May 18, 2012 in Features

Lambert’s latest mostly dance pop

Wayne Parry Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Adam Lambert’s latest album, “Trespassing,” was released Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

Album Review

Adam Lambert, “Trespassing”

On his debut album three years ago, Adam Lambert was fresh off a runner-up “American Idol” finish and eager to show off his amazing vocal range. The result was an all-things-to-everyone album ranging from classic rock crunch to hip-hop heat, with an over-the-top ballad or two thrown in.

On “Trespassing,” his second studio album, Lambert narrows the focus to profitable dance pop (though the hyper-emotional ballads still force their way in). The result is a more consistent but less gratifying sophomore offering.

It kicks off with a roar on the title track, co-written with Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes. “Trespassing” employs a drill team stomp-and-clap intro backing up chanting lyrics, propelled by a booming bass line and drum beat very reminiscent of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust.” That’s entirely appropriate as Lambert may or may not still wind up succeeding Freddy Mercury in the 1970s and ’80s group.

“Cuckoo” leans heavily on synthesizer and a pounding beat, and seems destined to become a dance club favorite this summer, along with “Kickin’ In,” a Prince soundalike that deals with the feeling of getting drunk.

“Shady” features assists from Nile Rodgers and Sam Sparro, and the next single, “Never Close Our Eyes,” was co-written by Bruno Mars, featuring a flamenco guitar over a dance club beat.

“Pop That Lock” has a groove that would be at home on an LMFAO album, and “Outlaws Of Love” is another of Lambert’s heartfelt declarations that as long as love is real, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it.

If dance music or the club scene is your thing, then you’ll love most of this album. But if you like Adam Lambert the Renaissance Man as shown in his debut, you might be left wishing for a bit more variety.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: “Underneath” is another one of those trademark Adam Lambert performance pieces, drenched in emotion and vocal gymnastics that would be perfectly suited to the Broadway stage. But Lambert has the talent to pull it off: Simply put, this guy probably has the best voice of any pop star working today. Even on less-than-stellar material, his soaring voice that then swoops down to a whisper can take your breath away.

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