Of Note: ‘Ghost Town’ (Tritonal Remix) by Adam Lambert
Of Note: ‘Ghost Town’ (Tritonal Remix)
by Adam Lambert
His talent is undeniable; the range, the tone. Yes, this man can sing the phone book. Unfortunately, for Mr. Lambert, in light of his scattershot approach to music, I would have to say that is exactly what he seems intent on doing (isn’t that exactly what they said about Babs back in the day?).
While it is applause-worthy and awe-inspiring that his very brief career span includes a stint on ‘Glee’ and fronting the legend that is the band Queen, the two disparate venues would seem to illustrate what’s at the crux of Adam Lambert’s on-going career stagnant stasis. He’s theatrical. So those two choices make absolute sense, and while he is capable of pulling them both off, they also help shed light on what’s keeping Adam from being fully embraced.
It’s the distance between the audience and the footlights – he has yet to bridge it. He has yet to appear human – relatable. For the public, he is all eyeliner, geometric haircuts and sequins. I would argue that it is that theatrical bent and the distance it creates that prevents Adam from becoming a more substantial artist.
At this point, many years from his original launch into the consciousness of entertainment industry, he remains a talent show wunderkind aiming for the big time.
Sure, he’s had a top-ten hit, and successful albums (including a #1). But he’s not growing as an artist.
I would argue that in order to fulfill his promise and be true to his incredible talent – the depths of which, I feel, we still have not been given a clue - that yes, he certainly needs to.
I like Adam.
I’ve been rooting for him to succeed from day one on AmIdol. His remains the only season I seriously watched that horror show and he was the only reason I watched. The man was well-trained. Every time he stepped on stage, I found myself holding my breath. Adam took command of the stage from day one, although his musical tastes would occasionally overshadow his performance. It was his Disneyesque-sense of presentational musical style that seemed to be keeping in him check. It was all surface. There was no true depth.
His debut album was exactly everything I would have expected from him – it was safe, current, frequently fun, and frequently catchy. He’d been ‘handled’ well – current producers, current writers, current sounds. I listened to it quite a bit, but it struck me as more than a tad shallow.
You see, when big emotions are put on display constantly – when that is all you gun for? Well, you end up rendering them meaningless and they come off rather canned and feigned. In other words – simulated and manufactured instead of genuine. In still other words? Mr. Lambert in a nutshell.
His second album? I don’t remember it. . Neither does most of his potential audience. It felt like he was treading the same waters.
Commercially and artistically, his third album seems to be suffering the same fate as the second. Whether that remains true depends on how clever his remixes turn out to be.
In its original version, ‘Ghost Town’ struck me as rather rote. It had elements that worked well, but it felt flat – an odd assessment considering that Adam’s vocals are first rate, as they always are. It may be that very vocal consistency that causes me and some of his audience to take his work for granted.
However, the Tritonal Remix of ‘Ghost Town’ turns up the dramatic heat quite a bit, elevating it above the original version. Given that, I can’t wait to hear what’s next, as in, what songs from the album will be remixed and released next.
In the meantime, I remain flummoxed in regards to Mr. Lambert. Never has there been so much promise.
I am not without hope.
But, sadly, I’m not holding my breath any more.