Adam Lambert, High Drama Review
by Rudy Palma
Adam Lambert is a GRAMMY-nominated pop vocalist releasing his anticipated album High Drama. The collection of eleven tunes presents new covers that strike a delicate balance between the familiar and adding a twist. Still, each song is held together by Lambert’s strong vocal skills and trademark flair. The American Idol alumnus also plays the role of executive producer, with the music being produced by Tommy English (Kacy Musgraves, Carly Rae Jepsen), Andrew Wells (Halsey, OneRepublic), George Moore, and Mark Crew. High Drama is a journey through classics like Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand The Rain” and Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero” to more recent hits like Billie Eilish’s “Getting Older” – here in a glam-inspired version – and a rock interpretation of Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast.” Other songs are a dancefloor version of “Sex On Fire” and an intimate playing of P! nk’s “My Attic.”
“Holding Out for a Hero” has swirling synths and a thumping synth bass line. Lambert’s vocal style is expressive and rich in tone and growl. His range is impressive as he climbs up the melodies intervals. Lambert also adds a lot of personality with glissandos and excellent control of vibrato. The melody is doubled in unison and, at times, with harmony. The bridge really shows off his range and added tasty guitar parts. The vocal counterpoint after the breakdown is spectacular; this is what pop vocalists should strive for. The guitar part is also outstanding, just like an 80s influence should be.
P!nk’s “My Attic” is a gentler moment that puts Lambert’s vocal timbre front and center. Again, notice the use of vibrato, which is different in each selection to give character and shape to each melody. The vocal harmonies and doublings are tasteful. The production includes all the breaths and nuances of Lambert’s singing style, but the mix keeps them from being distracting. The end result is an intimate experience of feeling like Lambert is in your space singing to you directly. How cool is that?
High Drama is a whirlwind of styles, sounds, genres, eras, and singing techniques. However, Lambert’s vocal timbre, control, and delivery always elevate the arrangement, and though some of the styles and sounds may not speak to you, Lambert’s vocal ability is undeniable.