When Adam Lambert appeared on the eighth season of American Idol, people couldn’t stop talking about the shape-shifting, 6’1” singer with the glam-rock sartorial flair, razor-sharp sense of humor, and jaw-dropping, powerhouse voice. In 2009, Lambert released his debut album, For Your Entertainment, scored the smash single “Whataya Want From Me,” and set out on his 2010 Glam Nation World Tour, taking his electrifying show to thousands of fans across the globe who screamed his name and happily sang along with every word of his genre-bending electro-pop-rock songs.
Where For Your Entertainment was all glitter and glam-rock, Trespassing, which is Executive Produced by Lambert, is part buoyant dance-pop with a funk-rock sensibility, and part brooding introspection. Working with such top-notch producers as Dr. Luke, Pharrell Williams, Benny Blanco, Josh Abraham, Ollie G, Lester Mendez, Robert Marvin and Rune Westberg, as well as gifted songwriters Bruno Mars, Claude Kelly, Bonnie McKee, Sam Sparro, and BC Jean, Lambert has crafted an album that reveals both his dark and light sides, and the complex gray area in between.
Says Lambert: “On the album’s lighter side, 'Cuckoo’ is me flying my crazy freak-flag loud and proud, and ‘Naked Love’ leads the search for unpretentious, genuine romance. ‘Kickin In’ and ‘Shady’ explore modern club culture with a nostalgic twist - sung with a love for the spirit of classic rock, funk and disco, while the single ‘Never Close Our Eyes’ highlights the desire to live in the moment on a euphoric night out. For the album’s darker closing, I slowed things down with slow-burning, angst driven songs rooted in piano or guitar, embellished them with lush electronic atmosphere and dubstep textures, and took on deeper topics like obsessive masochistic heartache in ‘Chokehold,’ and repressed anxiety in ‘Underneath.’ “
Continues Lambert: “The search for balance is a key underlying theme of this album, while the point of For Your Entertainment was that it was literally ‘for YOUR entertainment,’ it was designed as presentational album, very showy and theatrical; a little something for everyone. This album, Trespassing, is more honest and self-aware. I think it paints a clearer picture of who I am and what I want out of life.”
The album’s funky tone was set by Lambert’s sessions with Pharrell Williams, with whom he wrote the ’90s house-influenced “Kickin’ In” and the album’s title track, which Lambert explains is about breaking down barriers and proudly trespassing where you may not initially be welcome. “Working with Pharrell was definitely a turning point for me sonically,” he says. “He pushed me to a brash, groove-oriented musical place that I have loved since childhood but hadn’t had a chance to explore much yet.” After the sessions with Williams, Lambert expressed his interest in doing something more rhythmic with his other collaborators, which resulted in the part funk, part ’80s rock tune “Cuckoo,” as well as the slinky disco grooves of ‘Shady,’ which features Chic’s legendary co-founder and guitarist Nile Rodgers.
Whether it’s about asserting himself as an outsider in society on ‘Trespassing,’ or the seductive power of non-verbal communication on ‘Broken English’ or taking on the discrimination of the LGBT community on ‘Outlaws of Love’, each song lifts the veil off Lambert’s personality a little bit more. There are songs about the intoxicating hunt for connection and the thrilling freedom of marching to one’s own beat.
“I think that as an artist, and as a person, I’m always growing,” Lambert says. “For this album, I wanted to evolve and explore new sounds. Having been on tour for a year, and really understanding what gets my fans both dancing AND crying, I had a better idea of the type of music that I wanted to create. Also, having been through the experience of becoming a public person, I know myself better as an artist. I'm more in tune with the things that I want to express and the stereotypes that I want to challenge. This album is the most vulnerable I’ve let myself get. These are my real ideas, dreams, fears, and struggles — that’s what I’m singing about.”
As is known to many by now, the Indiana-born, California-bred Lambert was a seasoned theatrical performer before competing on American Idol, where his stunning performances are still widely regarded as some of the most riveting moments in Idol history. When the show ended, he toured the U.S. with the other Top 10 finalists while working on For Your Entertainment, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and earned Lambert a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance,” in addition to scores of international awards and honors. He graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Details, Entertainment Weekly, The Advocate, and Out, appeared on every major late-night and daytime talk show, and became the first openly gay mainstream pop artist to launch a career on a major record label in the United States. Lambert channeled his newfound fame into raising awareness about issues close to his heart, advocating on behalf of LGBT causes The Trevor Project, Equality California, and GLAAD, as well as for charity organizations MusiCares, charity:water, and DonorsChoose.org. Other achievements include becoming the first American Idol finalist to tour the world in support of a debut album in the year following their season — a thrilling spectacle documented on Lambert’s 2011 DVD Glam Nation Live, which bowed at No. 1 on SoundScan’s Top Music Videos chart, and became the best-selling debut of any release on the Music Videos chart last year.
“I’m a firm believer that life doesn’t just happen to you”, Lambert says. “We are all on a journey that we have the ability to affect and change. Sometimes we have to trespass out of our comfort zone in order to evolve. Trespassing was written about the push and pull that we all go through on our quest for happiness, allowing the listener to find their own balance within my world.”