In a time when people across the world are being told to stay home indefinitely in order to keep themselves and others safe, things can become tediously unstimulating after a while. Luckily for his fans and music lovers in general, Adam Lambert has woven together a sassy collection of songs that is bound to have us dancing on our couches with a hairbrush for a mic. For youngsters, it’s a tasteful, groovy line-up, while older, more experienced listeners will rediscover a familiar thrill with this pre-90s funk rock assortment, reminding them of the greats including Queen and Prince. Lambert’s fourth studio album is aptly titled “Velvet”. The pricy fabric symbolizes wealth and power and is unapologetic in its fierce, brilliant expression of bright tones. These qualities are strung to life track after track through Adam Lambert’s smooth, brazen vocals, bannered by an even bolder album cover.
The American Idol alumnus has steadily made a name for himself since his runner-up finish on the show back in 2009. His debut album, “For Your Entertainment”, released that year was certified Gold and the single “Whataya Want From Me” earned him a Grammy nomination. With an evolving sound, Lambert continues to satisfy and surprise his audience with untamed musical fusion and experimentation. “Velvet” succeeds in capturing the growth of Adam Lambert over what has been a decade of confident expression and helps him carve a fresh new path for steps yet to be taken on his musical journey.
Though much of the album doesn’t come as a surprise with ten of its 13 tracks being previously released, there is still much to be enjoyed from the compilation. The title track takes listeners back to the comfort of beautiful memories and missed feelings with a retro vibe to start the album off with you dancing. While on your toes you’ll discover the sheer “Superpower” in being free and unapologetically you with this guitar-heavy rock number. Lambert gets down, dirty and funky with raw, raspy vocals in “Loverboy” where he essentially demands to mean more not just to his love interest, but seemingly to his audience too. This, perhaps, to define his identity outside of the influence of the artists who inspired his music such as Queen, Prince, and a host of others.
The singles “Closer To You” and “Overglow” have a pop rhythm that adds to the diversity of fusion experienced throughout the album. The sweet desperation belted out in the former track beckons for a broom to support one’s hairbrush in a heartfelt lip sync session while the latter calls for bouncing shoulders and slick, poised strides across an open living room. For those who would prefer sensuality over a good romp, “On The Moon” takes you there and further with a suave, jazzy undertone.
Lambert continues his pursuit of liberty in “Ready To Run” and discovers a new perspective in the similar rock sounding “New Eyes”. The paced tracks in the middle would leave you to think that the album will end on the high vibe, smooth groove that it started off with but instead it comes to an anticlimactic close with “Feel Something”. A soft, sincere track, it could have easily slotted itself earlier in the line-up. Still, perhaps this was Lambert’s deliberate way of leaving a sense of authentic vulnerability with his audience hoping that he can experience something real, not just a pulse pumping jive, as we all do.
“Velvet” is definitely a record Lambert can be proud of. It leaves no set of feelings unexplored with a multiplicity of sounds and vibes sewn together with bright, expressive vocal artistry. So, if you’re looking for something to spice up your quarantine experience or to add hue to a gloomy playlist, you can rummage through “Velvet” where almost everyone is sure to find something to their taste.
Written by Jae B.
Jae is a travel enthusiast and avid volunteer. She enjoys nature, museums, live music, and the chemistry of cooking. Though she was born on the lush island that brought the world Bob Marley and plenty of other reggae stars, her taste in music is exceptionally eclectic. Jae’s ultimate playlist features Aerosmith, Frank Sinatra, Sevana, Lisa Ono, Donnie McClurkin, Etta James, and Louis Armstrong.
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