By Kaitlyn Riggio
BU News Service
Adam Lambert may be known mostly for his stint on season 8 of “American Idol” or his current collaboration with the remaining members of world-famous band “Queen,” but his recently-released fourth album “Velvet” reaffirms the fact that Lambert is more than capable of standing on his own.
“Velvet” showcases Lambert’s versatility as an artist. Those who have been following Lambert since the beginning of his career got a sneak peek of that during his time on “American Idol,” but now it’s on full view for everyone to see. Lambert is a well-rounded performer who is capable of growing and maturing, and “Velvet” screams that message loud and clear.
The album’s titular opening song introduces the sounds to come. “Velvet” has an electronic feel to it and features plenty of synthesized elements, which gives the song a similar vibe to many of the electronic-pop dance songs that are popular on the radio right now.
“Velvet” sounds older and more sophisticated when compared to Lambert’s earlier work. This is to be expected. Lambert was 27 years old when he competed on “American Idol” and when he released his debut album “For Your Entertainment.”
That album was energetic, powerful and had a bit of a punch to it. With “Velvet,” the listeners can hear that Lambert has matured as a person and an artist over the past decade. His work is still undeniably impressive, but it feels more chilled out, and the opening track sets this tone wonderfully.
On the cover art for “Velvet,” Lambert dons an elaborate purple and green outfit reminiscent of Prince. This proves to be fitting, as “Velvet” has some Prince-sounds influencing it. One song where this is prevalent is “Stranger You Are,” the album’s third track, with electronic elements and a vocal line reminiscent of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” or “I Would Die 4 U.”
Although most of the album feels electronic and synthesized, “Closer to You” is a break from this pattern. With an opening that features straight piano with no electronics or any fancy synthesized effects, it feels almost like a modern-day power ballad, worlds away from the rest of “Velvet.” The instrumentation, the backing vocals and even the lyrics make “Closer to You” sound like a parallel to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” with a 21st-century flair.
“Feel Something,” the album’s final track, is a concluding sentence. It wraps up “Velvet” and brings it to a fitting close, featuring elements that keep the listener engaged until the last second. The synthesized backing vocals create an ensemble feeling that would normally be found in musical theatre, which sets Lambert up as the main character singing one final song as a finale. It’s the perfect way to close out the album.
“Velvet” by Adam Lambert was released March 20.