I'm ill at the moment and my head is too congested to write anything that makes sense so I'll just leave you to listen and listen again:
EDIT: Thank you for all the well wishes and apologies for the delay. It's hard to listen properly to music when everything sounds like it's underwater. I still haven't fully shaken off my lurgies, but if I left it any longer, this post would become irrelevant. We were still on a giddy high from hearing the single when the album previews became available so I was surprised about the timing. Amazon UK has since taken them down which has left me stroking my chin fabricating various theories. Surely it couldn't have been down to incompetence? When I realised the clips were available, I hesitated, weighing up whether or not to wait to hear the full high quality songs first rather than short snippets. I promptly hit play. Then hit it again. And again. Then put together the video so I could have it on loop.
1. MUSIC AGAIN (3:16)
Writer: Justin Hawkins Producer: Rob Cavallo
“Glam is back, motherfuckers!”
Glam rock for me has never been my music of choice to listen to and I think it suffers a little if the visual aspect is missing. To enjoy glam, I need to be experiencing it in the right frame of mind, perhaps taking the piss, playing air guitar with friends and appreciating it in an ironic way. Here's a bit of trivia for you: Gary Jules's version of Mad World was a surprise Christmas number one in the UK in 2003, having edged out Justin Hawkins's band, The Darkness's 'Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)'. I was glad because Mad World was the first song in a long time to appear in the charts that I really liked a time when they were already saturated with cheese. For Adam to be able to span both styles is astounding. I don't dislike everything by The Darkness, but when I heard about the collaboration with Justin Hawkins, I was concerned about the joke act potential. The snippet opens with very a OTT falsetto and despite my musical snobbery, I immediately love it. I love the ballsy statement this makes as the album opener. It's like a big bold 'Fuck you!' to those critics who considered him too theatrical/gay. It's one to dress up for and bring out the mischievous party animal alter ego. The stomping beats and guitar bring back thoughts of big stadium rock bands of the '80s and the harmonies are reminiscent of Queen. You can't not love those lyrics. It jumps around quite a lot melodically and vocally in those 30 seconds but it makes it one of the most exciting tracks to look forward to. It definitely compels me to want to listen again.
Look into my eyes in my eyes
Oh you make me wanna listen to music again
Yeah you make me wanna listen to music again
There had been many moons before I met ya
And I ain't going nowhere
And now you give me back my raison d'être
2. FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT (3:35)
Writers: Claude Kelly/Dr. Luke Producer: Dr. Luke
Full review HERE
3. WHATAYA WANT FROM ME (3:47)
Writers: Pink, Max Martin, Johan Shellback Producers: Max Martin, Johan Shellback
“It works on a relationship level, but I also relate to the sense of talking to the public. Like, 'This whole thing's a little freaked out, but please have faith in me, because I won't disappoint you'”
After those first two songs, this one with its drop in pace sounds comparatively bland but it does have quite a catchy hook. I can see this as being one to sing along to, maybe even as a good driving song but I'm going to have to wait to hear the verses. The preview only includes the chorus which has a lot of repetition so I'm not very inspired so far. Plus I have an aversion to the spelling of the song title.
Whataya want from me
Just don't give up, I'm working it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around, hey
Whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
4. STRUT (3:29)
Writers: Adam Lambert, Kara DioGuardi, Greg Wells Producer: Greg Wells
“It's a Gary Glitter/T.Rex-type thing with an empowerment lyric. You're not gonna find love and happiness unless you let your hair down and strut your stuff.”
This is a funky one with a bassline melody that reminds me of 'Tainted Love'. It's exactly the type of choppy sound to strut to and I love the guitar solo. I look forward hearing the rest of lyrics in the first of the songs Adam co-wrote. I think there'll be some interesting, maybe funny commentary on people who are too up-tight.
...how you wanna be
Everybody's looking for some love but they don't know
How to let it all hang out and that's why they're solo solo solo
Don't wanna be solo solo solo
Don't wanna be solo
We're a complicated nation...
5. SOAKED (4:33)
Writer: Matthew Bellamy (Muse) Producer: Rob Cavallo
This song is all about showcasing Adam's achingly beautiful voice. The tone is rich and full and powerful and makes me feel extremely greedy for more. I have a feeling that this one builds up into an epic performance with full orchestra. The tortured wailing reminds me a lot of Radiohead's Thom Yorke.
It's not the first time
It's not the worst crime
Your soul will be OK
And you've had enough
Searching for love
6. SURE FIRE WINNERS (3:33)
Writers: David Gamson, Alexander James, Oliver Lieber Producer: Rob Cavallo
This is an electro-infused rock anthem with a great melody. Its bass would whip me onto the dance floor, pronto. It's like the result of a gangbang between Queen's 'We Will Rock You', LT United's joke Eurovision entry 'We Are The Winners' and even Da Luniz's 'I Got 5 on it' amongst others. I love the aggressive tone and Adams enunciation of the 't's in glitter. And this must contain the most badass lyric ever for Adam.
We are, yeah, we are, we are the sure fire winners
Sure fire winners, sure fire winners, sure fire winners
Flick the switch and the missile will fire
I'm a heat seeker when I'm full of desire
We're all drawn to the heat of the flame
'cause you wanna be a star in the hall of fame
I was born with glitter on my face
My baby clothes made of leather and lace
And all the girls in the club wanna know...
7. A LOADED SMILE (4:04)
Writer/Producer - Linda Perry
“It's a bit dark, with all the vocals in falsetto. It feels like you're floating in space.”
There's an electronica vibe with spine-tingling vocals. It starts off quite dark but I expected it have an even darker other-worldly feel with more of a trip-hop vibe. I prefer the sound of the start of the snippet to that of the end with the louder instrumentals so it'll be interesting to hear how the rest of the song unfolds.
I, I never felt so satisfied
Everything falls into place but
I think I need a little more time
And yeah I know my life has changed but
Honestly I don't know if we'll survive
8. IF I HAD YOU (3:48)
Writers: Max Martin, Johan Shellback, Savan Kotecha Producers: Max Martin, Johan Shellback
This song seems very jarring after a slow track. The sound isn't particularly distinctive and I can hear it as a staple of Soho's gay bars with its slightly cheap-sounding production for the backing track. It does have the potential to take off as an Ibiza club anthem in an annoyingly catchy way though. The clip is mainly of the chorus whose multi-layered vocals mask Adam's voice a little. I like the thumping break and love the vocals at the beginning of the verse so I expect to enjoy the verses much more than the chorus. Dance tracks like this are usually dominated by female voices so I'm hopeful Adam's voice gives it that extra edge and saves the song.
Fame and fortune never could compete
If I had you
Life would be a party it'd be ecstasy
Yeah if i had you
You y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do y-y-y-y-y do
If i had you
From new york to la getting high rocking
9. PICK U UP (4:00)
Writers: Rivers Cuomo, Greg Wells, Adam Lambert Producer: Greg Wells
This is a pleasant sounding rock song and reminds me a little of Kelly Clarkson. It's not the most exciting so far, but I think its strength will be in the verse lyrics. I've spent far too long trying to work them out but they're still not right. Any suggestions would be welcome.
... my life I've been waiting
Pass my time procrastinating now
It's a trip on a fume
And flash right through the sea
Can't you see what I mean?
10. FEVER (3:26)
Writers: Lady Gaga, Jeff Bhasker Produce: Jeff Bhasker
This synthy disco number is fun and reminiscent of the Scissor Sisters. A small gripe I have is that I can't tell that the voice in the chorus chant belongs to Adam. I do love the low voice in the verses though, and the injection of camp OTT theatricality.
I’m sick of laying down alone, hey
With this fever fever, yeah
My one and own
I wanna get you alone
Give you fever fever yeah
There it goes
You're still my soul and so
No-no-nobody a-kno-kno-knows me
Or can find ...
11. SLEEPWALKER (4:26)
Writers: Ryan Tedder, Aimee Mayo, Chris Lindsey Producer: Ryan Tedder
This one has a grand dramatic feel with echoing drums and what sounds like a small choir in the background. The melody and lyrics are beautiful and I absolutely love the harmonies.
Outside the rain's fallin' down
There's not a drop that hits me
Scream at the sky but no sound
Is leavin' my lips
It's like I can't even feel
After the way you touched me
I'm not asleep but I'm not awake
After the way you loved me
I can't turn this around
12. AFTERMATH (4:26)
Writers: Adam Lambert, Alisan Porter, Ferras, Ely Rise Producer: Howard Benson
This uplifting song has the sound of a big '80s power-ballad and could become the soundtrack to many awkward teenage years. The start of the clip is a little shrill for my ears but this song will give full license for Adam's voice to really let loose and soar.
In the Aftermath
Anytime anybody pulls you down
Anytime anybody says you're not allowed
Just remember you are not alone
In the Aftermath
You feel the weight
Of lies and contradictions that...
13. BROKEN OPEN (5:03)
Writers: Greg Wells, Adam Lambert, Evan Bogart Producer: Greg Wells
“...is about encouraging a lover to become vulnerable enough to cry.”
This has a dated feel but it's all about the breathy emotional vocals. The sparse echoey arrangement of this song makes me feel like I'm lost and drifting alone with the only hope of rescue coming from Adam's ghostly voice beckoning me back. An enchanting song.
I don't want you to go
Don't wanna see you back out in the cold
Air you're breathing out fills you with grey
Don't run away, find me
I know the battles of chasing the shadows of who you are
14. TIME FOR MIRACLES (4:42)
Writers: Alain Johannes, Natasha Shneider Producer: Rob Cavallo
Full review HERE
The album is quite the box of tricks and contains such a huge variety of songs. It was a brave choice to put so many different styles together and you have to admire Adam's versatility. The snippets are a bit jarring but I'm going to wait to hear the full album before deciding how well the collection works. As expected, he's stayed away from boxing himself into any genre with an eclectic mix of pop songs. There's something for everyone and I'm sure we'll all have different favourites. I was hoping to be freaked out by a brand new sound so for me it feels more retro and safer than I would have wanted, but as a first album it's understandable. I prefer the first half, which contains stronger, more interesting sounds and less of the straight-up rock which isn't as distinctive. I'm sure I'll feel different when I hear the full songs. Although tasty, these precious morsels just aren't quite enough and only serve to further stimulate my appetite.