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Adam Lambert: For Your Entertainment

B

Adam Lambert

Album: For Your Entertainment
Label: RCA/19

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Before Adam Lambert came along, “edgy” on American Idol meant having Chris Daughtry trot out his herniated Nickelback impression. If the show’s cat-lady constituency had issues with that guy, what did they make of Lambert, who fearlessly strutted his unapologetically flamboyant and mascara-streaked stuff in the middle of their living rooms every week? Lambert lost the Idol title to the forgettable Kris Allen, but with his debut album, For Your Entertainment, he reaffirms that he's one of the few genuine, possibly lasting talents the show has produced. While he leans on the usual pop-star enablers (including Max Martin, Linda Perry, and AI judge Kara DioGuardi, who contributes the decent dance-pop trifle “Strut”), Lambert is most vibrant when he works with collaborators that share his knowingly over-the-top aesthetic. The winking camp of Justin Hawkins’ excellent (and very Darkness-like) “Music Again” fits Lambert like a hot-pink sequined glove, as does the operatic balladry of “Soaked” (courtesy of Muse’s Matthew Bellamy) and Lady Gaga’s ode to wanton debauchery, “Fever.” With influences ranging from ’70s pomp-rock to ’80s synth-sleaze to the latest pop trends, For Your Entertainment is perhaps a little scattered. But Lambert’s ambition and undeniable vocal chops make it easy to forgive an occasionally over-reaching record that ultimately feels like a rough draft for an interesting career.