Adam Lambert’s Trespassing is solid, BUT….

Adam Lambert - Trespassing - album review

Adam Lambert is arguably one of the best artists to come out of American Idol. The flamboyant pop star has a commanding stage presence, a great personality, and solid vocals to back everything up.

It’s no wonder that he has attracted a solid lineup of collaborators for his new album Trespassing — from Pharell, to Dr. Luke to Bruno Mars, the album’s liner notes reads like the who’s who of the pop music industry.

Trespassing is an enjoyable album opened by uptempos. The first seven songs effortlessly mix pop, rock, and dance. Lambert shows his softer side in the second half.

Stand out tracks: The title track is a pop-rock anthem boasting confident vocals and loud guitars. The 80s-tinged track celebrates rebellion, a common theme of the album.”No Trespassing? Yeah, my ass! Wait till ya get a load of me,” Lambert challenges his listeners. It’s a solid track that sets the right tone for the album.

Co-written by Bonnie McKee (“Teenage Dream”), “Cuckoo” is easily the catchiest song of the album.

Skip these tracks: Honestly, every song in this album is worth a listen. “Broken English” is probably the weakest track, but that’s  because of the placement. The relatively quiet track follows the magnificent “Better Than I Know Myself”.

Final thoughts: Individually, songs from Trespassing are all great. And with all songs having some sort of 80s influence, there’s also a somewhat cohesive sound here.

But it must be pointed out that many of the songs in Trespassing are carbon copies of popular tracks that already litter radio. The first single could easily have been sung by Pink. Many dance-pop artists would have done “Never Close Our Eyes” some justice. And with minor tweaks, “Kickin’ it” could have been a killer Britney Spears track. The list goes on and on.

Despite the heavy-handed production from some of pop radio’s heavy hitters, Lambert’s vocals tend to elevate the tracks though. Overall, Trespassing is a great sophomore effort — I just wish this great vocalist would walk the walk next time, be truly rebellious, and take some risks.

  • Trisha26

    The reviewer is entitled to his opinion and critique, as are we all. I happen to love Broken English and would assign “weakest track” to Kickin’ In. I do take exception to the idea that “…the songs are carbon copies of popular dance tracks on radio” – there’s only one that fits that description – Naked Love – and Adam takes that into another plane with his magnificent vocals on the chorus. As for other artists doing these songs – that may be – but Adam did them as only he can. Combining dub step, electronica, pop rock, disco, and funk, I’m not sure what else he could have added to be “truly rebellious.” And I’m not sure it would have been a good idea to “take risks” with a sophomore album – that seems the time to cement your identity in the music world – with industry & listeners alike – then and only then can you take risks.

    • http://twitter.com/Nannygoat5 Nancy L.

       Was going to reply until I read your comment. Spot on! Couldn’t agree more. Love Adam Lambert’s Trespassing!

  • Gemma1986

    Take some risks?  Such as what exactly?  Us the F word in between every other word instead of in just one song?  Use the C or even N word?  Maybe have a picture of his genitals as part of the artwork? The fact of the matter is that there is no other album out there that sounds like this one.  As someone who was extremely disappointed by the rushed job of his first album and the unnecessarily provocative and divisive artwork, and who is rarely inspired these days to buy an entire album by any artist, this album is a Godsend.

  • http://twitter.com/teralex42 Terry

    Risks?  That is exactly what he did with his first album, very flamboyant, quirky, off the wall. His fans loved it and it did well internationally but Americans just didn’t take to it enough to  get to platinum status. So this time round he did what is popular now and also what HE likes.  Whataya want from him?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Walker/100003588396061 Lisa Walker

    Great review, I would agree with most of what you have said on the songs.  Although Shady is my favorite and the three bonus tracks on the deluxe are amazing too.  

    I find your comment on originality interesting and I kind of agree and yet disagree.  I dont think there is anything out there like Shady or Chokehold, I think Trespassing IS a bold song even if Pink could have done it.  

    You have done your job well as a music reviewer and reviewed just the music but for Adam its never that simple.  Sadly, in the US Adam just existing in the pop world today IS unique and he has a lot of limitations in the US radio market that he has to navigate.  Two of my least favorite tracks are Never Close Our Eyes and Naked Love because they do indeed sound like so much else on the radio.  And yet there are already comments on conservative blogs on the *gasp* outrage of a gay man singing about Naked Love so is this pure standard top40 stuff that may never get radio play just because he is gay.

    Entertainlment Weekly started off their review by saying Adam finally stopped flirting with straight folk and finally made his “BIg Gay Album” and painted the entire album as gay themed songs.  So its funny or actually sad, that to you, they are standard fare and to homophobic bigots in the US they are something entirely different.

    He’s got the vocal ability to sing anything he wants and is sadly very limited by the realities of the music industtry, the US radio market and the world in general.  In this context I think he did a great job threading the needle. 

    With each success he breaks down another barrier and can hopefully expand the space he can work withing and make more, and yes, more bold, music going foward.

  • http://twitter.com/chiribaby Chiri Cheruiyot

    Its unfortunate that most people have deemed Adam best suited for a particular genre (read classic rock) so when he ventures to do a brilliant pop album, its always…yeah he is great, the songs are great but he should sing smth else.

    Adam has done MANY interviews about this album and said he made an album of songs HE wanted to sing and loved listening to growing up. He did what other mediocre artists are doing and passing off as pop but he did it at the highest level possible. He wrote 12/15 of the songs and executive produced it and I think he did really well and produced a very cohesive album with no bad song or fillers.

    I love Broken English because it is so unique and there is nothing like it out there right now….added to the fact that it may be about his Finnish boyfriend and I go crazy for it :). Thanks for the review…my personal favs are Runnin, Shady, Nirvana (crazy for this song), Kickin In, Underneath and Cuckoo!!

  • lovetheusa1776

    Not sure what “taking risks” means.  Lambert’s trying to trespass into a female-dominated genre – pop.  That’s definitely courageous.  Also, he loves pop – has stated so in multiple interviews.  And like any musical genre, there’s good music and not-so-good music – same as rock.   Rock fans, alt fans tend to be so snobbish about their music and look down on pop as something lesser.  I say BS – there’s wonderful music in pop, and Lambert has made it in this album.   Certainly would rather listen to this than the pale tepid offerings from today’s rock world.

  • Rhett

    A fair and reasonable interview, taking into account that all opinions are subjective in that specific tastes are almost as varied as snowflakes. However, I do take exception to the statement that many of the Trespassing tracks are carbon copies of tracks already on the radio. Really?!!? Really?!!? That’s an odd statement to me because, when I first heard the Trespassing tracks, I literally shouted, “THAT’S what I’ve been waiting to hear!” I had been so very, very bored – and annoyed – with the inane, juvenile drivel I hear on the radio day in and day out. I mean, if current radio tunes aren’t making me leap to the dial to immediately shut them off, then they’re putting me to sleep… yawn

    But Trespassing is a game changer. For me, hearing these songs elevated the popular music listening experience far above and beyond other current radio sounds. Carbon copies? I think not!

  • http://twitter.com/lolpsychic Lauriellen

    I agree almost 100% with your review and have said many of the same things weeks ago. Read about it here: http://lol-psychic.com/

    I am an OBSESSED Adam Lambert fan and want him to be successful but I feel like many in the industry are steering him in the wrong direction and even lying to him.  This is a man who can sing and entertain like nobody else and think many are trying to repackage him and make him fit into some kind of mold.

    I don’t want him to sound like anyone else on the radio.  If I want to hear Bruno Mars and Britny Spears, I’ll listen to their music.  I want to hear every inch of Adam Lambert.

    In my last blog I begged him to do what his lyrics say.

  • kitty

    Good review, but like others here, I’m puzzled by your final comments about some of his new songs sounding like other pop singers’ songs.  Odd, because all I thought about when I heard the album was, IT”S DIFFERENT!  It doesn’t sound like anyone else!  I think Adam nailed it when it comes to originality and out of the box arrangements and lyrics.  His vocal ability is a given.  I think he has hit a home run with this one.  He’s unique in all the best ways.

  • Allytay1112

    so adam’s album about to chart as #1 on billboard, but i’m still not hearing any of the songs on the radio,,,,,,,,why is that. if any of the above mentioned artists were singing the same song you’d be hearing it every 30 minutes, and adam sounds better than all of them