The video starts off with a calm and mundane evening street scene before panning underground. It's going from who we are on the surface to our deep dark decadent desires and this is where we explore them, guided by Adam. The underground scenes start off with a Matrixy vibe where he leads the way down a dark alley in leather trenchcoat and dark glasses. We follow him through a curtain into a seedy dimly lit club that's been squatted. It's a derelict but once grand opulent ballroom decorated with an ornate stuccoed ceiling and crystal chandeliers.
He's the one wearing a tie and clutching a blinging cane so there's no doubt as to who's in charge of the power dynamic and dominating proceedings. There are a lot of blurred, out of focus and warped shots, perhaps suggesting an altered state of consciousness from intoxication. Racy stiletto heels worn on lacy legs spread-eagled and pointing skyward, lots of leather, and plenty of pleasured hands roughly seizing what they can, hint at more than a bit of debauchery.
We then get some close-ups of Adam on what looks to be his throne under a warmer brighter light. These shots during the video feel a little awkward for me because it's a break in the fierceness of the atmosphere. His fluid eyebrows and expressions over-act a little, affecting the believability. As if Adam's masculinity weren't enough, we get him playing with the phallic symbolism of the snake. The chorus is the first time we get to see Adam's other outfit, which is fabulous. He has a leather sash adorned with vicious-looking shiny shoulder spikes and chains. The look is completed with patent leather cubit-length gloves, a leather corset and jewellery that gives the look of a metallic clergy collar, like he would happily give these sinful pleasures his complete absoution. We get into a little more of an S&M vibe when Adam appears to grab some dancers by the throat then pull and whip them with an invisible leash.
He then beckons us to follow him into what resembles a secret garden under the cover of thick foliage where all the forbidden pleasures are satiated. It's more secretive and seems to be a bit of a hedonistic free-for-all make-out with untold numbers of hands indiscriminately wandering and feeling. We can only assume there's a bit of an orgy going on off-camera. There's another nod to light bondage with the appearance of a lacy blindfold. The video continues with sped-up shots of dancers and a couple of references to the garden of Eden with the snake and apple where we've given in to temptation and said 'To hell!' with our morals. The video regularly cuts to one dancer in sparkly sequins lit with red who doesn't quite fit in with the whole bondage theme and to me, she the safe object of desire for those who have yet to finish chapter one of 'S&M For Beginners'. The video finishes with Adam and his band performing in the club, shot from the mosh pit of the frenzied crowd with arms in the air, complete with shaking floor. With a lick of the lips and one last look that sends us an open invitation to return, the camera pans back to the normality of street-level goings on and it's the end of our brief escapist foray, enriched with the knowledge of what lies beneath.
Sometimes I wish I hadn't spoiled myself so I could enjoy a surprise but it is in keeping with what I had imagined when I first heard FYE:
"I'm picturing Adam looking particularly fierce. He'd be dressed up in a mind-blowing costume and would work the part of a dominator getting down and dirty with risqué moves against other amazingly costumed and beautiful folk on the dance-floor. There'd be lots of glitter and glistening sweat on luminous skin with a feeling of danger and debauchery amongst the ecstasy."The video didn't go as far sexually as the AMA performance but it's still hot and sexy with much less aggression and more play. There wasn't as much dancing or interaction with the dancers from Adam as I'd expected but the imagery and visuals leave a strong impression of brand Adam Lambert, the entertainer. A job well done.