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Adam Lambert’s “Velvet Side A” is a Goldmine

October 21, 2019

Adam Lambert’s new EP, “Velvet Side A”, coming four long years after “The Original High”, was well worth the wait. Not that he has been idle or absent during that time, having ventured forth on several, globe-circling tours as the frontman for Queen as well as a personal Odyssey of spiritual and artistic growth. Having navigated between the Scylla and Charybdis of self-doubt and emotional exhaustion, our Odysseus has emerged into the light, reborn as an artist ready to reclaim his true voice.

When he captured the world’s attention on American idol, Adam towered above every other contestant through his singular talent for inhabiting iconic songs and making them his own. His extraordinary voice and interpretive abilities drew out fresh energies and feelings from songs, animating them with new life. And yet in his first three albums, he charted a different course, determined to blaze a path as a mainstream pop singer-songwriter. While fans enjoyed his efforts, the material was never quite up to the standard he had set on Idol. But he refused to take the easy path of recording covers and parted ways with Sony.

With “Velvet Side A”, Adam has accomplished a remarkable feat of alchemy, creating original songs that draw unapologetically on his musical idols like Prince, Michael Jackson, George Michael, and even the Beatles, and through peerless vocal artistry spins what could have been derivative brass into pure gold. It’s as though he unearthed a cache of unknown eighties-vintage songs and covered them.

The standouts for this listener are the first four tracks. I defy you to not spontaneously bust some dance moves to “Superpower,” “Stranger You Are,” and “Overglow.” Buoyant and sexy, they fit Adam as snugly as a tailored green satin suit. And then there is “Closer to You,” a beautifully crafted ballad that explores the darker shores of lost love, from tender heartbreak to gut-wrenching angst. His live rendition captured in black-and-white video is one of the best things we’ve seen him do. Even his hair is perfect—tousled just so in gorgeous abandon.

It’s as though Adam has stopped caring about anything but the music. He has cast off the chains that had shackled him and come full circle to what made him so luminous in the first place, but now on a higher plane.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynelle Paulick permalink
    October 21, 2019 9:05 pm

    Verrrry very nice, ladies!! I love this quote in particular (among the many): “Having navigated between the Scylla and Charybdis of self-doubt and emotional exhaustion, our Odysseus has emerged into the light, reborn as an artist ready to reclaim his true voice.” Yesssss. Thank you SO much for continuing this journey that reflects, with loving literary and photographic genius of your own, Adam’s personal pilgrimage. I’m pretty stunned by Velvet side a. So proud for him, and sooo getting up to dance every time I hear any one cut, no doubt!

    xoxoxo
    lynelle

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