Archive for the ‘Reviews’ category

Jax Funny EP – My Musings

February 1, 2017

jaxTwo years ago, 18 year-old Jax was the most charismatic, captivating and capable Idolist in Idol’s penultimate season, and on her way to a third place finish – a result two places lower than it should have been.

And not long after that, she was an 19 year-old with 12 cancerous tumors on her thyroid.

Now, Jax is a 20 year-old with successful surgery to remove her thyroid behind her and more importantly, a very enjoyable six-song EP Funny that dropped on Friday.

Your friendly neighborhood Muser is here to report that the qualities that made Jax such a compelling Idolist are on full display in Funny with the added advantage of hearing those qualities through original work rather than Idol’s enhanced karaoke.[1] Funny has:

  • Beats: the tropical, EDM-ish Kickin’ & Screamin’
  • Bounce: Sleep Like a Baby which wittily begins with Brahms’ Lullaby
  • Ballads: the inspirational-overcome-your-adversity Stars and the dark L.S.D.
  • Brash: the big, angry kiss-off song Wrong Girl which gets an assist from the surgery which left her already distinctive voice with a slight, yet appealing rasp
  • [couldn’t find an appropriate B word] Funny which mischievously focuses on “f-u” as she spells f-u-n-n-y.

One of the things I always worry about when I hear the Idolists talk about their post-Idol projects – most of which don’t come to fruition in any meaningful way – is their desire to write their own music. While Funny doesn’t break any new ground musically, it does have a radio-friendly credibility. Beyond that, Jax does two things well at this point: she puts her distinctive voice and singing style front and center; and she’s a very clever – yes, funny – lyricist.

I was a Jax fan from her first moments on Idol. She has a style all her own – vocally, personality, fashion and looks. Her fans were able to get Funny to chart in the top ten on iTunes[2]. She should be proud of this debut release. It’s a solid foundation upon which hopefully she can build an increasingly successful career.

And I’m so hoping she’ll play a show somewhere in the D.C. area. If I’m in town, I’ll be there.

P.S. At the risk of taking anything away from Funny, I feel compelled to include this link to her featured vocals on a dance track by Askery that I ABSOLUTELY love:


[1] Which Jax took some clever shots at in her video ­La-La Land released in January 2016

[2] Must have been cool for her to see her name on the same screen as Beyonce and Bruno Mars.


Gaga Goes Rock

October 27, 2016

gagaBack in 2008 before the world knew it was supposed to be paying attention, I was telling the world it needed to pay attention to what I believed was the next big thing in pop music – Lady Gaga. Subsequent events have proved that I had that one totally right. (I should also point out that in the same year My Daughter Diandra was telling the world that it needed to pay attention to some teenage girl named Adele. Pretty good call there, too.)

What I heard back then was a bigger and brasher type of pop that was fueled by rock-and-roll and disco, and thus would appeal to a wide audience. This potent combo of power pop, rock and dance climaxed with 2009’s Born This Way (especially the deluxe version) and imploded to some degree with 2013’s Art Pop which was a classic case of a reach outside of one’s grasp (still an interesting album, though).

This brings us to Joanne, which isn’t so much a return to form as it is Gaga creating a new form for her. It’s a sound that strips out the pop and dance elements and leaves us with, yes, a rock album, one that would sound comfortable being listened to alongside albums like early-70s Elton John or Carole King’s Tapestry­ – except for Joanne’s modern production bells and whistles.

Yes, this is royal company to be sure and Joanne isn’t (quite) in that league. But it doesn’t seem that was the goal. What it feels to me that Gaga is trying to do (allow me to be as pretentious as I wanna be) is to devote herself to a sound and style of songs similar to You and I from the Born This Way album, a song that would have been a hit for somebody like Carole King, Elton John or Billy Joel back in the early 70s. It’s a style that she’s talented enough to pull off and the result sounds a lot more sincere and a lot less contrived than Art Pop.

It’s always fun to see what artists with enough artistic freedom and talent do with those resources. The outcome doesn’t always produce their best work. But it does make their whole body of work that much more compelling. In the case of Joanne, I find the combo of early 70s soft-rock and modern production very engaging.

Check out: Million Reasons – my favorite despite it sounding kind of country; and A-Yo – a bouncy bit of Billy Joel-esque pop-rock.

Grade: B+

Welcome to the Show (and today’s pop music)

March 22, 2016

Last week on Idol My Boy Adam Lambert introduced his new single Welcome to the Show. Before you expect me to automatically love it – a completely fair assessment – let’s separate Adam’s voice which I would love no matter what he sings and the actual song that Adam is singing in this case.

First, let me thank the Millennials for blowing up the music beloved by the typical demographic of Idol and The Voice aka The Game Show With Singing. The music we knew fit into neat little categories: pop, rock, R&B[1] and country. With today’s most popular music, however, those early distinctions are irrelevant. Increasingly, the best pop music today blends genres and even eras of music seamlessly. In her 1989 album, one-time country/pop singer Taylor Swift channels late 80s pop. With Uptown Funk, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson channel the 80s Minneapolis funk sounds of The Time. Blurred Lines recalls Marvin Gaye’s 70s disco hit Got To Give It Up. Swedish DJ/Producer Avicii teamed up with American soul singer Aloe Blacc to make the hit song Wake Me Up that combines folk, country, electronica and R&B into a dance-club song. And all of these songs use modern technology and production that make them sound current.

With interests in music as wide as mine, it’s this genre/era-spanning quality that explains why I love today’s music so much. And it’s why – above and beyond Adam Lambert’s unrivaled voice – I am addicted to his new song Welcome to the Show.

What kind of song is this? It’s certainly anthemic. It’s electro-pop[2] but it’s very dark and moody in contrast to electro-pop’s typical lightness. And it’s also meant to be inspirational which belies it’s dark and moody tone. And just when you think the beat is going to go big in a disco/house music direction, it stays big in an arena rock way. And finally because he can, Adam throws in a variety of R&B vocal licks.

So, again, what kind of song is this? It’s a rock, pop, moody ballad and a variety of sub-genres all at the same time. And, again, it’s why I love it. Much of the music I listen to today fits this kind of indescribable description but still marked by the artist’s particular talent – in this case Adam’s remarkable voice and vocal ability.

Moreover, it fits the way the business of music – and by the business I mean the industry – is done today where artists can create and publicize their work very spontaneously. In a recent interview Adam said there was really no rhyme or reason to unveiling his new single, which doesn’t belong to any particular album . . . he just liked it.

“I just want to put something new out. Why not? Why do we have to follow any sort of rules?’” he explains. “It’s spring, and it feels like a new year  . . . It also doesn’t necessarily signify that The Original High is over, by any means, either. It was just, hey – we wanted to put out a song.”[3]

As to the details of Welcome to the Show’s origin, it was written by Swedish singer-songwriter Laleh who has written big hits for Demi Lovato (Stone Cold) and Tori Kelly (Should’ve Been Us), as well as three songs on Ellie Goulding’s new album Delirium. And it was produced by Max Martin – The Omniscient and Omnipotent Overlord of the Pop Music Universe[4] – who also produced Adam’s recent album The Original High as well as the songs Whataya Want From Me and If I Had You from Adam’s debut album For Your Entertainment.

Welcome to the Show has garnered it’s deserved share of buzz. And yeah, the actual review here was 80 words. The rest was was another 600+ words of contextual musings. It’s what I do.


[1] A code for “black” music. R&B was seen as a more innocuous and accurate term (although Jerry Wexler who created the term wished he had called it “rhythm and gospel”, instead) than “race’ music as it was first known which essentially separated black music from everything else per the Jim Crow culture of that day. Thankfully Berry Gordy – building on the work of Little Richard – came along and made R&B more desired and widely available, i.e. “The Sound of America” as Berry liked to call Motown.

[2] Nearly every day a new category springs up in a feeble attempt to describe the sound of similar songs.


[4] Take about a week to go through this list:

Watch Adam Lambert in Concert!

March 7, 2016

Not able to see Adam live in concert? No worries. Your friendly neighborhood Muser has you covered. Via the magic of YouTube, a dedicated fan with a great view posted good quality videos of each of the songs from Adam’s February 28 show at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. I’ve compiled them here in the order of the show’s setlist.

His show has three distinct sections that I call: Future Rock Adam; Crooner Adam; and Dance Party Adam. A longer version of this show – which I saw the following week in Washington, D.C. – has the same three sections but includes a medley of Runnin’/Chokehold/Sleepwalker during Future Pop Adam; and Lay Me Down (Avicii song that Adam sings on) and Shady during the Dance Party.

Of course there’s nothing like being there and experiencing the energy but if you’re wondering what The Original High Tour looks and sounds like, here you go.

Future Rock Adam

Intro/Evil In the Night/For Your Entertainment

Ghost Town


Whataya Want From Me


Crooner Adam

After Hours

Mad World

Another Lonely Night

Dance Party Adam

The Light/The Original High/Never Close Our Eyes


Let’s Dance

These Boys

If I Had You

(Encore) Trespassing/Another One Bites The Dust

How Adam Slayed Bethlehem

March 1, 2016

future adam 3The expectations for Adam Lambert’s Original High Tour stop at Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania were set by his opening act Alex Newell[1]: “I’m gonna get the stage warm for Adam so he can slay all your lives.”

Yes, Adam did slay. Here are the nine ways he slayed Bethlehem – as he apparently has on each of the tour stops so far.

FUN!!!! I’m going to split semantic hairs by distinguishing between enjoyable (like a great glass of wine) and fun which is enjoyable AND carries a sense of playfulness. All of the elements I’m describing below came together in such a way that the evening felt far more like a party and a celebration than a concert. I’ve enjoyed myself at many shows but rarely have I had as much as sustained fun.

The Original High album. Beginning with the opening song Evil In the Night, Adam focused on his new and most artistically complete album Original High while weaving in fan favorites from his first two albums. Although it was nice to finally hear songs from the Trespassing album performed live[2], the ten songs Adam performed from The Original High showed him to be a cutting edge artist with a diverse palette of vocal styles to draw from.

JPEG image-B6CEAAF08CFF-1Staging. The staging is a major upgrade from his first Glamnation tour in 2010. And while they’re hardly on the scale of a massive arena act like Muse or Coldplay, Adam’s visual effects – which includes his two dancers – augmented rather than took attention away from watching him as a solo performer. They gave the sense that something BIG was happening but that something big was Adam.

The “dance club” portion of the show. This began with a big, high-energy breakdown[3] along with a spectacular display oIMG_4828f multi-colored lights ending with a stunning white flash which introduced a medley of dace songs: The Light[4]/The Original High/Never Close Our Eyes – the latter done in with a slick disco arrangement. These were followed by the For Your Entertainment era club banger Fever and a colossal cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. Like a good club DJ, Adam slowed the energy down (just a bit) with These Boys – a bonus track from The Original High – before “closing” the show on an old high with the disco/dance-pop hit If I Had You.

The encore. Oh my. Trespassing – which riffs off Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust – blending into . . . wait for it . . . Another One Bites the Dust . . . and back into Trespassing. Body worn out. Mind blown. #Wow

Community. As compared to seeing him back in 2010, it was nice to see Adam’s fan base growing beyond the Idol demographic, no doubt in large part due to his success with Queen, radio hits like Ghost Town and major television appearances. Having said that, his rabid core fans are unlike those for almost any other major performer in that they/we all became fans at the same time and in the same way – watching him on American Idol. This creates a shared experience and intimacy between Adam’s fans that can’t exist for any other non-Idol artist[5]. It’s a palpable, intense re-connection between strangers that is special and unique.

Mad World. I’ve seen Bon Jovi sing Livin’ On a Prayer; Adele sing Someone Like You; Alanis Morissette sing You Oughta Know. And I could on and on. In other words, I’ve seen lots of BIG artists sing their BIG song. But because of the community effect I just described, I’ve never seen an audience as collectively under an artist’s spell as when Adam did Mad World. We were collectively remembering and reliving that singular moment when we witnessed one of Idol’s historically remarkable performances – while watching Adam repeat that performance right in front of us. It was as magical as it was stunning[6].

The Money Notes. Seriously – who in popular music hits stratospheric notes like Adam Lambert? His fans love them and come expecting to hear them and he did not disappoint. But because of the subtlety of the new album, the big money notes are less frequent but more impactful.

singing adamThe Voice. In the end, that’s why we love Adam Lambert. Who sings like this? His virtuoso force of nature voice spans genres, effortlessly leaps octaves, and sings with power and pathos. Who sings like this? No one would be the correct answer.

Yes, Alex Newell, you were right. Adam did indeed slay. And I expect him to slay again when I see him in DC on Saturday night.

Set List

  • Evil In the Night
  • For Your Entertainment
  • Ghost Town
  • Underground/Rumors
  • Whataya Want From Me
  • Lucy
  • After Hours
  • Mad World
  • Another Lonely Night
  • The Light/The Original High/Never Close Our Eyes
  • Fever
  • Let’s Dance
  • These Boys
  • If I Had You
  • Encore: Trespassing/Another One Bites the Dust


[1] A phenomenal singer, by the way.

[2] Adam did not do a U.S. tour for that album.

[3] An extended percussive and instrumental period in a dance song.

[4] My favorite song from Original High.

[5] And I would argue the intensity of the Glamberts’ fandom is greater for him than any of Idol’s current megastars, i.e. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Daughtry.

[6] To be fair, witnessing the shared joy of Livin’ On A Prayer; the shared sorrow of Someone Like You; and the shared anger of You Oughta Know were singular concert moments in their own way, too.

Adele 25

November 23, 2015

IMG_0841I’ve often dismissively described the last 20 years of female (and sometimes male) pop music as “Insert Singer Here.” Not that you’d mistake Britney for Rihanna or Rihanna for Katy or Katy for Selena or Demi or whoever the next cute young pop starlet the music business – and by the business I mean the industry – jams down our throats sells us[1]. But one can easily imagine each of them singing the others songs. In fact, in 2009 Beyonce´ and Kelly Clarkson wound up with hit songs to basically the same track written by Ryan Tedder, Halo and Already Gone, respectively.

While most of these Insert Singer Here songs are catchy, captivating earworms, there’s also a boring, cookie-cutter sameness to them. One after another of these songs come at us, giving off the feeling that all the artist is doing is singing an impersonal sheet of words handed them by the songwriters (plural these days) over a producer’s hook-laden backing track[2]. The songs grab your attention but rarely your soul.

Thank goodness for Adele.

25 is decidedly a pop album and decidedly different from its predecessors, 19 and 21. 19 is a stripped-down blue-eyed soul record almost exclusively written by Adele. 21 is a modern R&B album written primarily in collaboration with Paul Epworth, a songwriter who’s worked with numerous big-name pop and rock acts (U2, Florence and the Machine, John Legend). But it also included two collaborations with pop superproducer Ryan Tedder – Turning Tables and Rumor Has It, the latter an infectious song whose driving beat could have easily have found itself on an album by Tedder’s band OneRepublic.

For 25 Adele included songs with synthesizers and drum pads – obligatory for current pop music – and assembled an all-star team of pop songwriters/producers that are largely responsible for today’s radio hits: Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney, Taylor, Katy), Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson, Pink), Danger Mouse (who helped the Black Keys develop a radio-friendly sound), Bruno Mars, and once again, Ryan Tedder.

So why doesn’t 25 sound anything like what’s on the radio? Answer: Adele’s voice. Unlike so many of today’s songs where the artist’s voice is simply accompaniment for the backing track, Adele sings with such an emotional intensity that she can actually make us believe that Old McDonald having a farm is a sorrowful existence or that ba-baing black sheep are in pain for having wool. She’s come back from her 2011 vocal chord microsurgery with less rasp but with more ache and power, and is more emotive than ever.

But 25 also doesn’t feel like anything contemporary. Certainly, the force of nature emotional impact of Adele’s singing is a big part of that. But it’s also because Adele is uniquely able to project her emotions onto us so that we experience them as ours. In stark contrast to Britney with her “It’s Britney, bitch[3]” attitude or Taylor with all her A-list friends or Katy with her pin-up girl looks, Adele recently said to Rolling Stone, “I think I remind everyone of themselves. [I’m] relatable because I’m not perfect, and I think a lot of people are portrayed as perfect, unreachable and untouchable.”[4] Indeed, I have a personal recollection of Adele talking pictures with her fans (including this muser) before the doors opened for her show, hair undone, no make-up, and shoeless with unmatched socks. Talk about being reachable and relatable.

So even when Adele does what everybody else is doing, it’s so refreshing because it sounds better and connects to us better than what everybody else is doing. Although each song bears the thumbprint of its songwriters to the stars – you can easily imagine Bruno Mars singing All I Ask, which he co-wrote – it’s impossible to imagine anyone else doing what Adele does with these songs.

In describing 25, Adele’s frequent collaborator Paul Epworth says, “This album feels like it fits in maybe more with the cultural dialogue [than 19 and 21] instead of being anachronistic to it. It’s almost like she’s trying to beat everyone at their own game.”[5]

Indeed, while collaborating with the Kings of Insert Singer Here Songwriting, Adele has created an album of pop songs into which only she can be inserted. That she has done this and will once again be the biggest artist on the planet is, like 21 and 19 before it, another remarkable achievement.

And, no, it’s not 21. An artist’s album of a lifetime isn’t a career move. It’s something that just happens. That’s what happened with 21. And it’s not likely that there will be 85 hit singles on 25 as there were on 21 – this album is probably too ballad-laden for radio programmers to keep playing its songs until we are sick of them (except for Hello).

But 25 is definitive in its own way. It’s a brilliant reminder of how powerfully evocative pop music can be when you don’t plug just any popular singer into just any catchy song.

Grade: It’s Adele’s world. I don’t presume to give the owner of the world a grade.

My favorites (for now): the ubiquitous, yet always moving Hello; I Miss You (it’s dark; I like dark); River Lea (it’s dark; I like dark); Lay Me Down (bonus track from the Target Deluxe Version)


[1] And in the interest of full disclosure various works by My Girl Britney and Rihanna may be found in my CD collection.

[2] Both of these points are revealed in the fascinating new book, The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook.

[3] The oft-quoted opening to her song Gimme More.

[4] “Hiatt, Brian (November 19, 2015). “She’s The One”. Rolling Stone.

[5] “Hiatt, Brian (November 19, 2015). “She’s The One”. Rolling Stone.

Original High: 5 Things You Need to Know

June 29, 2015

AdamIt has been two weeks since the release of Adam Lambert’s third album Original High. In a record amount of brevity for me, here’s what you need to know.

1. It opened at #3 on Billboard behind James Taylor’s first #1 album[1] and some girl named Taylor Swift or something.

2. It opened at #8 in the U.K., the first time Adam’s been in the top ten over there. Clearly, convincing Queen’s home fans that he was a worthy substitute for Freddie Mercury had a lot to do with his newfound success in the U.K.

3. It opened at #4 in Australia, #6 in New Zealand, #6 in Finland, #20 in Germany, and #10 in Holland. Its Japan release is scheduled for July 1. These openings show Adam’s global reach, fulfilling Simon Cowell’s prophecy: “The whole idea of doing a show like [Idol] is the hope that you can find a worldwide star. I genuinely believe with all my heart that we’ve found that with you.”[2]

4. The lead single Ghost Town currently sits at #29 in the Top 40, as well as #18 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Chart. Radio airplay has increased every week since its release on April 21st.

5. There’s something for everybody. Every song on the album has been singled out by different reviewers as one of their highlights. I’m here for The Light but there’s not a skip-over-this-one song on the album.


[1] I’m not a big James Taylor guy but seriously. First #1 album? Not Sweet Baby James? Not Mud Slide Slim? How is this possible?

[2] This was after Adam’s last performance on the Season 8 Finale.

A Restrained Adam Lambert Soars on “Original High”

June 18, 2015

Writing a review Adamof a new Adam Lambert album always creates an identity crisis for me. Do I write from my self-indulgent wanna-be music critic side? Or do I take the path of least resistance, which is to unloose my fawning fangirl?

Adam is nothing if not always true to himself as an artist and with that as my inspiration, I will follow suit, and by “follow suit” I mean I will fangirl with occasional bouts of objectivity.

First, a little history[1]. Adam’s Idol run in 2009 fortuitously coincided with a huge TV audience[2] and a music business that still had a decent heartbeat. Bolstered by that and the music media’s fascination with him, e.g. covers on Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, and MTV and VH-1 reporting on his every move, his debut album For Your Entertainment opened at #3 on Billboard and sold just shy of 900,000 copies.

His second album Trespassing opened at #1 and delighted critics as evidenced by making several Best Of lists for 2012. However, his label RCA did no promotion for the album and its sales were disappointing. Adam left the label after disagreeing with them over the direction of a third album and was scooped up by Warner Brothers immediately.

This brings us to his new release, the remarkable The Original High[3]. As he sings in the solemn and intense ballad There I Said It, “I’m a grown-ass man,” Original High is the work of an artist maturing in his craft both as a songwriter and singer. While drawing on the best elements of For Your Entertainment and Trespassing, Adam’s superstar production team of hit makers Max Martin and Shellback successfully pushed him to accomplish more with less this time around.

Like For Your Entertainment, the new album covers a diverse range of genres within pop music: several varieties of dance including a Chic-like disco throwback (Evil In The Night); rock (the dark Lucy featuring Brian May of Queen), theatrical ballads that would make Celine Dion proud; Hall and Oates-meets-Evanescence (Underground); and the album’s first single Ghost Town which, frankly, defies categorization.

Like Trespassing, its sound is a few years ahead of what’s currently popular. The production by Max Martin and Shellback is far more sophisticated than what they’ve done for their usual cast of characters like Katy, Britney or even Taylor, for that matter. There’s a lot going on sonically in every song. Some may find it a distraction and to be fair, I was put off the first time I heard the single Ghost Town. I am addicted to it now and I find it refreshing to hear an entire album of pop music that’s pushing boundaries.

But several things are really new. Vocally, we are presented with a much more restrained Adam than we’ve been used to. Max Martin wisely asked Adam to show the softer, more emotional and textured part of his vocals. Yes, we still get the force-of-nature, atmosphere-penetrating moments that we’ve come to love. But Original High has less of those and more melancholy, wistfulness, and introspection than we’ve ever heard from Adam. The result is that we hear more sides of his remarkable voice than ever, as if such a thing was possible! And when those old Adam moments show up, they’re all the more stunning.

But let’s be clear – what is ever-present on Original High is the best voice of this generation and one of the great voices of any generation. And on this album, he’s singing better than ever. Where the songs served his voice on his prior albums, on Original High his voice serves the songs. The range of vocal textures he displays in the album is extraordinary. The result is that Adam is the best storyteller that he’s ever been.

I can’t find a single misstep on this album[4]. It’s a complete package – a sort of concept album of a man finding his way into adulthood with all of the accompanying pain, regrets, things said and not said. Even the sequencing of the tracks makes complete sense.

Moreover, my prior favorite Adam songs Sleepwalker and Runnin’[5] have been superseded by The Light, a dance track that moves my spirit and body so much that it makes me dance and cry at the same time. At this writing, I’ve listened to it 4,279 times; danced like a fool to it repeatedly in a hotel room in Denver; and possibly disturbed the woman in the seat next to me on an airplane while listening to it – I did my best to sit still but it was hard.

I also love the aforementioned dark, pleading ballad Underground and the album’s title-track, the breezy disco throwback Original High. Still, mentioning favorite songs on an album so eminently listenable seems unfair to all the other songs.

Grade:  A+++

(You weren’t expecting anything else from me, were you?)


[1] We’ll start with some objectivity before we fawn and gush.

[2] Remember way back when Idol was overwhelmingly the most popular show on TV?

[3] Let the fangirling begin! Hey – I waited 200 words. I’ve been patient long enough.

[4] On the other hand, the deluxe version has three bonus tracks that seem bolted on. They’re nothing like the other songs.

[5] From For Your Entertainment and Trespassing, respectively.

Adam Lambert’s Amazing Ghost Town

April 28, 2015

Ghost TownWell, it’s been approximately exactly one week from the moment that My Boy Adam Lambert dropped his highly anticipated new single Ghost Town. I say highly anticipated because it had been almost two and a half years since he had released new music. In addition, the promotional efforts of Adam and his new label Warner Brothers did an excellent job building up the anticipation prior to the release.

Was the reaction worthy of the anticipation? The answer is a clear yes. Ghost Town hit #1 on iTunes as did the pre-order for his album The Original High which drops June 16. And critical reaction was impressive to say the least:

  • “I’ve heard the Future of Pop. It’s Ghost Town.” Yahoo Music
  • “May Give You An Eargasm.”
  • “Twitter is literally a Ghost Town as @adamlambert has well and truly killed us all with that phenomenal song.”
  • Ghost Town is destined for the top of the charts.” Music and Lyrics
  • “Adam Lambert’s Single ‘Ghost Town’ Is Officially Here And Yes, It Is Amazing.” Socialite Life
  • “Reminding everyone why he’s undeniably one of the most exciting male popstars in the world right now.” Huffington Post UK
  • “Eerie new club banger.” Time
  • “Haunting and dance-heavy at the same time.” Huffington Post
  • “Lambert sings of loneliness with an affected vocal, one which shows off his impeccable range.”
  • Ghost Town‘s got summer smash written all over it.” Summerscape
  • “The singer returns with a bonkers track that forces you to sit up and take notice.” Official Charts
  • “Must hear.” Billboard
  • “You need to hear Adam Lambert.” Digital Spy

And what are this critic’s musings? To be honest, there are a lot of “textures” – to use a word that Adam used in describing Ghost Town – in it that took a couple of listens to wrap my head around. But since those early listens, there hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t woken up with the sounds of Ghost Town earworming through my head. It is both innovative and catchy, and I am officially obsessed with it.

The June 16 release of the entire album can’t come soon enough.

Rediscovering Trespassing

January 30, 2015

trespassWith the January 30th article In Defense of Adam Lambert’s ‘Trespassing’: Why His Last Album Should Be Rediscovered, Billboard has done a wonderful look back at an album that illustrates how great music may go undiscovered for lack of a “hit” single. (In my recent blog The Deal With Adam Lambert’s Big Deal, I wrote how a confounding lack of label support undermined it’s success, too.)

I can’t add much more than a couple of cents to this excellent and thorough piece so I leave it to you to check out the link below.

My two cents are that I’m happy the writer (Jason Lipshutz) mentioned the songs Broken English (“sounds like the opening song of a Nine Inch Nails Broadway musical”) and “the enjoyable” Chokehold. Along with Underneath, they form a trio of dark songs in the middle of the album that I always find intensely enjoyable. I would also single out Runnin’ where Adam displays implausible vocal virtuosity.

Also, if you can score the GORGEOUS song Map and By the Rules from the U.K. release of the album, you’ll be very, very happy.