Reviewed Item: For Your Entertainment (Album) by Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert has accomplished something quite remarkable with For Your Entertainment. What other so called entertainers might have done with some of this material wouldn't be nearly as depth conscious. Lets start with:
Whataya Want From Me. Here we have a pop hit of epic possibility. The goal must have been to create a song with an impossibly addicting guitar riff hook and superbly simple drum beat. Like a song from Vertical Horizon, it expolodes into action at all the right points and sends Adam on one of the best excitement driven rants and showcases his fun loving side of the music.
If I Had You has supreme appeal as well, like a big, fat, gooey jelly donut after a hard day of work. He works it well, clearly trying to carve out his own niche, combining euro pop with what might be heard if you pieced together what was left on the cutting room floor of a studio session with Rush, which doesn't work to as much effect on the slightly less enjoyable Pick You Up, Strut and For Your Entertainment. With these, he leaves much of the energetic power behind, yet the songs still are a stellar reach above the creative stylings of artists not half as talented.
Sleepwalker can only be described as the song that Richard Marx would do if he had the range and the guts to try. The surprising guitar solo is something out of a hair metal ditty and surprisingly, it is so well placed and well done, that it almost elevates the song to a 5 star rating.
Broken Open is a stellar showcase for Adam's softer side and you can hear the theatrical influence in his intonation quite heavily throughout. Like a Tears For Fears ballad with the rounded edged voiced Curt Smith on vocals, Broken Open is a pure treat of love's power of dessication.
Aftermath has all the tenacity of a modern vocal depth charge and is easily more powerful than anything than Robert Plant could ever hope to conjure up. Absolutely stellar, if you're looking for power songs, look no further than Aftermath.
Time For Miracles, diarrea inducing power ballad schmaltz-fest or no, this stereotypical movie soundtrack destroyer is somehow rendered as less than forgotten movie finale cast crawl musical fodder due in large part to Adam's ability to create a nicely constructed vocal delivery, even on a song more limiting than a continuous loop of Staind choruses.
As for the rest of the album, all other songs fall short in one way or another, or feel unfinished, as though Adam and the producers were simultaneously throwing darts at every musical dartboard, hoping for a bulls-eye. Still, the songs I reviewed here warrant a high score of 4.25 stars. What Adam does with essentially half an album, most other artists can't even hope to touch on 3 FULL albums.
And it's too bad that Adam's version of No Boundaries wasn't included on the album, because not only is it one of the best written rock anthems of the past 3 decades, Adam's delivery is tear inducing. His range on the entire song, ending with stylings equivalent of a son conceived by Steve Perry and Lita Ford,is impeccably perfect.
To sum it up, Adam may not be introducing a whole new style of rock, but he sure is supremely elevating all that every genre of true rock music is supposed to be. And that, if nothing else, makes him every inch, a true American Idol.