Saturday, 5 May 2012

Jimmy Kimmel Live

This post is very late but after watching and reviewing every single one of those radio gigs, I needed a bit of a break. You can always watch all the latest performances on Adam Lambert Performances when this blog isn't up to date. Here's the set from Jimmy Kimmel Live, which featured a set of five songs, all from Trespassing:

This is the first fully plugged-in version of Never Close Our Eyes from Adam and his band. A piano intro instead of the synths give a truly spine-tingling start. There are definite signs of nerves from Adam at the beginning, his pitch a shade imprecise by his standards and tone less assured. It doesn't take long for him to settle into it though, incorporating light fluttery elements along with rich grain. His look is consistent with that from the NewNowNext awards, again all in black but less formal with more leather. The sound from this recording doesn't strike a good balance for me as he sounds too quiet, the instrumentals lacking in clarity and a touch muffled. The backing singers are also too loud at points. Adam inhabits the song though, his expressions are fierce throughout and his movements have both power and grace. I think the bridge might sound better with a few of those super notes he adds near the end to give it that extra oomph. He's unusually a tiny bit flat on the last note which he shouts.

Among the things I notice first about this Trespassing are the snare drums lending a different feel, as if a soundtrack to an army of rebels marching through a no-go area. This performance is very cool and laid-back, with the guitar riffs and effects making it funkier than the NNN version. It's not as climactic, lacking the confetti and he squeaks a bit on the high note but this one is packed full of energy. There's plenty of camp and fun, and I think it's becoming my favourite song so far. No wonder it's the title track for the album.

This was the first outing of new song Naked Love. It has an unusual choral that leads into a mellow beat with hints of synths. Now I'm afraid I don't have much love for this song. Do you know those perennially chirpy people with boundless positivity and happy smug faces? Well this song is their equivalent. I want to give them a good slap for being so annoying. It says more about me being a cranky old git than anything else. It's a light frivolous pop song. I don't like happy fluffy pop. I like things to have a bit of a nasty edge. It feels like a cross between a JLS song and an 80s pop-by-numbers Stock Aitken and Waterman production so much so that I think I might be being Rickrolled. Maybe that means it'll be a huge hit. Adam borrows from Crystal Waters's 100% Pure Love and incorporates a sing-a-long. It doesn't pick up enough for me, not enough variation, lacking in wow moments and the ending feels odd. Still, the performance gives us some cracking moments as we hear Adam with a coy little giggle after "Take it off!" and see the joy emanate from him, lighting up the crowd. I can see the benefits of having a song like this for a high-intensity set. It's easy to sing and it'll give his voice a bit of a rest. Since it's Adam, I'm sure he'll make me love it as he plays around with and tweaks more performances.

There isn't a pro quality recording of Broken English yet so we're limited to audience videos filmed from mobile phones. What can I say? I'm loving it so far. It's an atmospheric sexy slow burn with a moody melody. It has a big swelling dramatic production which I can hear as a climactic soundtrack. The vocal is striking and powerful, though a little masked by the backing singers for the highs. The bridge is something else though, as Adam lends a beautiful haunting ghostly wail over frantic drumming. I'm very excited to hear the album version of this and an acoustic arrangement would probably slay me.

This is the first plugged-in performance of Cuckoo and includes the band intros. The sound quality of the recording isn't great which makes it hard to review. The funk is cranked right up as Tommy maximises the wah wah effects on his guitar. It might be a bit of overkill at times but it's hard to tell on the recordings available. It's all very adrenaline-fuelled crazy 70s disco and an absolute riot. Adam has such fun dancing and strutting round the stage, and his voice is on brilliant form, bright, ringing and full of power. I'm inching closer to hearing what the album version will sound like (I've resisted listening to snippets). We've heard plenty of acoustic versions but it's when it's plugged in that it really dances into life. This must be a sure fire hit. What's not to like? I'm Cuckoo for it.

It's a bit of a surprise that there's no BTIKM, and with the absence of covers and FYE songs, this set definitely looks forward. My favourite songs from the set are Trespassing, Broken English and Cuckoo. The fact that I've barely managed to narrow it down bodes well for the quality of songs to come. I can't wait.


  1. Thank you so much for your review of the JKL performance. I agree with you 100% especially with Naked Love. I thought there was something wrong with me. LOL! I was actually bored until he inserted that CW's 100% Pure Love. Not that it is a bad song but just kind of repetitive melody and I can't wait for Adam to get to the next song :) I am looking forward to hear all the songs from this album and I'm looking forward for the full version of Shady and Underneath! Hopefully we will hear the album tracks next week as some are speculating the whole album will be streamed. Thank you again for your hard work in maintaining the high quality of this forum. <3

    1. Marilyn_AQ, I'm glad you still appreciate the review despite it being so late! You don't have to feel that you love everything, just trust your own feelings and don't be afraid to express them. My opinion of Naked Love hasn't gone up much since hearing the album version but I'm really loving both Shady and Underneath right now.

  2. Pan 5/6/2012 9:14AM
    Pan(of Thrace)
    I've chosen to comment on your blog because it is dedicated only to Adam's music which interests me the most. While you were absent I "was-knight-erranting" now and then because I was so over-excited to write on this, to comment on that. I've "met" interesting people from those who ignore completely your comments to the intolerant ones , who take the different opinions of another fan as a direct attack on Adam. The hostility , I sometimes met doesn't bother me , because I cherish freedom of speech (I live in a country where people had to carry the red flag for 42 years) . BTW FANS of an open-minded, tolerant man who surely knows the pains of being different.
    If I say that I didn't enjoy Adam's performance of NCOE on JK, very much , at least the beginning , would you be angry with me ?

    1. Pan, of course I'm not angry! It was a bit wobbly by Adam's standards after all.