For global pop sensation Adam Lambert, American Idol has truly become a thing of his past. Since becoming a finalist on the show in 2009 he’s come so far. His debut album For Your Entertainment has sold in excess of two million copies and spawned the global smash hit Whataya Want From Me; his sophomore effort Trespassing became the first number one debut on the Billboard 200 Album chart by an openly gay artist and he recently fronted rock super group Queen on a massive world tour. He has also been nominated and won countless awards and recently appeared on five episodes of Glee’s 2014 season. Now is the best time for Lambert to release is third studio album The Original High. After all, he’s had a decent break from recording music and he now teams up with producers Max Martin and Shellback.
Lead single Ghost Town begins with a 4 Non Blondes What’s Up vibe with the acoustic guitars, right before the dance beat kicks in and lifts the song to a new height. It’s not his strongest lead single but we get a decent idea of what’s to come. Title track The Original High is a reminiscent and upbeat pop number, a typical sound of Lambert’s standards, whereas Another Lonely Night begins like it could be a low key ballad but the beat kicks in and drives it. Underground explores an RnB sound that brings the album to a needed edge. There I Said It is the pop ballad we were hoping for earlier; Swedish pop sensation Tove Lo joins forces with Lambert on the airy and catchy pop track Rumors, proving to be a great collaboration.
Another track that begins downscale before launching, Evil In The Night sounds like one of those tracks released by a producer featuring a pop artist. The rock star in Adam Lambert emerges with the edgy number Lucy, with its electrifying vocal and captivating guitar part we can hear (not that we ever haven’t) exactly why he was selected to front Queen on tour. Things I Didn’t Say didn’t leave as much as a mark as a handful of the previous tracks: its sound doesn’t grip you from beginning to end. The Light has a good and consistent beat but it’s not so much a fresh sound to come from the album. Heavy Fire gives out a breathy verse and a decent chorus, something a little more edgy to shake the album up a bit. The deluxe edition features After Hours, Shame and These Boys which provide some more RnB, pop and soul vibes to complete the album’s sound.
Adam Lambert’s presence in pop music remains significant. The Original High sees him return with a sometimes new and sometimes old sound. The album began strong to give a good impression, and though it did get lost somewhere in the middle, it was soon found towards the end and the tracks featured in the deluxe edition reinstate its introductory glory. There is definitely some room for some more lyrical creativity though: the record wasn’t as adventurous in that sense. There’s a decent mix of pop and RnB, with a tad of rock thrown in there and sometimes a bit of soul; we are all too familiar with Adam Lambert’s versatility when it comes to writing and performing. The Original High is a decent return for Lambert, it’s not his strongest release, but there isn’t a doubt that his fans will love and enjoy it.