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Adam Lambert shot to fame in 2009 as a runner-up on American Idol, standing out for his impressive vocal range and his glam-rock performance style. Routinely caked in make-up and unfailingly clad in leather, he certainly stands out in today's sea of cookie-cutter popstars. 'For Your Entertainment' is his debut release, which garnered him a Grammy-nomination. Having been inevitably rush-released for Christmas of 2009, the album is far from perfect - it feels a little inconsistent in musical genres and styles, but overall it shows promise and moments of brilliance for this new artist. His voice is just as compelling on the record as on the stage it seems, which is clearly the hallmark of a very talented rising star.
There are several musical streams running through the album - some may label this diverse, others may dub it inconsistent. There is clearly an attempt to be commercial with the dance-pop sound that many tracks possess. The title track, 'For Your Entertainment', is without a doubt a flawless pop song. The grimy synths and the creative interpolation of Sam Sparrow's 'Black and Gold' into the production make for an enticing listen. Produced by Dr. Luke (responsible for huge hits by Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Britney Spears to name but a few), the song has some lyrical similarities with Britney's 'Circus'. "I bet you thought that I was soft and sweet/A fallen angel swept you off your feet," he sings, enforcing the songs undeniably sexy mood. The lyrics are really creative, and the gothic dance-pop hybrid is fantastic. It's unique, while sticking to a popular sound. This is definitely Adam at his best.
He also puts out pop gold in 'If I Had You', produced by Max Martin (responsible for enormous hits by the Backstreet Boys, Britney, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne and P!nk). The thumping beat and quirky lyrics ("I've got my boots on, got the right amount of leather/And I'm doing me up with a black colour liner") have obviously been tailor-made for Lambert. The chorus is a little basic ("If I had you, then that would be the only thing I'd ever need") but the strength of the hook, and the quality of vocals are so sublime, that you really just get carried away in the euphoric mood of the track and couldn't care less about how poetic the song is.
There is a little bit of a misfire with 'Fever', a Lady GaGa penned track that did not make her 'Fame Monster' album. The RedOne production is pretty standard and uninspired, and the lyrics (and delivery) are desperately camp. The stomping chorus makes up for these deficiencies though and "I'm sick of laying down alone, with this fever, fever" is an undeniably sexy refrain. It's more of a grower than the custom-made pop hits from Dr. Luke and Max Martin.
The album ventures into pop-rock territory too, which is where Lambert really shines. 'Whataya Want From Me?' has to be not only the best track here, but one of the best songs released in recent years by a pop artist. Written by P!nk, the emotionally naked lyrics and vulnerable vocal delivery are nothing short of stunning. The guitar licks and thick, plosive drum sounds grab you by the throat, as the quiet verses are replaced by a soaring chorus that shows off Adam's impressive pipes. "Just don't give up, I'm working it out/Please don't give in, I won't let you down," he begs in the anthemic hook. The perfect balance between emotive lyrics, radio-friendly production and great vocals is met here. As P!nk herself summarised at a recent concert: "This is a song that I wrote that a guy sings twice as good as I ever did."
There is also the undeniably fun 'Music Again', that was written by Justin Hawkins (of the Darkness-fame). "I want your body, mind and soul, etcetera," he sings on the opening line alongside some throwback 80s rock sound. He's really bringing out his inner-Freddie Mercury here in terms of vocals, and it's a great song to listen to. You'll be singing along to the stadium-sized chorus, and won't be able to resist moving along to the crashing drums and guitar riffs.
I have a back-handed compliment to give at this stage of the review, really. It's a shame that the album has so many cast-offs from other artists (Lady GaGa, P!nk, the Darkness), but I have to praise Adam for taking each of them and making them his own. I just hope his second album isn't so rushed, so he can take more time to hand-pick material that either he penned or was written solely for him.
'Aftermath' and 'Sleepwalker' are other strong additions to the record, as atmospheric, light-rock tracks, with haunting vocals and lyrics. The former is a bit more upbeat, as it's a tribute to individuality and survival - an uplifting track, although not new territory. 'Sleepwalker' has an eerie tone and also addresses survival - this time of a break-up. Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic fame) surprised me with his production work on the track - although at times, Adam's golden voice is lost in the haze of the music.
Where the album doesn't really succeed is in tracks like 'Strut', obviously geared towards his stage persona and designed to fuel his outrageous performances. "Strut, strut, strut like you mean it," is an irritating chorus which just further solidifies my belief that the whole song is just too contrived and try-hard. Suddenly, someone becomes a lot less appealing as an outrageous performer if they are constantly telling you how outrageous they are.
The ballads on the album are pretty standard. 'Soaked' is the most bold of the two - a Muse cover, which really shows Adam's voice at it's best - the chorus always gives me shivers. 'Time for Miracles', which many may recognise from the soundtrack to the motion picture, 2012, has the most gorgeously written lyrics and delivered vocals in the verses. However, the chorus doesn't really deliver and feels a little bit lacklustre in comparison to how sublime the rest of the song is.
Adam Lambert's debut album is a strong start to a promising career - when it's good, it's really good. Although at times, it can feel a little jumbled as his record label are clearly trying to cover all bases. It seems like they can't decided if they want him to be a popstar, a rockstar or camp glam-rock act. Ultimately, his coexistence of so many genres are part of both his charm and his downfall. At just £4 on Amazon, this is a fantastic buy for pop-rock or American Idol fans. While it's not a perfect album, you can't complain for that price. Definitely worth buying.
Okay, to start with, let me say that I loved Adam Lambert during American Idol 8, and totally appreciated how his originality brought the show to a whole new level. Moreover, I really don't care what his sexual preferences are and I don't think his performance on the American Music Awards was the least bit shocking except for the fact I couldn't believe that he sounded so bad. If he had sung like that during AI, he would have been voted off! With that out of the way, perhaps its time someone actually reviewed his debut album - For Your Entertainment.
First of all, this is an album that's being touted as glam/electropop - neither of which is are genres I'm really into. Still, even those who don't get into this type of music may find something to like here. A quick rundown of the track listing and the large selection of writers and producers will probably give you an initial clue that this isn't going to be a monotone album, and thankfully, this is true. On the other hand, these many cooks might have spoiled the broth, giving us 14 tracks, some of which could easily have been left out of the collection to make it more cohesive. Entertainment Weekly's assessment of the album as showing Lambert's voice as being perhaps "too malleable" and lacking "a distinct character" is probably a result of this overly large in-gathering of artistic input.
In particular, the weakest link is "Soaked" which is a complete and absolute mess. The song starts out sounding like background music from Lawrence of Arabia, goes to Freddy Mercury ballad mode, and then turns into a bad imitation of a 1960s James Bond theme song (or Eurovision song contest reject - your pick). After that, it returns to the belly dance music (and by the way, in this section, one of the violins is totally off key), making it such a hodgepodge of 'almost' and 'not quite' that it totally fails altogether! Next in line for the chopping block should have been his second single "Time for Miracles", which is a totally pop song with basic and, frankly boring background instrumentals, which echo the humdrum melody. What's more, the lyrics are silly and cliched. Although they tried to include some of his falsetto and some heavier stuff at the end, it just isn't enough to save this song from being only a few steps away from a truly bad pop song that wants to be a mediocre country rock song. How apt that this song was featured at the end of the disaster (in more ways than one) movie 2012!
Lambert put his own hand into four songs on this album - "Strut", "Pick U Up", "Aftermath" and "Broke You Open". The latter two songs are probably the best on the album, showcasing Adam's voice to a "T" and having some of the more intelligent lyrics, and interesting melodies. The former two are more dance songs which seem over produced, but will probably go over well in clubs. Of the bunch, the weakest is probably "Pick U Up" with fairly dumb lyrics with the worst rhymes I've ever heard. His voice sounds like he's trying for the teen-pop scene, but then goes into Broadway Musical mode. By the way, the giggle at the end is just annoying.
The rest of the songs on the album seem to mostly be dance type electropop tracks, which vary from being nicely done to just a tad overdone. "Sure Fire Winners" is one of the better ones, which along with the title song and initial single "For Your Entertainment", have the catchiest of tunes. Adam sounds like he's enjoying singing these songs, and his listeners will probably be infected by this feeling. Lambert's other single from this album "What Do You Want from Me" seems a touch off kilter for the album, but it does sit beautifully on his voice, despite some inane lyrics.
Overall, this collection is enigmatic, at best, and overly produced at worst. Lambert needs to choose a direction and only use collaborators that will help him along that path and not allow others to interfere and veer him off target. I'm certain this album would have fared better as a whole had Adam been allowed more personal input, since his own songs prove he's got a budding talent here. The general feel of the album is a touch overly diverse with some songs seemingly perfect for a dance party and others great for a mix-CD for your car. Adam's voice sounds good in almost all the songs (with the exception of his weepy sound in "A Loaded Smile" and his tinny vocals in "If I Had You"), but we've come to expect that from him. I'll give it 3½ stars out of five and hope he takes more control of his next album.
This is will be available new on Amazon for £8.95 as of April 26, or you can download it for £7.49. An expanded edition will be available as of May 3, with extra tracks that aren't available for download at the moment.
Tracks on this version are:
For Your Entertainment
Whataya Want From Me
Sure Fire Winners
Loaded Smile, A
If I Had You
Pick U Up
Time For Miracles
Adam Lambert came second to Kris Allen in American Idol 2009. If you've seen his performances on American Idol you will already know what an incredible and unique voice Adam has. So after much anticipation I downloaded the album and wasn't disappointed.
The album starts off with Music Again penned by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness which is an uptempo track which mixes the style of The Darkness with an electro-pop sound. I love it!
Second track is For Your Entertainment which has been released as a single again the sound is electro-pop with catchy lyrics you can't help but sing along to.
Third track is Whataya Want From Me, this shows off Adam's voice perfectly. It's a soft sounding song with great guitar sections in that allow it not to be another soppy love song.Its a song that most will be able to relate to when being in a relationship, the lyrics are emotional and anyone who has been in a good or bad relationship will be able to relate to the lyrics.
Fourth Track is Strut which starts with purpose and Adam stating he wants to 'start a revolution' it's another electro-pop song which is energetic from start to finish.
Fifth track is Soaked written by Matt Bellamy of Muse and is typical of a Muse track and even the way Adam sings it is very Matt Bellamy.
Sixth track is Sure Fire Winners which is a confident song with a stomping chorus to get you moving.
Seventh track is Loaded Smile which for me is the weakest track on the album, its slow and uneventful.
Eighth track is If I had You is similar to Strut but has less power but is a sing-along song.
Nineth track Pick U Up does what is says on the tin, Adam's voice again is beautiful to listen to which a big chorus.
Tenth track is Fever penned by Lady Gaga and is typical Lady Gaga song, lots of electronics with a catchy chorus.
Eleventh track is Sleepwalker which is one of the slower tracks on the album which has a haunting start until Adam begins to sing, on this his voice is softer and protrays grear emotion
Twelfth track is Aftermath is a powerful rock ballad sounding song which Adam's voice perfectly compliments the music .
Thirteenth track is Broken Open is is a perfect for showing off Adam's voice, the music is kept very music in the background. The song itself is very straightforward with nothing fussy. A perfect chill-out song
Fourteenth track is Time for Miracles which was feature on the move 2012 which is what you would expect from a movie track, beautiful voice, heartfelt words and music that just melts in the ear.
For me, For Your Entertainment is one of the best pop albums ever it has restored my faith in new pop music. Lots of uptempo songs that you can shake ya booty too with a few splashes of the softer, quieter chilling out songs.
As you may or may not know adam lambert came second in American idol he should have actually won but his competitor kris allen was not that bad either.
To be honest cover is very weird and if I did not know he was a great singer I would have not got his Album but as the saying goes don't judge a book by its cover.
some of the songs on the album took me sometime to get to like such as
1. Music Again
The ones I liked from the get go actually became singles for the album.
2.For you entertainment
3.What you want with me
What so great about this album is it has a mixture of rock and pop and every song is unique and does not sound like the one before.
He has been compared to Freddy mercury from Queen and I would have to agree with those people he has such a range in his voice he can do any song even sing with an RNB star.
It really is worth all its money and would recommend to anyone looking for something different.
You can buy the album from amazon uk 8.98 pounds.
Hopefully he will be around for a while and his personal life does not get in the way of people going and get his music.
Overall out of thirteen tracks thirteen are good.
Would I say this is my favorite album no but is different from anything I have ever gotten.
This album can go one of two ways, it can be the best album I've ever listened to in my life, or it can be the worst album I've ever listened to and by the end of this review, I'll be pulling my hair out in annoyance. A lot of us will know Adam Lambert from the hit American reality television show American Idol. He was favourite to win, but was beaten to the post by Kris Allen, which shocked a lot of people.
November has hit us, which now means the albums from the top few of American Idol of that year are released. I have already reviewed Kris Allen's album which was awesome, a really strong and a really good debut album, and now it's Adam's turn to get the third degree from me.
Due to work and limited time at the moment, I am going to have to write a lot less than I usually do when it comes to music reviews. Instead of writing how I feel about the whole track, I'm going to have to summarise it. It will probably mean lesser brilliant rates, but I really don't have the time to write a whole one at the moment.
Adam Lambert is an American singer songwriter who shot to fame as American Idol's most controversial singer yet. Despite everyone saying that he was going to win, he became runner up to the brilliant singer Kris Allen. With his high pitched voice and his amazing control, his voice is very unique, very good and will hopefully create a very good album.
Can he live up to the hype that he created on the 8th season of American Idol or will the album fail?
Track 1: Music Again
Music Again manages to show off Adam's vocals brilliantly, and you do get a feeling that he got his inspiration for this song from The Darkness and Queen for this particular song. With brilliant guitar riffs, amazing vocals this song should have worked, however I really can't see myself connecting with the song. Adam uses his falsetto too much and it seems way out of place. I know it's his signature but it doesn't work within this song. It could become a grower song, but at the moment I'm not too sure.
Track 2: For Your Entertainment
I never thought I'd say this, but Adam's vocals are drowned out within the whole song, Adam has one of the most powerful voices that I have ever heard and for some reason; he has allowed his producers to make him create a dance track. Adam what the hell are you thinking? This track has no Queen inspiration behind it, I can't see myself dancing to it at all on the dance floor, and it's just not a very good song at all.
Track 3: Whataya Want From Me
The verses show off his vocal talents brilliant, for about a minute you get to hear his gorgeous voice however it is the most repatative verse I have ever heard in my life. When he hits the chorus, you can hear his voice is very good, but he has filled the track with really heavy guitars and drums so you can't hear his voice fully. The whole song follows this pattern, great vocals in the verse, but it's too repetitive, okay vocals in the chorus, but drowned out by the backing music. Not good at all, so far I'm very disappointed.
Track 4: Strut
This is the one I have heard the most about, but listening to the verse I'm not too happy at all, I really am beginning to worry about this album. It cost me £8 and so far it has been worth a penny, this track is terrible as well. It sounds like it's been pulled out a musical theatre production (which is where he started), and never really shows off the brilliant vocals that we know that Adam has. A very boring song in reality and one which should have been brilliant, way too overproduced and just not very good.
Track 5: Soaked
This track was written by the band Muse, so in reality it should be very good, I haven't heard Muse's version of it, so I can't comment, but this is the first song on the album which is good, really good. It's the slowest on the album so far, but this is where you get to hear Adam's vocals, his control and just why we all fell in love with him on American Idol. His voice in this is stunning, yes it's not perfect, he has put in too much heavy music and it is very over produced, but it is a beautiful track, it does again feel like it's been pulled out of an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical production but with Adam's voice this time it fits and just works. It is very theatrical and probably won't be everyone's cup of tea but I thought it was pretty good.
Track 6: Sure Fire Winners
This track is another terrible one, maybe Adam can only do covers? This track is terrible, it shows off his vocals slightly but it is way too over produced which makes it painful to listen to and it just isn't what I envisioned when I watched Adam on Idol. I'm sure this is the sort of song a few of you will like but for me, I find it disappointing, too over produced and not very good at all. You do get to hear Adam's 'screeching'. For all of you that didn't watch Idol, this is what made Adam famous, his famous screeching, it was brilliant and in places you can hear this on this track.
Track 7: A Loaded Smile
This is another track I heard a lot about, it's another slow one apparently, when listening to it, I knew we were going to get great vocals from Adam, however the song like the rest is very over produced, it didn't need the heavy drum beat to go alongside his soft voice in the first verse, well the whole song to be honest. If you try and ignore the over production and the really lame drum beats then you can hear how good Adam is at singing, but it is ruined by the over production on the song and the fact that it sounds like they got the drum beat from a lame music studio computer software thing.
Track 8: If I Had You
This is not a brilliant track, but I do kind of like it, it's not fantastic at all, but I like the track more so than quite a few on the album, the chorus is too repetitive and again they use too many special effects but in reality the track is good, his vocals are strong, he's not drowned out too much by the music, it's a good song, not one I will be keeping on my Itunes however though, and this is probably one of the strongest on the album so far so that is saying something.
Track 9: Pick U Up
The song in my opinion is very juvenile, when Adam was on Idol I was expecting Queen esc tracks to be on his debut album, tracks that are amazing, that everyone would love, however this is not what we've got at all. This song just seems very childish and it doesn't sound like it's coming from someone who has had all the help possible to create the album. It builds up a bit towards the end, which shows of his vocals, but it never quite gets there.
Track 10- Fever
Again another song from Adam which works, but again it's not actually his song. For this song he used Lady GaGa's song Fever, and with the help of her he created a good song, again nothing brilliant. His voice is very strong on this album, however when he gets into the screeching he sounds like he's being pulled back, he hasn't let go at all which is beginning to bug me a little bit. One of the best tracks on the album for Adam, but it's a shame that it's another cover which is good.
Track 11: Sleepwalker
It starts off quite a promising song, a little bit of trouble with over production but his vocals are good and sound like they're about to get higher and higher to become the Adam screech that we love, but the chorus becomes very weird with special effects, which don't work. I can't work out if it's him singing the chorus or not. He never really gets out of his shelf within the song, there are moments of brilliance but again it's another over produced song, good vocals but the producers have not allowed the singer to do what we all fell in love with him for. It's also produced by the awful Ryan Tedder who is terrible and has ruined way too many songs for my liking. Who keeps telling him he can produce?
Track 12- Aftermath
This is one of the four that he co-wrote, so in reality it should be one of the best on the album as he'll get a lot more personality behind the words he's singing and I have to say I was surprised, this is one of the best songs on the album, it's not brilliant though, the screeching for once puts me off as it's out of place in the song, but the rest of the song is very good, it's for once not too overproduced, it is a little but that is to be expected now. I think his vocals are very strong which makes this so far the best on the album.
Track 13: Broken Open
Another co-written song by Adam, the beginning is a little weird and it puts me off a little bit, the song is good, over produced, way over produced, but it shows off his vocals brilliant. One of the most famous Adam songs on Idol was Mad World and as soon as this song started I could hear the influence for that in a way in some places it almost seems like a copy. Again the producers (Greg Wells) have put way too many lame sounding and childish drum beats within the song which ruins it a little bit. A good song, but it could have been better if it was a little bit more original and if they hadn't included too many drum beats.
Track 14: Time For Miracles
This is one of the songs I've heard before from the album and I have to say I wasn't to impressed the first time I heard it, but now listening to the rest of the album, this is the best song out of all of them. This song was written and sung for the soundtrack of 2012. It's a good song, not brilliant, but it shows off Adam's vocals brilliantly and it's not too over produced, it's possibly the best song out of all of them which is really saying something. Strong vocals and if you want to hear how good Adam is, check out this track.
I was standing behind the counter the other day at work, sorting through all of the CD's and my work colleague said 'is this a girl?' I turned to look and saw she had Adam's album in her hand and laughed. It was the most ridiculous and stupid album cover he could have chosen in his life, I'm sorry but a lot of people say the reason he didn't win was because of his sexuality and to be honest if I was him, I wouldn't have chosen this picture to go on the front of my debut album, one he looks like a girl, two he no longer looks gorgeous and three he just looks plain stupid.
Unlike Kris, Adam has allowed himself to be pushed and prodded into the person that the producers of the album wanted him to be. With songs like For Your Entertainment, I really don't want to put all of the blame on Adam as I don't think he had too much of a choice. Whereas Kris allowed everything we loved about him on American Idol to come through into his debut album, Adam seems to fall flat, its way too over produced, and for most of the entire album you can hear the special effects before you hear his actual singing.
He only co-wrote 4 of the songs himself, I am a big believer that a track doesn't really have the emotion behind it, if the singer didn't write or co-write the songs themselves. Now-a-days I know a lot of people rely on other people but I still think they should write at least half of their own material. Adam's album wasn't really original, I don't think he had much input to do with anything on the album, none of it sounds like the man we came to love on Idol, he had no originality, and he hasn't created any of the kind of songs that we thought he would.
I am so disappointed with this album, it cost me £8.95, and I have just sold it after writing this last bit for £9.99 so I can't complain too much. The album was terrible, Adam was the one person on the show, ever, who I thought was going to create another album like the likes of what Queen created, he has this amazing, original, and very strange but loveable voice and I really thought he was going to create this gorgeous amazing album which would shock us all.
It didn't, it turned out to be very poor, very unoriginal and disappointing to a lot of his fans. There are rumours that he was going to be the new frontman for Queen, lets hope that's true, because after this album, I can't see him becoming very well known over here. He really hasn't done himself any favours and I can't see him at the moment doing as well as other Idol's before him.
Such a shame as he should have been brilliant, I would recommend checking out the 'studio recordings' from Adam Lambert on youtube. These are the sort of songs that I would have loved for him to have released on the album, I wouldn't recommend buying this album at all. If you are looking at buying a Idol cd then I would recommend buying Kris Allen, whose debut album blew me away.
(C) Kirsty 2009
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Music Again
2 For Your Entertainment
3 Whataya Want from Me
6 Sure Fire Winners
7 Loaded Smile
8 If I Had You
12 Broken Open
13 Time for Miracles [*]
14 Time for Miracles [*]