Wednesday, 21 October 2009
I'm very thankful it wasn't artificially smoothed over with an airbrush.
When I first saw the portrait of Adam at the start of the article, I thought it looked very strange - it didn't resemble him and looked conspicuously photoshopped. He looked way too thin and angular but the light reflection suggested the magazine wasn't flat. No wonder Details was trying to get the photo pulled because it didn't do it justice. The black and white image is striking and you're drawn straight to his intense gaze. The feel of it hearkens back to classic Hollywood screen icons of the 50s. The chiselled features, the strong jaw, the slightly stubbly rugged complexion, the pensive gaze with the wrinkled forehead and thick furrowed brows all make him look classically handsome. The slicked hair, the simple white T-shirt with the gathered sleeves and the earring give off a rebellious air - the dangerous bad boy you want to ride off into the sunset with. It's a beautiful portrait.
The rest of the photos see Adam with closed eyes sporting a strange manicure posing with a naked model in various positions for some intimate shots. The photos are sensual but due to the light touch and positioning of Adam's hands, I don't see them as that sexual. Neither Adam nor the model look fully engaged in each other but absorbed in their individual pleasure. For the model it appears to be pride at achieving her conquest and for Adam it's the fascination of the female aesthetic. The kiss I find a tiny bit clumsy because their mouths are so far apart. The horizontal one shows his passion for the female form as if it were a work of art, a sculpture. His plain black T-shirt and position makes me think of him as an artist, maybe a dancer. The last one in the mag is the most explicit where he's sporting a Teddy Boy look. I think this is my least favourite because it lacks the believability factor for me. On seeing the rest of the photos on the site, the kissing one works better cropped without the hand cupping the breast, and the licking one works better without the model's rear on full display. I actually find the shots they didn't use in the mag more beautiful and prefer the one with the exposed nipple to the one where Adam's hand is on it.
The photos portray Adam as very masculine which I find very different to the RS shoot where I thought his effeminacy was highlighted. The imagery and feel of the photo shoot, although not quite as steamy, remind me of the work by Herb Ritts, who in addition to being a photographer, directed one of the most beautiful music videos - Wicked Game which I've included here. Watch it and you'll know what I mean. The portraits of Adam are quite reminiscent of the close-ups of Chris Isaak in the video.
The racy photos I'm sure have already been discussed to death but I might as well pitch in. I don't see it as Adam betraying his sexuality and selling out. The shoot is for a lads' mag, and lads' mags aren't subtle and need breasts to sell. These are comparatively high-brow compared to the bulk of them. I think the point of those photos is to illustrate the sub-heading of the article 'Why does every woman in America want to sleep with Adam Lambert?' and to reinforce Adam's view that attraction isn't necessarily dictated by sexual orientation. Being gay doesn't exclude you from appreciating the opposite sex and the photos show him exploring that beauty. The editor decided to include in the mag the shots with the greatest shock factor, which I find a little vulgar and gimmicky. I'm fine with the nudity but I'm one who prefers the sexy to be implied and think the same message could have been put across without resorting to as much gratuitous flesh fondling. I think Adam was rather shocked himself on seeing them but seemed to get a kick out of it. He liked the results and I consider them a success having achieved the goal of fuelling fantasies and generating quite a stir. It's kept us talking, given headlines to the magazine and helped maintain the buzz. It also gets the controversy over and done with should Adam want to put his bi-curiosity into practice or cavort with the opposite gender in his music videos. It's certainly keeping people very interested in what he does next.
The article, although eclipsed by the photos, is interesting and elaborates on what was said in RS. Adam appears to be getting comfortable with being more forthright in his speech. I felt he had an increased impatience towards the overzealous Christians who he's mentioned before, and more annoyance directed at those fans who think he owes them. Although he was a big tease about being tempted to make out with women, I think the article could have delved a little deeper. After all, that was supposed to be the heart of the article but I felt that it was more like an excuse to show the photos. He talked in a bit more detail about his past issues and his destructive streak. I have a liberal attitude towards recreational drug use and don't find it surprising, but I'd suspected he'd done speed rather than coke judging by some old photos where he looked very thin. It surprised me a little that he talked about having slept around, I thought he'd keep that a mystery but I guess its purpose is to lay the foundations for future eye-rolling if anyone steps forward with a tabloid kiss and tell. I'm pleased for his success and it's always reassuring to know that Simon Fuller recognises what a rare talent Adam is, putting him amongst the all-time great singers. I often find myself shaking my head in disbelief when I remember that Adam came out of Idol. Looking at this latest article, it seems he couldn't be further from it.