has to be 'feel so lost and lonely'. At times there a few too many layers of voices chanting which buries the character of Adam's, and perhaps it's the quality of the stream, but there are a few places that sound overly processed, especially during the bridge. The guitar solo is a great addition to a very well-written song with a gorgeous melody. I can imagine the music video would be very cinematic - blue and done in slow-mo. The song is strongly atmospheric and the lyrics are beautifully rousing.

I saw a picture of you
Hanging in an empty hallway
I heard a voice that I knew
And I couldn't walk away
It took me back to the end
Of everything
I tasted all, I tasted all
The tears again

Outside the rain's fallin' down
There's not a drop that hits me
Scream at the sky but no sound
Is leavin' my lips
It's like I can't even feel
After the way you've touched me
I'm not asleep but I'm not awake
After the way you loved me

I can't turn this around
I keep running into walls that I can't break down
I said I just wander around
With my eyes wide shut because of you
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker

Let me out of this dream

Everywhere that I go
I see another memory
And all the places we used to know
They're always there to haunt me
I walk around and I feel so lost and lonely
You're everything that I want
But you don't want me

I can't turn this around
I keep running into walls that I can't break down
I said I just wander around
With my eyes wide shut because of you
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker

Let me out of this dream, dream
Let me out of this dream

I can't turn this around
I keep running into walls that I can't break down
I said I just wander around
With my eyes wide shut because of you
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker

Let me out of this dream
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12. AFTERMATH
Writers: Adam Lambert, Alisan Porter, Ferras, Ely Rise Producer: Howard Benson

I wasn't too keen on this when I first heard the snippet and I'm still not fully sold on it yet. I would say it's a little indistinctive and would place it in a similar category to TFM, which I don't think really belongs on the album. I think it's because I don't see it as distinctively Adam, or perhaps only as Adam being very PC and on his best behaviour so therefore safe and comparatively boring. Having said that, I do like the surprising sound of his lower register during the verses but the 'In the aftermath' harmonies sound a bit too shrill. I also like the sound of when Adam's voice is fully unleashed at the end and it's a shame we only hear it after the song has already started to fade. The line about the glitter is my favourite part of the lyrics, which are otherwise a little clichéd. Still, it comes with a pleasant and uplifting message from Adam, the role model for weird kids.

“... is probably the most Idol-esque type song on the album. The cool thing is that the lyrics are basically about dealing with your demons. I think there's a universal message in it. It might be about coming out, it might be about self-acceptance, taking the chance of keeping it real and doing what you feel in your heart you have to do, even though it's scary, even though people might not like it. It might be about going to AA. Any sort of traumatic life moment, and in the aftermath of it, of making that decision and dealing with whatever it is you're dealing with, you'll find solace in it. It's another kind of empowerment-type anthem.” - RS 11/11/09
Have you lost your way?
Livin' in the shadow of the messes that you made
And so it goes
Everything inside your circle starts to overflow
Take a step before you leap
Into the colours that you seek
You get back what you give away
So don't look back on yesterday

Wanna scream out
No more hiding
Don't be afraid of what's inside
Gonna tell ya you'll be alright
In the Aftermath
Anytime anybody pulls you down
Anytime anybody says you're not allowed
Just remember you are not alone
In the Aftermath

You feel the weight
Of lies and contradictions that you live with every day
It's not too late
Think of what could be if you rewrite the role you play
Take a step before you leap
Into the colours that you seek
You get back what you give away
So don't look back on yesterday

Wanna scream out
No more hiding
Don't be afraid of what's inside
Gonna tell ya you'll be alright
In the Aftermath
Anytime anybody pulls you down
Anytime anybody says you're not allowed
Just remember you are not alone
In the Aftermath
In the Aftermath

Before you break you have to shed your armour
Take a trip and fall into the glitter
Tell a stranger that they're beautiful
So all you feel is love, love
All you feel is love, love

Wanna scream out
No more hiding
Don't be afraid of what's inside
Wanna tell you you'll be alright
In the Aftermath

Wanna scream out
No more hiding
Don't be afraid of what's inside
Gonna tell ya you'll be alright
In the Aftermath

Anytime anybody pulls you down
Anytime anybody says you're not allowed
Just remember you are not alone
In the Aftermath
In the Aftermath
Gonna tell ya you'll be alright
In the Aftermath
In the Aftermath
Just remember you are not alone
In the Aftermath
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13. BROKEN OPEN
Writers: Greg Wells, Adam Lambert, Evan Bogart Producer: Greg Wells

I love the sparse arrangement of this stirring song with some of the electronic effects sounding like they're being played backwards, like something is fracturing. The vibe is a little bit like the start of Madonna's 'Frozen' and the floaty ethereal echoey quality makes me think of Enya. It's perfect for listening to if you're feeling melancholy. The achingly beautiful lyrics are expressed with tender, intimate and comforting vocals that wrap you up and make you feel supported. I love the very specific and original message of the song that I think is successfully delivered. I was taken aback by how much it moved me. It's an emotional song that can get past your defences and penetrate the thickest of armour to touch the most hardened of hearts, and with Adam's help, break you open.

“Broken Open is a recurring theme in my life. I've known people who were cool socially, but when we got close, they'd fall apart. I'd think, am I a therapist? I guess I was offering some safety. The song says it's OK, break apart, be a wreck, I'll hold the pieces together.” - USA Today 18/11/09

“...you could put it in the same category as a downtempo Goldfrapp song or even like Radiohead, there's shades of that in there, very electronic but mellow, very ethereal. The lyrics are basically encouraging someone to feel safe in being vulnerable. 'Lay here, it's safe here, I'll let you be broken open.' It's about that moment where someone really opens up emotionally to you. I just wrote that from some experiences that I've had with certain people in my life, and I hope that it comes across that way.” - RS 11/11/09

“...is about encouraging a lover to become vulnerable enough to cry.” - L.A. Times 08/11/09
Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be

I don't want you to go
Don't wanna see you back out in the cold
Air you're breathing out fades you to grey
Don't run away, find me

I know the battles of chasing the shadows of who you wanna be
It doesn't matter, go on and shatter
I'm all you need
Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here, it's safe here, I'll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here so we can be broken open

Let's enlighten the night
We can fall away, slip out of sight
When you drop your guard
Melt into time, so intertwined, quiet

I know the battles of chasing the shadows of who you wanna be
It doesn't matter, go on and shatter
I'm all you need
Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here, it's safe here, I'll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here so we can be broken open

Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here, it's safe here, I'll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here so we can be broken open

Lay here, it's safe here, I'll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here so we can be broken open
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14. TIME FOR MIRACLES
Writers: Alain Johannes, Natasha Shneider Producer: Rob Cavallo
Full review here

“Alain and Natasha’s demo for it was this beautiful melody, just a beautiful acoustic kind of rock feel and then with (producer) Rob Cavallo, we made it like an epic kind of rock power ballad that I’m very proud of...
...What’s great about 'Time…' is that it has a kind of classic rock power ballad feel. It appeals to all ages. It goes full on like Zeppelin or Queen rock toward the end but starts out with a beautiful melody. It does what some of those great classic rock ballads do. I’m really happy with it.” - Inquirer 07/11/09
It's late at night and I can't sleep
Missing you just runs too deep
Oh I can't breathe thinking of your smile
Every kiss I can't forget
This aching heart ain't broken yet
Oh God I wish I could make you see

'Cause I know this flame isn't dying
So nothing can stop me from trying

Baby you know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
'Cause I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
'Cause I ain't giving up on love
No i ain't giving up on us

I just wanna be with you
'Cause living is so hard to do
When all I know is trapped inside your eyes
The future I can not forget
This aching heart ain't broken yet
Oh God I wish I could make you see

'Cause I know this flame isn't dying
So nothing can stop me from trying

Baby you know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
'Cause I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
'Cause I aint giving up on love
No I ain't giving up on us

Baby can you feel it coming
You know I can hear it
Hear the song
Baby when you feel
Me feeling you
You know it's time

Baby you know that
Lately it's time for some miracles
'Cause I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for miracles
'Cause I ain't, I ain't giving up on love
You know that
Maybe it's time for a miracle yeah
'Cause I ain't, I ain't giving up on love
No I ain't giving up on love
I ain't giving up no
Oh I ain't giving up on us
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