Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Pop Idol, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock
So here's the great pop album everybody was hoping Adam Lambert would make, ever since he ran wild on American Idol three years ago. It wasn't just Glambert's dynamite-with-a-laser-beam voice that got him into our national knickers: It was his warmth, his humor, his burlesque bravado. His 2010 debut, For Your Entertainment, was a typical Idol quickie – decent, but it needed more personality.
Three years removed from American Idol, Adam Lambert is finally allowed to shake off the pageantry of the televised talent competition and dive into glitter on his second major-label album, Trespassing. There's a distinct lack of ballads on Trespassing -- they're clustered toward the end of the record, sometimes given a spangled once-over by producer Dr. Luke so they don't feel staid, sometimes hinting at the chilly, austere vistas of Ryan Tedder but sounding grander, warmer in the hands of Lambert.
Adam Lambert’s debut, For Your Entertainment, and his occasional gigs with Queen both suggested that the American Idol alum was better prepared than just about anyone to put a contemporary spin on glam rock. Instead, the singer’s sophomore effort, Trespassing, finds him working with a small army of dance-pop producers and songwriters, and it’s a testament to Lambert’s confidence as a performer that he makes this stylistic shift sound effortless. If the album doesn’t necessarily sound like a logical extension of its predecessor, it does sound “current,” to borrow one of Simon Cowell’s favorite descriptors, in a way that plays to Lambert’s considerable strengths.
Adam Lambert might be the only American Idol alum who considers purple eyeliner a daytime look. So it’s hard to understand why it took him so long to make his big gay dance-club album. Even after he came out in 2009, the eighth-season runner-up didn’t stop flirting with the straight crowd, indulging in classic-rock guitars and gender-neutral pronouns on his debut, For Your Entertainment.
Not for nothing is Adam Lambert known as Glambert, which makes his US mainstream success all the more surprising. In May, he became the first out gay singer to have a No 1 album there – an album that begins with a song that cheerily waves a red rag at homophobes. "No trespassers?/ Yeah, my ass!/ Wait'll you get a load of me," he snorts over Pharrell Williams' boing-boing disco production.
In Britain, if he is known at all, Adam Lambert might be familiar as the show-off who sang with Queen at MTV's Europe music awards in 2011. Heavily invested in hair gel, he recalled an airbrushed Athena poster of the young Gary Numan. The 30-year-old Californian is the latest belter to fill the lung space left by Freddie Mercury; for five years the job belonged to Paul Rodgers.
Let’s get something straight: Trespassing is not Adam Lambert’s “big gay dance-club album” (as one illustrious publication put it) any more than Savage Garden was Savage Garden’s big gay pop album or Songs from the West Coast was Elton John’s big gay roots album. With Trespassing, Lambert becomes the first out solo artist to score a number one album—cigars all around!—but queer identity barely shows up in the songs themselves. The pronouns are mostly “you”, and the innuendos pretty much top out at “straight jacket” and “Such a beautiful release / You inside of me”.
An album of two halves, but with some truly tasty highlights. Nick Levine 2012 In the US, Adam Lambert is enough of a star to wind up the extreme Christian right. After finishing second on American Idol in 2009, he laid his cards on the table by kissing a male guitarist during a TV performance. He then sold a million or so copies of his surprisingly decent debut album, For Your Entertainment.