I remember watching Adam Lambert on “American Idol” a few years ago, and being genuinely impressed by his fantastic voice and greatly amused by his flamboyant style. He’s had his ups and downs since then with some controversy early in his music career, but he’s definitely shown more signs of success and prominence than others who have graduated from Idol. And with Trespassing, it is clear that Lambert has grown more comfortable with his music and has developed overall as an artist. The album displays his range, his variety, and his personality in a dark yet pellucid manner I find intoxicating.
Before I begin, let me make it clear, as I usually do, that I am in no way a qualified music critic – this is just my opinion of Adam Lambert’s album Trespassing and should be taken with a grain of salt. While I do immerse myself in pop music and have been following Lambert’s work for awhile, I don’t want to give the false impression that my ideas are absolute.
I’ll start with the two singles he has released so far, “Better Than I Know Myself” and “Never Close Our Eyes”. The former is an introspective, open, and honest song in which Lambert shares his insecurities and his dependence on another person. The feel and the tone of the song are similar to that of “Whataya Want From Me”, and the music video portrays the song’s message well – it shows him going through somewhat of a mental breakdown. As a friend of mine noted, there are several shots of his pretty eyes.
In his second single from his album Trespassing, Lambert flaunts his more theatrical side with a club/dance song possessing an addictive beat. I praise his attempt to do something different in his music video, as I was expecting some shoddy club scene type thing, but got a messed up mental institute a la “The One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” While the influx of songs and books and other things in popular culture involving dystopia and partying has slightly robbed “Never Close Our Eyes” of its originality, it is still a praiseworthy song.
There are several other songs in his album that have a fast-paced and enslaving energy to them. While I won’t go over all of them, “Trespassing”, the title track, shows Lambert’s snazzy side through a stomping melody and diva-like lyrics. “Shady” is composed in a robotic way that lends itself to the underground, and has a funk feel that will please certain fans. Of his more upbeat songs, my favorite must be “Pop That Lock”, as it displays his inner diva in its purest form. I can just imagine his model strut or him snapping scandalously if he were to produce a music video for the song. There is also a spectacular high note at the end of the song that is simply mind-blowing.
Now, I am usually not a fan of slow-paced songs, but two of the slower songs on this album, “Underneath” and “Outlaws of Love”, impress me tremendously. “Underneath” is so raw and revealing, and it’s impossible not to be affected by the amount of emotion in Lambert’s voice. It is not overbearing nor is it mawkish, it’s just deep and devastating in a broken and beautiful way. “A red river of screams, underneath, tears in my eyes, underneath, stars in my black and blue sky, underneath” – this is a song I would listen to when writing.
“Outlaws of Love” is equally heart-wrenching, if not more so. There’s so much in this song I relate to and so much that I’m sure others can relate to too, especially those who are homosexual or who have not been able to love freely because of society’s unfair and unnecessary stigmas. His voice is golden and skillfully carries the emotional weight of the song. There are so many lines I could analyze from the lyrics of this song, but here are a couple that I find fantastic: “Far, we could go so far, with out minds wide open, open”, showing that those who have been ostracized because of their sexuality have a more accepting and tolerant mindset, and “They say we’ll rot in hell, but I don’t think we will”, which is my favorite lyric of the song, because it captures the whole religious argument against gays well and manages to rebuff it in a way that is hopeful but not belligerent.
Overall, Trespassing is a solid album with several songs that should be released as singles but probably will not be. I didn’t get to go over about half of the songs on the album, though, so do any of you have opinions on those songs as well as the ones I mentioned in this post? Does anyone agree or disagree with what I’ve stated? I kind of wrote this instead of studying for my SAT II’s tomorrow, so… I’m going to go work out and then briefly review for them. Wish me luck! (also, here’s my brief review of Cicero’s Pro Archia… it’s really short, definitely not worthy of an entire post.)