dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Adam Lambert's 'The Original High' Album & "Ghost Town" Single: A Few Thoughts

Adam Lambert's previous two post-American Idol albums had some good moments — "Whataya Want From Me" is an undeniable classic, for instance — but as a whole, neither really came across like a set of cohesive tunes. ("Whataya Want From Me" wasn't even originally written for him.) You know how it goes, though — you're on Idol, you get slapped into some label deal and you work with 50 difference producers and 200 writers on 175 tracks that get whittled down by a bunch of cooks in the kitchen to a 10-track LP.

So the fact that Adam now has a new label deal (he moved from RCA to Warner Bros.) and his upcoming album The Original High (out June 16) will be executive-produced by Max Martin and Shellback seems pretty promising. In fact, in the wasteland that is pop in 2015 so far, The Original High is the one (and only, I guess) upcoming record I'm really looking forward to.

Having an exec producer like Max is what Adam has needed all along — someone with the reputation and gravitas to believe in him, the clout to tell the label execs to fuck off until the product is finished and to steer the ship in the right direction.

Anyway, this week we got the lead single from the project, "Ghost Town." It's a weird blend of Quentin Tarantino soundtrack-esque guitar-pop and '90s house music, and the lyrics are a dark warning about the emptiness of Hollywood. (You can grab it off iTunes now, by the way.)

So, yeah — "weird"...that's exactly what's been missing from Adam Lambert's music until now. If you look at him while he's commanding a stage, listen to him in interviews and stare in a sparkly trance at his overall glamness, you know there's something deeper there than what's come through in the plastic pop tracks on his previous two albums.

Here's hoping The Original High is full of more musical curve balls, and even stranger than "Ghost Town."



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