I like Adam Lambert as a person and think he’s very talented, but the style of music he sang on American Idol wasn’t really to my taste. Therefore, I was excited to hear he had ditched the rock star ambitions to work with such greats as Dr Luke, Max Martin and RedOne on his debut album. The first single, For Your Entertainment, had its radio premiere today, and I’ve listened to it several times now.
My first impression was that, despite an extremely catchy chorus, it sounded a bit cheap, and not half as fresh and exciting as a Dr Luke song should be. It actually sounds quite 2003 – it could easily have been a Phixx single or a track from Adam Bell’s solo album. Rachel Stevens could have sung it, or it could have been a Darren Hayes song. Fans of Pop!ular will certainly like For Your Entertainment.
Adam does sound like Darren at times on this song, as well as JC Chasez, but I don’t get the feeling he has the songwriting talent or the distinct pop ideology that those two have, which made Spin, The Tension and the Spark, and Schizophrenic so special. From a personal perspective, I love the early ’00s electro-cheese sound and am happy to hear it getting a revival. However, it shows a lot about the difference between the British and American music scenes that to the average American this is likely to seem quite new and different, while for us it’s a reminder of music that wasn’t even cool at the time, let alone now.
On the other hand, I’d like to take it as a sign that they’re starting to catch up, not just with pop music but with its biggest adult fanbase, the gay community, as well. US radio stations are letting their guard down and letting go of the notion that what they call dance music (anything danceable, it seems – so that’s Rihanna as much as Cascada) goes hand in hand with ‘sexual deviance’ and drug usage. Rock music and now R&B music have gradually let in influences from ‘dance music’, with the latter even calling upon what I call dance music, making David Guetta as influential in America as he is in Europe!
With Adam’s ascent to superstardom, the changes in American music are brought together with the political changes the country is undergoing, and his popularity is hugely important regardless of how outdated the single may sound to me. I hope he becomes every bit as famous as his fans want him to be, and that every homophobe finds For Your Entertainment stuck in their head all day long for the rest of the year!