Adam Lambert reaches his full potential on fourth album Velvet
Former American Idol runner-up, parttime Queen frontman and solo pop star Adam Lambert changed things up for his fourth LP Velvet, follow up to 2015’s The Original High. He left his label, decided to release independently and discovered his very own sound without chasing any trends. He already started the era back at the start of 2019 when the song ‘Feel Something’ came out. He dropped numerous singles and already released the EP Velvet: Side A with songs from the record. By the time the full thing finally came out we already heard about 80 percent of the songs, but playing Velvet as a full LP is quite the experience!
Lambert’s previous records were more than serviceable, but always left me with the feeling that he could do even better and get even closer to who he really is as an artist. On Velvet, for the first time it feels like he is making exactly the music he wants to make and it fits him like a glove. The record is cohesive from start to finish, but leaves room for him to experiment with different genres and soundscapes.
He takes on a full-fledged disco sound on the Nile Rodgers assisted ‘Roses’, one of the latest singles and clear highlights on the album. His delivery is smooth and sultry and the bass line is as infectious as the soaring melodies. The loud and proud anthem ‘Superpower’ has a filthy bass line, accompanied by rocking guitars. Here Lambert sticks up for discriminated minorities and claims back his ‘superpower’, more outspoken and confident than ever before. He continues with a similar message on the outstanding pop tune ‘Stranger You Are’, about not being afraid to stand out or be considered strange. He delivers some of he best vocals of his career here and the track takes it to the next level with some irresistible trumpet action.
On the filler free record, we see Lambert flirt with eighties synth pop on the excellent ‘Overlgow’, get down with sultry glam pop on ‘New Eyes’ and add some funk to the glam on ‘Comin In Hot’, all with the same passion and conviction.
Although the album is mostly fast paced and upbeat, Lambert does slow down the tempo a couple of times for different reasons. ‘On The Moon’ is a seductive and sexy bedroom anthem about being high on someone’s love. The vocal delivery on this one is new ground for him, but he does intensely sensual impressively. With ‘Closer To You’ he delivers one of the best ballads of his career. He begs and pleads for another chance as he lists all the things he would do to save a relationship after not being there often enough for his partner due to his busy schedule. He sounds equally vulnerable on ‘Feel Something’, about a period where he felt disappointed and disconnected, which eventually inspired him to make this record.
Lambert had to go through a rough period to figure out what he really wanted in music, but he can be so proud of this flawless record that deserves the replay button treatment over and over.