Adam Lambert - 'For Your Entertainment'
Adam Lambert is someone for whom the expression 'don't judge a book by its cover' takes on so many layers of meaning it might as well be a trifle. So far, the Instant Damning Judgement buttons he has hammered include: being an American Idol contestant (THE NERVE!), being a pop star who likes the classic rock music (HOW DARE HE?) being unapologetically, comfortably gay in public (WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE KIDDIES?) and hitting the dressing up box in a manner which can only be described as 'shameless' (DID EMPIRE OF THE SUN DIE FOR NOTHING??).
And now he's re-released a song which, on first listen, should probably be retitled 'I Kissed A Womaniser', and once again it's up to us, the sensible-minded, slow-to-judge, thoughtful people to work out whether he's a genius or an affront to all human decency.
I mean to say, you can cosy up to Kiss and Slash all you like, fella, but you mess with Britney at your PERIL!
(Here's the song. The video has advert cooties.)
It's probably not worth mentioning that he's got a fair set of pipes on him, is it? He does like to show them off so very much, I'd be amazed if anyone didn't already know. The latter third of the song is riddled with examples of Adam jumping across vocal registers, voice-vaulting into the upper-stratosphere so he can wave at Mariah Carey and warbling his way back down again. Call him all the names you like, if you like, but you can't deny the man can sing.
Whether this song is the best use of that showboaty throat is a whole other question. It is of a type with a few other recent hits, most notably Britney's ode to the unfaithful man. And that would be fine if it took that sound as a springboard to something else, but that doesn't happen. Despite Adam's best efforts - and BOY is he making an effort - this suffers from Selena Gomez syndrome. It's a song which is perfectly fine, but you just KNOW comes from a pile of very similar, perfectly fine songs, all written and demoed in that style because someone else had a hit with it first.
Or to put it another way, what Adam needs is a song which is as startling as his throatal twangfastics. This is not that song.
On the plus side, I like the breakdown bit, where it sounds like someone's boiling an old hob-kettle - y'know, the ones that whistle when the water boils - while Adam emotes dramatically. They're probably making some dressing-room beverage with honey and ginger and lemon in it, and just in the nick of time if that scream is anything to go by.
It'd be awful if he had to spend the rest of the song coughing and rasping like an old gipper.
And an affront to the old gipper community, probably.