Attention Internet! Adam Lambert’s highly anticipated new album Trespassing has…shall we say “found its way” onto the interwebs and I may or may not have been listening to it all day (spoiler alert: I have been).
If you follow me on Twitter you know all too well how excited I’ve been for this album and to hear the tracks that weren’t finished. Well the day has finally come, so here are my thoughts of Trespassing in full. (Since I already wrote about Trespassing, Cuckoo, Shady, Broken English and Outlaws of Love in January, I won’t talk about them too much here)
Trespassing – The title track is one HELL of an opening track to one hell of an album. As I’ve said before, as a huge Queen fan, this track really hits home for me, as it sounds just like a Queen song jettisoned into 2012 (the bass line is especially reminiscent of Another One Bites the Dust). As Adam told us himself back in February, this track is a big exclamation of a “fuck you, I’m fierce!” mentality. It’s big, it’s in your face, it’s expressive and it’s anthemic. Perfect opening to this album.
Cuckoo – Alright. This song. I’ve been ranting and raving about this song since January and have been DYING to hear it again. It’s a massive dance song with a chorus that’s part pop, part 80s hair metal. If ever there was a song that perfectly showcases Adam’s vocals while still maintaining an insane pop energy, it’s this one. Song of 2012? I would say so.
Shady – This is another one of the tracks we heard back in January, and it’s as amazing as I remember. This one is a collaboration with Sam Sparro and Nile Rogers and you can hear their funk influence right out of the gate. The lyrics are delightfully suggestive and the bass line swells and grinds right along and leads into a stellar chorus. Total funk-meets-electro.
Never Close Our Eyes – Funny story about this track. Well…not really. Anyway, when we heard some tracks back in January, we heard this one but we weren’t allowed to talk about it because it wasn’t finished yet. I can’t express to you how difficult this was for me, as this is one of my favorite songs on the album. To me, this is a perfect dance pop song: it’s got great lyrics, great structure, an amazing chorus and Adam’s vocals really, really shine on it. There seems to be a theme of unapologetic love on this album, and it really continues with this track and it fits quite nicely.
Kickin’ In – Alright. This song is a bit different from the rest of the album, but it’s so much fun and has such a different structure and feel to it and I just love it. There isn’t really much to say about this track, it’s just total funky fun and the chorus just makes you wanna dance around. It’s a good thing.
Naked Love – I’m a little conflicted on this track. It isn’t really a matter of whether or not I think it’s good, because I think it’s great. I just can’t decide if I think it fits with the rest of the songs on the album or not. On the one hand, the lyrics and the theme of the song coincide with the theme of love, but it just feels like it would have been a better fit on For Your Entertainment. It has an entirely different sound than the first half and the second half of the album, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just…a thing. Well, whether or not it fits with the album, it’s still a great song plain and simple.
Pop That Lock – This is another interesting one. Almost as if it was written just to be a single. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind if this one was a single, because it’s a fantastic dance song and has “club banger” written ALL over it. The lyrics are simple and dance focused; this track has everything a good club banging track needs, not to mention an incredible electro breakdown that, quite honestly, reminds me of robots. I don’t know why, it just does.
Better Than I Know Myself – We’ve all heard this one, fell in love with it, and formed our opinions, so I’ll be brief. It’s a great mid-tempo power ballad that serves as a great transition from the light part of the album into the dark part. Not to mention it has a great music video.
Broken English – Another one of the tracks we’ve already talked about, so again, I’ll be brief. It’s a great mid-tempo song that chugs along and smacks you in the face with a big, dub-step influenced chorus and sprinkles in some major vocals from Adam. It’s a bit of a strange song, but most great things are out of the ordinary.
Underneath – I’m just gonna say it…this might be the best song on the album. I know, I know, it’s not a big dance pop song and it isn’t all up in your face, but this track has such raw power and emotion that is unmatched by any other song on the album. Underneath is so personal, strong and powerful, in both the lyrics and in Adam’s vocals. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it might be more emotional and touching than Outlaws of Love. Definitely my favorite song on the album (I’m sorry, Cuckoo, you’re still a close #2).
EQ interview with Adam Lambert where he talks all about "Trespassing".
Chokehold – This one is much faster paced than Underneath, but still has a darker feeling to it, like the other songs on this half of the album. What I really love about this song is that it sounds like an amalgamation of heavy metal and electronica. Chokehold is a great hard rocking dance song with an irresistible dark edge that I just can’t get enough of.
Outlaws of Love – We talked about this one a few months ago, too, and I’m sure you’ve all seen live performances of it by now. Put simply, this song is a heart-breaking ballad that really hits home for me, as it highlights the harsh reality that the world still isn’t accepting of love in all of it’s forms, especially in relation to the LGBT community.
Runnin’ (Bonus Track) – All three of the bonus tracks are fantastic, plain and simple. This one starts off going hard and churns along at a mid-tempo pace and leads up into a big, pounding chorus. It really fits perfectly with the second half of the album and is a great follow up to Outlaws of Love. Another one of my favorites, which I can’t wait to see live!
Take Back – Once again, this song is a fantastic follow up to the song that preceded it. Take Back is a pretty mid-tempo dance song with some dark flair and a big, driving chorus, which kind of reminds me of some early 2000s rock songs. Don’t ask me which ones though, just run with it. It’s a great song
Nirvana – This song is a perfect song to end this album: the album goes from the idea of trespassing and being an outsider to an ideal state of nirvana, a state with no suffering or desire. What’s great about this track is the entire feel of it, the instrumental and the vocals, feel so euphoric and ethereal, which really tie into the theme and add to the songs greatness. Perfect closing song for such an album.
I really can’t say enough good things about this album; it’s extremely strong, cohesive and deep, which you really don’t find in pop. I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m an extremely harsh critic of most mainstream pop music. I have very high standards when it comes to pop, because so many pop artists skate by with minimal talent and maximal production and vocal enhancements. What I love so much about Adam is that he’s an artist who is not only overflowing with talent and showmanship, but also has within himself the talent and creativity to create an original, unique and meaningful piece of work that shines brighter than all the rest.
Trespassing is undoubtedly the pop album of the year and has raised the standard for everybody else out there. It’s an amazing combination of pop, rock, dubstep, electro and dance, which comes together so organically to form an extremely strong, cohesive album that is enjoyable from start to finish. There isn’t a single uneventful moment on Trespassing; it’s full of energy the entire way through, and even the slower songs and ballads radiate a quiet intensity, making them impossible to ignore. Overall, this album is an incredible work, which may just prove to be the album of the year.