Only moments ago, a co-worker stopped by my office with a curious looking jewelcase atop a velveteen cushion. Gently, I lifted the object off of it’s pillowy home to discover that it was an advanced copy of Adam Lambert’s debut CD, “For Your Entertainment.” My reaction:
There it was, in all its glory: Adam’s cocked head, the fingerless lambskin gloved hand grazing his buttery cheek, the gaze that says (whispered) “Put me in your CD player and listen to me gurl.” And so I did. A dramatic reenactment of my opening of the CD:
Before I even popped the CD in, I had the rare opportunity to actually flip through the liner notes, a luxury since most people went the way of digital downloads. It smells like a High School Yearbook from the minor planet Lambertini (an actual planet!), and features a variety of Lambert poses range from “steely intensity” to “Ludwig van Gaythoven“.
OK Listening time. Follow me on my journey as I liveblog listening to “For Your Entertainment.”
1. Music Again. Starts off with a fun industrial NIN beat, then quickly forks out into Queen and Mika territory. It’s exactly the fun, over-the-top rock opera sort of music Lambert’s fans were white knuckling to the heavens for. We can see Adam performing this live while wearing leather stilts, two Nintendo Powergloves, conducting a lightning orchestra with his mind. Also, it’s about sex. Having sex and listening to music.
2. For Your Entertainment. I’ll admit, the first time I heard the song, I knew it was going to take some getting used to. And perhaps it’s the black tar caffeine coursing through my veins at the moment, or the fact that I’m listening to the final produced version, but it sounds muuuuuuchhhhh betttttter. It’ll be a fun drunk club song, and even funner if said club happens to have laser beams and a smoke machine.
3. Whataya Want From Me. I automatically like this song because of the “cool” “hip” “young” spelling of the first word. Though I’m sure a few quick Census searches will prove that there are at least a dozen people living in these United States who respond to the name “Whataya.” The song was written by P!nk and my favorite Swede out of a chef’s hat, Max Martin, who has basically written every song you’ve ever loved. And in terms of Martin’s oeuvre, I would put “Whataya Want From Me” somewhere between “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” and “Hit Me Baby One More Time” in terms of “Songs I Want Played at My Funeral.” My only critique of the song is that it sounds suuuuper over-produced, to the point where the background music almost takes over the vocals. But I’m only saying that cause I’m a bitch. It’s good.
4. Strut. Oh sh*t, son. It’s struttin’ time:
This is a big ol’ gay anthem for struttin’, meaning, in other words, it’s amazing. And look! American Idol judge Kara DioGuardia wrote it with Adam! Bikini-flaunting aside, she has talent, imagine. I — nay, the world — would like to thank both Kara & Adam for penning/singing this song, as now we have a new theme song to listen to while mowing down people on New York City streets. We’re also loving the “Karma Police” like dream break at 2:20. The song is great: Catchy, has a great hook, is about dramatic walking. A+
5. Soaked. Let’s kick this off with an appropriate GIF, shall we?
OK, I am already getting teary because Muse‘s Matthew Bellamy wrote this tune. I know I’m only 5 songs in, but I’m declaring it my favorite on the album. Lambert is probably the only person on the planet who can do a Muse song justice, as his voice has the same amount of crazy, godly power as Bellamy’s. Without being too dramatic, this song is the scene in Titanic where the boat breaks in 2 and all the people die, i.e. epic. And the best part about it? Your Mothers will also love it. Just tell them it’s Julio Iglesias and they will probably not even know the difference. Moms!
6. Sure Fire Winners. Not great, not bad. It’s cute, and will probably be a big hit in whatever country wins the World Cup. One of those songs that is annoyingly catchy due to the simple chorus and sheer repetition. Chances are, whether you like it or not, this is what you’ll be humming in the shower after listening to the album.
7. A Loaded Smile. Ohhh what’s this dreamy opening sequence about… oh and Adam’s falsetto… y’all, I jus’ might need to take a bubble bath in the VH1 executive bathroom while listening to this jam. Sorry, Luther V. and Calgon, but I do believe “A Loaded Smile” will be the only thing to “take me away” exclusively for the remainder of the year. This song is like slipping into a mink coat on Christmas morning while tucking your cold feet under the dog: It’s cozy as helllll. And the last line, “A loaded smile, an empty glass, and one last dance” is what I’d officially like emblazoned on my headstone.
8. If I Had You. This song is like “A Recipe to make Lambert.” Leather, Boots, Eyeliner, Strut, Stripper Heels. Shake well and serve. Truly, the only way to enjoy this jam is topless, in leather boyshorts, on a stage, pouring tequila into the mouths of babes. Seeing as this set up is nearly impossible at my workplace, let’s just settle on agreeing that it’s a fun, poppy jam that’s not gonna hurt anyone, and will probably get you drunk. I also wouldn’t say no to a super Romanian 1989 Disco Remix of “If I Had You.”
9. Pick U Up. Nice to see Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo credited as one of the writers of the song. “Pick U Up” does just that — it put a smile on my face. I want to regraduate high school to it, laughing while running down a hill in my cap and gown. Adam’s voice on this track is OUTSTANDING, and plays into his dramatic musical theater roots a little, which to us is always a good thing.
10. Fever. Me in the first 3 seconds of this song:
(For real, he is bopping exactly to the beat.) Of course, this is the song penned by Lady Gaga, or, as her driver’s license refers to her, Stefani Germanotta. Uch, this song is the best, and I’m not just saying that because I want Gaga and Lambert to have a baby who I will then hold above my head on the top of a mountain like Simba in The Lion King while 500,000 gay men weep beneath me. What? Yes. I’ll go ahead and call that this will be the biggest hit on the album.
11. Sleepwalker. The word sleepwalker brings about many memories. On the one hand, you’ve got probably my favorite Honeymooners episode of all time “The Sleepwalker.” What? No one here is my age (78)? I see. Well, it’s a good one. On the other soul-sucking-paw-hand, it reminds me of Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers, a movie about soul-sucking-cat-people. Happy to report that Lambert’s “Sleepwalker” falls on the un-nightmarey side of the fence.
12. Aftermath. This is one of the few tracks on the album that feel super American Idol-y to me. It has the vague aroma of an Idol finale song, and a pretty average backing track that just feels way too familiar. A nice song, sure, but it’s like at the point in the bath where the water’s gone warm, and you’re too lazy to lean up and pour some hot water back into it, so you kind of just sit there in the coldish water trying to convince yourself it’s fine. And then, exactly 4:26 seconds later, you can’t take it anymore. And luckily there’s a new song! “Aftermath” is a’ight, and will probably appeal to those Kris Allen crossover fans.
13. Broken Open. This is beautiful. It’s got spacey soul. Not Kevin Spacey’s soul, thankfully, we all know American Airlines and Honda bought that sh*t up years ago. This song is relaxing and quite beautiful. It reminds me of another band… R.E.M.’s later work maybe? Keane? Years of Appletinis have simply burned a hole in my brain, so let’s just say that “Broken Open” sounds like the solar system’s heartbeat. That clears things up, right? Great.
14. Time For Miracles. This song from the movie 2012, added to FYE as a “bonus track,” has been on my Ipod since its release, and it’s definitely grown on me these past few weeks. It’s a great movie anthem, especially for a film about, you know, the end of the world blah etc. yadda et al. x ∞.
“For Your Entertainment” is a more than worthy debut album, replete with a wide variety of sounds — an artistry I found surprising given that it is produced by the American Idol Sausage Factory. Fans of Lambert will not be disappointed. But for those of you who
JUST BUY IT.