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Review: Adam Lambert “Ghost Town” lays ghosts to rest

April 21, 2015

imageAdam Lambert’s new single opens with a disarmingly spare, homespun melody strummed on an acoustic guitar, which accompanies Adam’s voice like a trusty mount bearing her master across an arid plain. Adam’s voice is as clean cut and lean as Gary Cooper’s profile, right down to the sheen of grit. Lyrics are sharp and stark as dried up bones. “Died last night in my dreams…” (Am I getting out of hand with my Old Western movie metaphors? )

The verse comes to a halt, and then switches up with “Now I know my heart is a Ghost Town” and segues into a thumping EDM chorus propelled by funky beats underlying that ear wormy whistled melody and finger snapping. This has summer hit stamped all over it. It’s impossible not to dance to it. The very bleakness of the words challenges you to abandon everyday caution and dance.

But what I love best about “Ghost Town” is Adam’s singing. No one could accuse him of over singing here. By holding back on the power, he allows the gorgeous timbre and elegant articulation to cradle your heart.

The eclecticism of this track feels authentic to Adam. You can hear echoes of past songs, covers and vocal flourishes in here. The song’s roots burrow deeply into musical styles that Adam has loved but it doesn’t feel recycled or derivative. His genius as a performing artist has been his uncanny ability to take a classic song, fully inhabit it and make it his own. With “Ghost Town” he shows that he has learned how to apply the same kind of genius to songwriting.

(Sorry for the awkwardness of this review, but I am without my computer and was forced to peck this out on my iPhone.)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. rosemary permalink
    April 24, 2015 10:55 pm

    I LOVE Ghost Town and I’m not even a pop music fan, though this song is layered and interesting unlike most pop. I also respect Adam and Max Martin for releasing a first single that was a bit of a risk- a little unusual. How heartening, especially in the commercial music scene. I agree with Juneau that even though there are lots of interesting eclectic styles in the music, it is Adam’s voice that captivates most of all. It is absolutely delicious, authentic, modest and heartbreakingly beautiful. And the slight rasp- ah sexual heaven.

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