Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Q-Snowcase 2012


Adam's 30th birthday was spent working on promoting his new material for Belgian radio station Qmusic. He performed an exclusive set at the Q-Snowcase event in the picturesque city of Zell am See, Austria. They were kind enough to let us crash their servers while providing a live stream of the event as it unfolded. We were waiting, salivating over the hope that we might hear some new material after reading unanimously glowing reviews of his album from all over the place.



The set is acoustic with Isaac, Kevin and Tommy but no Ashley, and takes me back to the first round of international promo. As well as being more portable and easier to set up, it also allows Adam's talent to shine supreme. Dressed all in black, nothing showy, he keeps his look consistent with the other performances in this era.

The surprise opener is Fever. I'd often wondered how this song with so many electronic sounds would work acoustically, so I'm grateful I've been answered with its first outing. Adam's voice utilises a grainier texture which is my absolute favourite. The song bounces along brightly, a little strange in the absence of crotchularly fixated movements but Adam appears to battle hard to stay seated. Kevin's dexterous piano work is jazzy and free-flowing especially towards the end, and though a touch tentative, I'm really liking Tommy's additional funk riffs.

BTIKM has a bit of a shaky start with Adam's pitch a little off, but he soon finds his feet. The first verse is very gentle, and instead of belting out the highest parts, he goes into his falsetto. It's also less beat-driven than the single with smooth piano work. His timbre is so rich and when he reaches the climax with his powerful belt it's a prickly-hair moment. Kevin's backing vocals complement Adam's well. Make sure you listen to Adam's beatboxing cameo after the end of the song.

The highlight of this set for me has to be OOL. I've heard the St. Agathe one so many times that the audience screams have become integral to it. So it comes as a wonderful relief to no longer hear those sounds when braced and ready for them. Oh my. Even the introduction is a joy to behold, the pleasant sound of the flowing piano nowhere near as harshly jangly as that of the guitar. I've not heard Adam's voice so soft, so sweet and so silken smooth. I'm usually one for the excesses of full-on wails but this is understated perfection. His doleful voice emotes quiet resignation, hushed breathy and fragile, not whispery but still retaining melody. His fluttery vibrato is painfully beautiful and I just can't get enough of that 'clooooooser' along with umpteen other different examples in the first verse.

Kevin and Tommy aren't quite in perfect synch with their timing at the intro to the second verse. Adam changes his volume and tone to go from resignation to mild defiance as Isaac kicks in with percussion. The little embellishments at 'old' and 'enough' are a nice touch as is replacing the final 'oh' at the bridge with a velvety 'eh'. The crescendo is one that's deeply satisfying as Adam ups his intensity to give us my favourite harder scrapier tone of his, rich resonant and harmonious, goosebumps galore, showing plenty more fight left within.

I've heard WWFM so many times now but this goes to show how every one is still unique. I suspect there was a case of lyric fail when Adam started a 'Just' line with 'I' that brought on his freestyling ad-libbing riffs, a wonderful treat. The ending 'I won't let you down' rather than 'WWFM?' gives the song a very different feel. It's abrupt and shifts the focus towards taking responsibility rather than feeling the victim.

And then we have the first listen of the album title track, Trespassing. It's only a short snippet because we agonisingly got cockblocked by request. Adam tries to get the audience to liven up by clapping. First impressions are that it's a fast punchy song, funky as fuck with lots of with and rebellious attitude in the storytelling lyrics. It's very wordy with a quick delivery so there's no room for getting tongued-tied stumbling over them. Definitely not one for singing whilst drunk! The bassline is irresistible, (having already set up camp within my head and showing no signs of ever wanting to shift) the melody of which reminds me of MARRS's 80s classic Pump Up The Volume but more fleet-footed. There's a sprinkling of funk riffs and if you don't feel the urge to move to this then get someone to zap you with a defibrillator because you must have just died. This is just the type of song I've been waiting so long for Adam to lend his voice to, and my, does that voice sound infuckingcredible.

19 comments:

  1. Adam Lambert is a master at acoustics,It is bare as it can be and he sounds fantastic,his vocals are phenomenal, what can I say that is not being said already about his vocals and breath control. Thank you again, you have out done yourself with another great video posting on your site,great job,thank you.

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    1. You're welcome! I think when he sings live is when all the magic happens and he can turn a good song into something very special.

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  2. I always look forward to your analyses of Adam's performance, not only his voice and how he delivers the song(s) but also the listener's reaction when they hear his voice. Kevin's back-up vocals are really impressive. I love, love this acoustic performance. My favorite was...were ... BTIKM, OOL, and Trespassing. I prefered the lowered key in BTIKM becasue then I can sing along! :) Thank you so much for all your hardwork in maintaining a high-quality site.

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    1. It seems like he's continued to lower the key for his radio performances which are constantly evolving into something even better!

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  3. SOoo on my wavelength again it was so pleasant to listen to Adam's voice without screams etc., but I felt cheated at Trespassing when the Zombie crowd failed to respond to what I am sure will be a massive hit. I know they had been asked to be quiet and respect the artist, but HELL! a bit of appreciation was definitely called for especially on his Birthday.No anonymous but a very proud (Denise) XXX

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    1. Denise, I think it was to industry peeps who wanted to keep cool, rather than to fans. He got them moving in the end though so that's an achievement.

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  4. Hi Lambo,
    Been a while but just had to thank you again for your reviews and update. As usual you place in writing exactly what I am thinking. So enjoy reading. The only 2 Adam blogs i read are yours and adamlamberttv.blogspot.com for updates. checked it this a.m. and it is gone! Oh nooooo. Any ideas on how this could happen?

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    1. It looks like it's back now but I assume it will have been copyright related.

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  5. I love and appreciate so much your reviews. Thank you so much.

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  6. Yes Yes Lambossesed so happy you are here reporting on Adam's re emergence with Trespassing! I love love your write-ups and playlists. You and Gloria at AdamBertDaily fulfill my Adam obsession every day. Great job, THANK-YOU from the coastal hills of northern California. XOXO PLT

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    1. I can feel your excitement jumping off the page! Thanks for being a part of this obsession.

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  7. ADAM'S NEW SONGS ARE FABULOUS ! HE IS SO TALENTED, NO ONE CAN TOP HIM. THE ACOUSTIC ON "OOL" BROKE MY HEART. I AM SOOO GLAD HE'S BACK, SINGING FOR US. I HAVE REALLY MISSED HIM ! JANIE

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    1. Janie, me too! Can't wait until we have some more concert dates. While I've enjoyed all these radio gigs, nothing beats the excitement of seeing him live.

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  8. I love the message and attitude of Trespassing, and when Adam moves and grooves to it, it shows he means what he says, and he says what he means. Yeah! Then, I cried with Outlaws of Love, so beautiful with the Kevin's keyboard backup. BTIKM is such a treat with Adam giving it his emotional best. Adam is just too precious for words, and I appreciate so much that you do him justice with your astute commentary. You're the best at it and Adam is lucky to have you as a true fan. (Also love your videos).

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    1. Thank you! I love that there's a bit of attitude on this album. I was getting scared that it was going to all be emotional songs.

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  9. Fabulous review! So thoughtful. Makes me want to go back and listen with fresh ears.

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    1. I've lost track of the number of times I've listened to this! Can't get enough.

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  10. I like Kevin´s backing vocals!And OOL is one of my favs!

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