Oh, hey there! I’m Sam Lansky, and this is Pop Think where I write about political unrest in developing nations and subtextual themes in the short fiction of Anton Chekhov. LOLOL, just playin’! We’re talkin’ ’bout pop music, y’all, which is actually the most important thing in the history of ever.
This week is officially (i.e., not officially) Adam Lambert appreciation week, because I’ve declared it so! Also, because anticipation is running high for the “American Idol” alum’s happening-any-day-now comeback single, “Better Than I Know Myself,” and sophomore album, Trespassing.
But seriously, Glambert is back in business, and this is a very good thing. So don’t trip off the glitz that he’s gonna display — sit back and listen, because that Lambert reign is just kicking off.
Credit: Getty Images
Since rising to fame as a contestant on the eighth season of “American Idol,” Adam Lambert has enjoyed a level of celebrity that most “Idol” alumni only dream of: His debut album, For Your Entertainment, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and his Pink-penned single “Whataya Want from Me” cracked the Top 10 and earned him a Grammy nomination. With writing credits from A-list stars and scribes like Dr. Luke, Lady Gaga and Ryan Tedder on his first album, it’s no wonder that Glambert’s record got so much attention.
That album, though, probably deserved even more praise than it received. Releases from “Idol” vets aren’t always as sophisticated and, well, entertaining as For Your Entertainment was, from its ironic ’80s glam-queen cover art down to the crunchy pop hooks that comprised its many stellar songs. But Adam’s promotion of the album was fearless and ferocious, with controversial performances and his always-glamorous image providing a spectacular visual counterpart to the already-impressive sonic onslaught.
This makes news of his upcoming album all the more exciting given his track record for pop excellence. For lead single “Better Than I Know Myself,” Adam’s teamed up again with Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly, who helmed the title track from For Your Entertainment, as well as little ditties you might’ve heard such as Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.,” Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You,” and Britney Spears’ “Circus.” My sources tell me that “Better Than I Know Myself” is a piece of flaw-free radio candy, a stunning midtempo track with a powerhouse chorus that’s like a pumped-up “Whataya Want From Me,” and it should cement Adam’s place in the pop A-list.
+ Read more about Adam Lambert’s upcoming album Trespassing after the jump.
But more than that, Adam Lambert’s also worked with some other top industry hitmakers on Trespassing, the sound of which he described as “existential pop” (squee!), saying that it has “a thread of honesty in that it’s real and personal” (double squee!). The title track was produced with Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, who also helmed one more track on the album. Other collaborators include the consistently amazing Sia, who cut several tracks with Christina Aguilera on her last album and Evan “Kidd” Bogart (“Halo” by Beyoncé, anyone?).
The best news of all, though, as far as I’m concerned, is that Trespassing will bear the mark of my No. 1 music industry crush Bonnie McKee (who I recently spoke with about Katy Perry’s album), the gloriously talented popsmith du jour responsible for Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” (among many epic hits). On the red carpet at the BMI Awards, Bonnie said, “Adam has the biggest range [of any singer] I’ve ever worked with, so I can write big melodies and he can really deliver on them.” Dude — when Bonnie McKee says “big melodies” you know she means business.
Adam’s transparency about his personal life makes him an important role model, and in an era where divas dominate on the radio (and pop’s last bastion of male superstardom, Justin Timberlake, is off chasing thespian dreams, ignoring our suggestions to reunite with *NSYNC), we need a dude like Glambert to bring dignity back to the male pop star. And with this new era, Adam should be bringing it hard. After all, he’s doing it for our entertainment.