Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trespassing (and Hopefully Transforming) Our Musical Stale Market

     Ok, I'll admit, I'm a little pissed as I write this. I'm listening to Adam Lambert's Trespassing (available May 15) after reading a review by EW's Melissa Maerz. The review was in my opinion was in one word : homophobic. Not to mention, uninformative and just snarky and plain rude. And while normally when I read a review that hates something I love I just ignore it, I felt this one needed a counterpoint.
     I am not a huge Adam Lambert fan. I don't watch American Idol. So I knew little of him when I bought his first album. I wore it out because in a world of sorta Out musicians, Adam was a proud gay man. And he could sing. And he made great music. Some of it was dance-able, some of it was thought provoking. And I loved the mix.
    His second album is almost exactly the same, except it's better. It is not the "big gay dance-club album" as Ms. Melissa states. Because, IMHO, a dance club album has awesome beats with very little lyrical strength. This album was very careful planned to mix dance beats, with a deeper message.
    I'm not gonna say this is the best album I've ever heard, but as I listened to it I could heard a man pouring himself out in an interesting mix of heavy techno-ish, 80's, and vocal weaving that should make any producer pleased. And I, as the average listener, was intrigued until the very end. And happy to hit repeat on the entire CD.
     I listen to a lot of music in every genre, and I can say, that this album strikes me as one of the best of 2012. About the only part of her review I agreed with Ms Melissa is her stating that AL is out as a "superfan of funk, '80s-night house, and Studio 54 grooves", but he proved this with his first album. He simply uses this album to re-re-introduce these elements (and many others) into a musical stale market.
    Trespassing kicks off the mix, simply stating AL is not afraid of nothing. Cuckoo reaffirms this.
Shady, Naked Love, and Kickin' In scream sexual appeal. Never Close Our Eyes is a life living athem (with Bruno Mars). Pop That Lock is all about freeing yourself. Better Than I  Know Myself is about being true to  . . .you guessed it, yourself (I based that on the video more than the song itself). Broken English is about communication. Underneath is about revealing everything, no secrets. Chokehold is about the pain/pleasure aspect of any loving relationship, either it's about BDSM is questionable.  Outlaws of Love does not mention being gay or gay marriage, so unless AL has said this song is about gay marriage, it can be about anyone who feels their love is forbidden.
    Of course, this is what I understood listening this album, and even if this translation is not exactly what I was meant to get, this album definitively beat a CD of twelve tracks about making love or breaking up that is formulatic and boring. Or music that is a representative of only one sexuality, whether that sexuality is straight, gay, or anywhere between.


  1. I haven't listened to this CD yet, but I have listened to his first CD and it was great. I like Adam Lambert for the simple fact that he is an out and proud gay artist and his music is great. And as far as this homophobic woman is concerned, I have only ever heard 1 song of his that was about 2 men together. She can sit on her thumb and spin.

  2. I've not had the opportunity to listen to the new album yet but I did like his first one. And to me, the idea that music is gay or straight, is uninformed and homophobic. Music is a universal language, it conveys a meaning that is specific to the LISTENER, regardless of what the lyrics actually say or the writers intent. It in interpreted differently by each individual. Whether the musician is gay or straight or bi, vanilla or kinky, out or not, should NOT be a factor in a review of the music. Thanks Will for providing another point of view and hopefully enlightening listeners.