One thing Adam Lambert does really well is being Adam Lambert. His latest album VELVET dropped last week and it is a whirlwind of Lambert’s loud, in-your-face signature style.
Lambert’s rich vocals were the focal point of VELVET. His voice is truly what makes his music worth listening to. His whiny coos to powerful runs are what make Lambert a recognizable artist. VELVET is an ode to his vocal range and ability as demonstrated on every track, which plays to both Lambert’s advantage and disadvantage.
“Closer to You” exemplifies Lambert’s style and sound. He begins with a gentle introduction, but with every note he begins to build into his classic loud, angsty sound. This track begins with a solely piano carrying the rhythm, as Lambert’s vocals build, an electric guitar chimes in which is eventually accompanied by drums. The gradual build in “Closer to You” warrants it a run time of over four minutes. The length and perfect build up in this single makes it much more than just a song crafted to be a radio hit. Lambert clearly poured his talent, time, and passion into this track, making it a stand out track on VELVET.
“Coming in Hot” shows off Lambert’s sensual side. His raspy voice and risky lyrics are a far cry from the American Idol pop star that captured the hearts of viewers. Throughout VELVET Lambert sticks faithfully to lyrics about love and sex. Thankfully he offers enough diversity that the consistent content does not come across as repetitious but an exploration of his love life from a variety of perspectives.
“Come Over” is one of the more poppy songs off of VELVET. This track falls in line with a lot of Lambert’s older songs like “Whataya Want From Me.” It is an easy listen and showcases Lambert’s signature punky style. The electric guitar shines and ties the song together during the bridge.
Lambert steps out of his normal sound with “On the Moon.” Or so I thought. This track begins with a refreshing contrast to his typical high-intensity sound. Lambert maintains a steady, high pitched and airy voice for the majority of the song. Alas, in the concluding minute of this song Lambert reverts back to his aggressive runs and intense finishing notes. As much as Lambert has undeniable vocal talent, it is a bit tiring to listen to track after track after track.
One thing this album could have used more of is contrast. The individual songs are all extremely Lambert-esque which is an asset if listened to as stand alone singles, yet when listened to as a whole VELVET is at times exhausting.
“Feel Something” is VELVET’s best chance at contrast. Lambert demonstrates his ability to build up a song without any dramatic vocal spikes. His voice is beautifully rich and smooth throughout the entire track, and thankfully he did not taint this track with any unneeded intensity. “Feel Something” also had stand out background melodies that blended seamlessly with Lambert’s voice. Lambert’s stripped back sound served as a much needed contrast to the rest of the rock and pop tracks.
VELVET features some stand out tracks, but in its entirety it is fairly abrasive. Overall, VELVET showcases Lambert’s older style, as well as blended in some new sounds which leaves me hopeful that Lambert continues to experiment with his voice and style.