Am I alone in thinking that this is just a storm in a teacup? HiFi/Wilshire is blatantly trying to cash in on Adam's celebrity status, and while it can be annoying, to paraphrase his words, it comes with the territory. 'Want' isn't train-wreck awful and there are plenty of worse ways people could be selling him out, so I really don't buy into all the fears about it harming his career before it has even taken off.
Firstly, let's get the negative over with. The single seems to be very far from the direction in which Adam wants to go. It may fragment the perception of his style and image to make establishing his artistic identity a little more difficult to new audiences. He's tried to distance himself from it via the following statement:
"Back in 2005 when I was a struggling artist, I was hired as a studio singer to lend my vocals to tracks written by someone else," he said. "I was broke at the time and this was my chance to make a few bucks, so I jumped at the opportunity to record for my first time in a professional studio. The work I did back then in no way reflects the music I am currently in the studio working on. I'm thrilled to be working with some of today's hottest songwriters and producers and can't wait for people to hear what my music really sounds like."
The record company issued a conflicting statement that many feel is deliberately misleading though, and I can see how it can cause outrage, claiming that Adam "co-wrote many of the tracks" and that they are "drenched in Lambert's pop/rock sound and style" when he has made clear that he didn't write the songs, and they're not his sound. There is a definite contradiction between the two statements with HiFi/Wilshire coming off looking decidedly less favourable. The fact that his 'first single' isn't his style and lyrically quite cheesy with a substandard production that leaves much to be desired, coupled with anger turning many fans to boycott the single, combined with the fact that he won't be promoting it will give ammunition to his critics to view it as a failure.
There are many positives though, and the fact that I am writing about it now means that it is publicity. The key thing is that we know it's old material and know that it's not the kind of sound Adam is going for. Due to it already making so many headlines means we will be aware of the tracks being old material that HiFi/Wilshire are just trying to cash in on.
Come on, I think they're actually doing us a favour. What fans of Adam aren't excited about getting different material we haven't heard before? We may not love the material but will still love his vocals, and it'll keep up the interest while he's busy touring and recording. It'll keep us ticking along while we're waiting for his proper tunes. If you're not an Adam fan, it's unlikely that you'd come across the material anyway as it's not going to be a big release that's heavily promoted. And I think that blander ballady material might even appeal to those who aren't currently fans of his.
I think of it like the Ten Commandments releasing 'Is Anybody Listening?' on iTunes, or Fonzerelli releasing 'What's Love Got To Do With It' under Brazen, or someone posting more of his Upright Cabaret performances. They haven't done Adam any harm but in fact have helped him to showcase his range and widen his appeal to different audiences. It's highly unlikely that anyone will be exposed to 'Want' without first being familiar with some of his other past material. After seeing his musical theatre or club performances, you're not necessarily going to jump to the conclusion that he's going to be like that as an artist because they were just paid gigs. I think we can extend that to 'Want' too, as his identity, because of the media spotlight, has already been established enough for most to know that it's not his individual sound.
Like I'm assuming with 'Want', Adam also makes nothing from all the pre-Idol material, but I think the issue that most fans have, being so fiercely protective, is that someone else is misrepresenting him and exploiting him for financial gain, perhaps detracting from his real material and raining on his parade. Clouds have silver linings though, and it keeps Adam in the public consciousness while throwing us a small bone to chew on while we're waiting for the main course. I personally think there'll be little more than a fine mist, and again, looking at the positive, you don't get rainbows without it.