Friday, May 11, 2012

Adam Lambert, Carrie, Veep, Follies

Adam's sophomore set is a summer-party soundtrack
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!


  1. thanks for the review of the Adam Lambert album, I have only listened to the online streaming, cant wait to get my hand on the full thing and really listen. I totally agree on the fun upbeat tracks tho as a fan I also love the ballads where his voice can reach deep down inside of you, I havent yet listened to Underneath without tearing up and bonus track Runnin is well I dunno just mind blowing in all good ways. All I can say is sometimes ADam is serious about fun, haha.

  2. Rather disappointed you have practically written off the second half and as much as I loved and danced to the first half of the album....the second half touched my very soul and is my favorite to listen to. From Broken English which is just beautiful and that bridge wow, Underneath is about Adam's struggle and that line "every one wants to talk about a freak/ no one wants to dig that deep/ let me take you underneath" just haunting, Nirvana is so ethereal and outer wordly and his vocals are impeccable...that song takes me places. Outlaws of love that deals with forbidden love in the LGBT community is gorgeous and his subtle tender voice tells of the hurt at being an outcast because of who he loves. Then the song of the album for me Runnin...his vocal range is INSANE...he goes so low then hits all the high notes. Its been a favorite for a lot who have heard the album.

    While I understand everyone has different tastes, I think its rather unfair to discredit the second half of the album when it was the most personal to Adam and he said he literally gave it his whole vocally. I hope those that purchase the album really listen to the lyrics in the ballads and appreciates the perfection of Adam's vocals in the second half of that album. He wrote 12/15 of the songs in the album and executive produced him and he should be darn proud of it as its BRILLIANT.

    Thanks for the review!!!!

    1. I always say to judge an album (or songs)negatively so early can be a huge mistake.
      Feeling about it and not being crazy about it is one thing, but to actually write a review like that can be so damaging and misleading.

      When U2's ACHTUNG BABY came out in November of 1992, I couldn't stand the album. I was hoping for something similar to JOSHUA TREE.

      After a number of listens, I put the CD back on the shelf.
      Two weeks later I decided to listen to it again. This time it really clicked for me.
      ACHTUNG BABY became one of my favorite albums.
      I went to see U2 8 times the spring and summer of 93 on their ZOO STATION TOUR.

      All I can say is, don't be too quick to judge an album.

      A major magazine said of the Beatle's "Abbey Road" Not their best effort. They can do better.

      Well, ABBEY ROAD became a classic as we all know.

  3. yea dude, you get it !! :)) great point of view !!

  4. Carrie does it again. Can't wait for the show. I love "Do You Think About Me".....