Adam Lambert’s New Music Video Busts Out of the Club
The artistic trajectory that Adam Lambert embarked on with his video for “Better Than I Know Myself” continues to arc upward with the one released today for his second single, “Never Close Our Eyes.” Here again, Adam takes a song that on the surface is about love and carries us to unexpected depths, in this instance to a message of resistance and freedom. In “Better Than I Know Myself”, Adam shares his inner struggle. With this new video he references his place in many fans’ eyes as an avatar for personal liberation.
After the rapid-fire, scene-setting montage at the beginning, we come upon Adam waking up in a prison cell (oh, the boy knows how to push our buttons!). “I wish that this night would never be over,” he sings. His voice is startling high, thin and disembodied, and not synched to his lips. He’s only mouthing the thoughts in his head. He can’t speak out. As a club song, the words express the longing for a moment of romantic arousal to go on forever. But in this scene, their meaning is turned upside down. Adam wishes he could stay asleep and escape from a terrible world.
The video portrays a bleak dystopia where imprisoned workers with pale, bruised faces and eyes drained of life toil at mindless labor. The technology that suppresses and sustains them – retina scans and nutrient pills – suggests that all this occurs in the future, until it dawned on me that the world portrayed here does not lie in some far off time, but is a metaphor for our present.
The video seems to suggest that our society condemns millions to live as faceless corporate drones, under constant scrutiny, bound by unforgiving rules. It’s a world leached of color. By no accident do those soiled pale garments resemble straitjackets. (Kudos on the sly reference to “Cuckoo”!) Life, if you can call it that, is sustained by synthetic nutrients.
Against the pulverizing power of The System, Adam becomes the leader of resistance. He refuses to take his pill-food, crushing it and releasing a cobalt cloud, the first splash of bright color in this world. As workers repeatedly bow and scrub a cement floor, Adam rises, breaking the mindless rhythm and causing others to do the same. (Here we digress to note the inexplicable hotness of seeing Adam down on his hands and knees performing a domestic chore…).
After fleeing to the boundary fence and facing down the masked guards, whose white smoke guns prove powerless against the Occupy forces (couldn’t resist making that analogy), the newly liberated crowd is reborn in technicolor, fashion-forward outfits. Like the denizens in Footloose, they dance in joyous formation, an unstoppable guerilla army of freedom.
Yes, it’s just club music, but it’s so much more than that.