Unfocused but brilliant debut

Sunny Tse
Sunny Tse |

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By Sunny Tse

The debut album from American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert certainly lives up to its name. For Your Entertainment is full of theatrical glam-rock, electro-dance vibes and contagious pop, and is likely the most impressive, memorable first album from any AI finalist.

The singer worked with A-list artists, co-writing four of the 14 tracks. There isn't a dull moment: each song is distinct and hit-worthy, and Lambert's versatile vocals are always effective.

But the album lacks focus; and despite his individuality, Lambert is often outshone by the genius of his collaborators.

Opener Music Again, written by The Darkness' Justin Hawkins, is dynamic, fist-stomping fun. With a looser guitar riff and softer beat, it would be a Mika song, impossibly high notes and all.

The title track is danceable, but rather generic, electro-pop, while the heartfelt Whataya Want From Me by Pink, and Lady Gaga's Fever are instantly likeable.

But it's Soaked, written by Muse's Matthew Bellamy, that surprises. The piano-led ballad is gorgeously paired with Lambert's overwhelming, emotional vocals and will please Radiohead fans.

Other highlights include the catchy If I Had You, the vulnerable strains of Linda Perry's A Loaded Smile and Sleepwalker, an atmospheric power ballad by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.

YP rating: 4/5

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