Adam Lambert, as a person, presents a very difficult problem. The same kind of problem artists like David Bowie and Elton John had in their day.
He and his guyliner terrify the living daylights out of children.
And he’s not too loved by many adults either: woman think he’s “a bit weird” and men think he’s “a puff”. Prejudice is an awful thing, but Adam needn’t have worried about prejudice once everyone heard his first erotically named single, a rocky club stomper from Dr, Luke and Claude Kelly entitled ‘For Your Entertainment’, which saw the man scream in an unbelievably dynamic voice about how he’ll “entertain you ’till you scream”. So even if prejudice lost him many UK fans in his target demographic, the ‘inappropriate’ song did him about as much help as a kick in the teeth.
People are prejudiced of even the highest alpha-male, especially when it comes to people not being seen as ‘normal’, but what is normal? Whether they’re homosexual, of a different religion or have a different skin colour, they can expect discrimination, because I doubt anyone these days knows what ‘normal’ is, which can be interpreted as quite a good thing because it means everyone can be diverse and different because it irons out stereotyping. Moving back to music, Adam’s cleverly picked a song called ‘Whataya Want From Me’, as if he’s trying to ask the prejudiced what can he do to impress us?
So, after his last attempt at breaking the UK turned out a bit of a flop, Adam’s not about to tone down the high energy, powerhouse vocals with his second release. But one things is for absolute certain: this does not deserve to flop.
The song opens with a weeping, muted electric guitar riff, soon accompanied by heavy drums a saddened, timid sounding Adam pleading for you to “slow it down” and tell him how he can impress you whilst going through a difficult time, so that he doesn’t have to live with his pain any longer. As is the norm with power ballads the chorus is loud, it’s brash and has lots of angry guitars but at the centre of this song is a bleeding heart filled with confusion, self-hatred and fear – “Just don’t give up/I’m working it out/Please don’t give in/I won’t let you down”, giving the impression that behind Adam’s enormous vocals lies only half a man.
Adam’s stripped down all the theatricalities of ‘For Your Entertainment’, all the props, the ornamentation, the electronic dance influences, and we’re given a pleading power ballad in the vein of Daughtry or Nickelback, but with far more anxiety in both the instrumentation and the vocal performance, with Adam’s vocals very reserved, husky and timid one moment and then very desperate and pleadingly he wails over the chorus in a level of emotion that’s been sucked out of the charts these days with the onslaught of soulless Record Label puppets.
The song’s rousing finale, where Adam repeatedly cries “Whataya want from me?” could bring a tear to your eye, it’s so loud and brimming with emotion and angst. Adam Lambert doesn’t just sing songs: he performs them, even on the record he sounds like he’s really giving everything into the song as if to say “Here I am. Take me. I know I’m not good enough but what can I do?”. Now name someone in the charts who can convey such a heartfelt message? I honestly didn’t think it was achievable but Adam has managed to convey more emotion than is humanly possible in the short space of just 3:46.
The video is one of those that enhances the mood and drama of the song, a low-budget, all theatrics spared video with plenty of shots of Adam looking very melancholy and self-loathing. There’s also some parts that appear to be Adam trying to stop the camera crew from filming or stop people looking at him in his private life.
In true Adam Lambert style, the song is very dramatic and is going to join only a handful of songs to be released this year where the listener could be affected by it’s desperately sad message. It’s horrible to hear this song isn’t doing to well in the charts, it’s wandering as confusedly as Adam in this song around to #80-#90 margin. I don’t usually do this but I would strongly suggest giving it a download or a CD purchase: it’ll probably be the most honest song you buy this year.
Rating: 5.0 STARS
Download: July 19, 2010 (OUT NOW) (pleaseeee buy)
Featured Album: ‘For Your Entertainment’