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Adam Lambert – The Original High album review

The singer refocuses on his solo career with a new album.

Adam Lambert
Credit: Warner Bros Records

Three years have passed since Adam Lambert released his last album. 2012’s Trespassing debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 but fell short of the sales of his 2009 debut album For Your Entertainment. In the years since that album Lambert has collaborated with Queen for a world tour, tried his hand at acting in Glee, and scored himself a new label deal with Warner Bros. Now he’s ready to refocus on his solo career with the release of his eagerly awaited third album The Original High.

For the album Lambert has teamed up with Max Martin and Shellback and explored some news sounds. Lead single Ghost Town has been well received by fans and critics with its mix of hypnotic beats and restrained vocal from the vocally gifted singer. The track signalled an artist that’s come into his own and created a lot of buzz for The Original High prior to its release.

One of the things you notice instantly is that The Original High is Lambert’s most cohesive album to date. By working with Max Martin and Shellback, he’s crafted a collection of songs most of which he’s credited as co-writer on. For the most part The Original High mixes up dance rhythms harking back to the 90s and moving Lambert away from the glam-rock/pop sound he sported on his first two records. It’s a sound that works for him and the title track is one of the most euphoric and catchy moments on the record as Lambert employs his falsetto to drive you to the chorus beats.

The Original High isn’t restricted purely to dance pop though. Underground hints at a darker R&B sound – something we hope he continues to explore as he sounds great on the track – and There I Said It is a heartfelt ballad that really showcases Lambert’s ability as a vocalist. Album standout Rumors with Tove Lo merges electro-pop with sensual R&B once again showcasing a new sound for the singer.

Elsewhere on the record Lambert embraces his rock roots on the storming Lucy featuring Brian May, gives more than a passing nod to the 80s on Another Lonely Night, and offers up a late-night club jam on The Light. The album comes to a close with the beat-driven Heavy Fire bringing things to a satisfactory end.

There’s no doubt that The Original High is the strongest record that Lambert has released to date. It’s not schizophrenic in styles like his previous efforts and it feels more like a concept album than anything he’s done before. The dance rhythms work well for him and the forays into R&B promise a direction he could follow in the future. The Original High has been worth the wait but we hope it’s not another three years until the next record arrives!

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