|Adam's sophomore set is a summer-party soundtrack|
Friday, May 11, 2012
Adam Lambert, Carrie, Veep, Follies
REVIEW: Adam Lambert/Trespassing - There's no denying Lambert's amazing vocal chops. And combined with his showmanship, he's proven himself one stellar entertainer. I think of him as someone who could be a male Gaga - a Princess to take over for Queen Elton and the late Freddie Mercury. Yes, he's that good. And when you're that good, it's all more difficult to find the genius material to match the outstanding vocals and envelop-pushing performances. His debut "For Your Entertainment," did just that. While there was only one slam-dunk charted smash ("What Do You Want"), I felt there were 5 others that should have popped from that collection. With "Trespassing," AL stays in the same rocking-dancefloor vein, (perhaps pushing the edginess a bit too much for my liking on the ballad cuts.) But with the album's title track kicking it off, songs 1-7 are custom-made for clubs and pool parties alike. These cuts are what I hope to be hearing all summer as opposed to Madonna's "MDNA." Highlights are "Trespassing," an infectious, no-brainer that does cheerleading pop much better than "Give Me All Your Lovin'" by Maddy, funky-silly "Cuckoo," current single "Never Close Your Eyes," and the Prince-like "Shady." And while the goofy lyrics of "Naked Love" and "Pop That Lock" don't match the banal, nursery rhyme words Maddy tries to sell us, AL's tunes are simply better crafted pop-dance ditty's. I feel as if Adam's in on the joke of having some mindless fun in his lyrics, where Madonna tries to pass it off as artistry. So now my concern: the label released an OK pop-rocker, "Better Than I Know Myself" about 3 months ago. It tanked. While they may have thought it was a dupe of his "What Do You Want" hit (which it is), with the pop landscape of dance music overwhelming popular on mainstream radio (David Guetta, Rihanna, Usher) and pop-rockers (Daughtry, David Cook) finding no radio-love, you'd then think the label would capitalize on this and push the clubbier tracks - all of which are worthy. My suggestion to RCA/19: embrace the dance and release the title track. My suggestion to you readers: skip the emo-rocking ballads and download tracks 1-8. My dream and suggestion for his management: a tour with Maroon 5. I mean, picture AL taking on Xtina's part on "Moves Like Jagger." Right? Album grade: A-
OTHER MUSIC: A solid "A Grade" for Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away." While I prefer the poppier Celine'esque power ballads like previous efforts ("I Know You Won't," "Can't Live A Lie"), her up-tempos are undeniably fun and vocals are unmatched. My faves: the driving title track, great storytelling tune 2 Black Cadillacs, power pop-rocker See You Again, the inspiring One Way Ticket and pure country Cupid's Got A Shotgun. SINGLES I'M DIGGIN': Karmin/Brokenhearted; Maroon 5/Payphone; Jennifer Lopez/Dance Again; Selena Gomez/Hit the Lights; and fun./Some Nights. Songs I never want to hear again: Gotye "Used To Know" and fun's "We Are Young." So overplayed!
TV WATCH: HBO's "Girls" is catching on. Uncomfortable, raw, painfully and hysterically real, you almost want to root for them... almost. It's that "almost" part that makes the show all more intriguing.... Paired with "Girls" on Sunday, "Veep," has such a strong cast, but seems to coming off a little too sit-commy for HBO so far. I'll stay with it, but for an HBO series, I'm hoping for more edge, less hokey.... Am I giving up on "The Killing" (AMC)? Not yet, but there are 3 stacked up on my DVR which doesn't bode well.... What's better than "Mad Men?" Not much.... Yes, I stuck with "Desperate Housewives" for all 8 seasons and will be sad to see it go. It was a great soap - never meant to be Pulitzer Prize-winning TV, but more so a newer take on "Knots Landing," and I think it did that just fine. Goodbye Wisteria Lane ladies!... Season finales are approaching which means summer programming and the return of "Big Brother." Hope it's good!
THEATRE PEOPLE: Hey LA! Get your butt downtown and see the amazing production of "Follies." A brilliant, under rated and rarely seen Sondheim musical, this stellar, hard-working cast will make you glad you hit up the Ahmanson for a wonderful evening of pure genius. Yes, I liked it. It's currently up for 8 Tony noms and with tunes like Broadway Baby, Losing My Mind, I'm Still Here and How Could I Leave You, I guarantee it's worth it.
SKIN SAVER: My dermo told me to use CeraVe PM lotion. I now do and WOW! See, as we age (though I'm certainly not), we lose moisture and need a good nighttime cream to do its work and repair while we rest. So, moisture-up and be Just Like Jerry!