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Idol Chit-Chat
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adam Lambert CD Review: WOAH!

You guys know it’s not like me to be at a loss for words…

But that’s exactly what I was after hearing just one track from Adam Lambert’s “For Your Entertainment.” And then I thought of so many words it’s hard to get them all down.

So I’ll just start with one—WOAH!

I hate to use a cliché to describe something so fresh and original but a breath of fresh air really is a great way to say it. Only maybe I would say it’s a gust instead of a breath…

On the opening track, “Music Again,” Adam sings “you make me want to listen to music again.” And that’s exactly what this song will do with its combination of Queen, The Killers and Justin Timberlake. Oh yeah, it’s that different, which figures since it was written by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness…

Then it’s the title track and first single, “For Your Entertainment,” which comes from Kelly Clarkson hitmaker Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly (Britney Spears’ “Circus”). You might recall I wasn’t really a fan of the song the first time I heard it, but in the context of the CD it really works—especially following “Again.” This is going to be a wild performance on Sunday’s American Music Awards…

But don’t worry Adam fans there are solid radio friendly pop songs on the CD as well. And they don’t get much better than “Whataya Want From Me,” which was co-written by P!nk. This song has hit written all over it…

Kara DioGuardi and Greg Wells joined Adam himself to write “Strut,” which sounds exactly like its title. The first time I heard it I thought it was a little too over the top. I still think that, but it’s totally grown on me…

It wouldn’t be Adam without a completely dramatic ballad to showcase his amazing voice and he has chosen a good one with “Soaked,” which was written by Matthew Bellamy of Muse. This song will probably never be a radio hit, but it wasn’t meant to be and that’s okay…

“Sure Fire Winners” is less original but it has a killer beat produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day, David Cook) guaranteed to make you want to dance…

“A Loaded Smile” comes from Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera, P!nk) and it’s a nice sexy ballad that conjures up images of one of those sexy violent movies. And I mean that as a compliment…

The CD stumbles slightly with “If I Had You” from the team of Max Martin, Shellback and Savan Kotecha. It’s not a bad song it just pales into comparison to the rest of the tracks…

Adam teams once again with Greg Wells and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer to bring us “Pick U Up” which has a totally unexpected chorus that makes what could have been just an ordinary song something special. The slowing of the song to set up a key change is amazing and makes you want to just stand up and cheer…

And who else could bring Adam one of the sexiest songs of the CD but Lady Gaga who co-wrote “Fever” with Jeff Bhasker. And when I say sexy I mean not the kind of song you would hear on “Idol.” Unless someone snuck the phrase ménage a trois in there somewhere and I just don’t remember. But it’s a good song…

Sadly not everything on the CD is original since I instantly recognized “Sleepwalker” as the Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) song since the opening is terribly similar to OneRepublic’s “All the Right Moves.” It’s still a good song, it’s just hard for me to get past that…

“Aftermath,” another Adam co-write, is another radio-friendly pop track with an 80s hair band type chorus. And again, that’s a compliment…

Adam also co-wrote “Broken Open” (again with Greg Wells and Evan Bogart). It’s a moody ballad that will remind “Idol” fans of “Mad World,” which of course means it’s gorgeous…

“Open” would be the perfect ending to the CD, but instead we get the bonus track, “Time for Miracles” from “2012.” I still really like this song, but compared to all of the CD’s other tracks, I’m not sure it quite fits. But it’s still worth having…

In all honesty, Adam’s music is not for everyone, but it’s going to be for a lot of people. RCA/19 has surrounded an extremely talented singer with some extremely talented songwriters and producers to create something pretty special.

I strongly recommend what I think could be one of the best “Idol” CDs ever. It’s definitely the most original…

“For Your Entertainment” hits stores Monday, November 23rd…

Photo Credit: RCA