BRING ON THE DRAMA
Adam Lambert has created some jaw-dropping transformations of pop classics for his new album, writes
ADAM Lambert is a master song thief. The powerful singer’s emotional spins on much-loved pop classics, from the Tears For Fears ’80s hit Mad World to Cher’s Believe on American Idol in 2009, propelled him to global stardom.
And his command of the rock epic We Are The Champions on the Idol finale may not have won him the title but it did score him the enviable gig of fronting Queen on the world’s biggest concert stages for the past decade.
After resisting the overtures of record label overlords to record a covers album for the p past 14 years, Lambert releases High igh Drama this week, and is out to blow people’s minds again with ith his take on popular songs such as Culture Club’s reggae-flecked Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, reinvented as a dark new wave electro ballad.
Lambert said he had Boy George’s blessing to give the song a dramatic makeover.
“We’re friends, so I felt confident doing it. It was nice to get his stamp of approval, though. he said.
“The original is a breezy reggae track but when you really break down the lyric, it’s very melancholy, so I wanted to lean into the darkness of it.”
Recording High Drama has also bought Lambert time to continue the long process of writing a theatrical musical, which began during the pandemic shutdowns.
Velvet, his last record of original songs, was released on March 20, 2020, just as Covid-19 took hold of the world.
“On the business side of it, doing a record like this takes a lot less time,” he said. “Creating something from scratch is a beautiful art form, but it takes longer and it’s not as foolproof.
that,” “When the song is already a hit and people love it, it gives it much more of a chance to connect.”
His interpretations are indeed high drama. While he opens with signature glam rock style on Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero, no one would be expecting him to bring Princeinspired funk to King Of Leon’s Sex on Fire. And it will be intriguing to check out the reaction of Billie Eilish’s fans to his vintage orchestral pop reworking of her dark electro ballad Getting Older.
While it may seem an unusual choice for the 41-year-old y to take on the 21-year-old’s song, the pair share sh a mutual admiration, with Eilish a huge fan of his Mad World cover. cove
“She and her brother, Finneas, F have been really sweet talking t about me in interviews, recalling my time in Idol, so I’m curious to hear what she thinks of it,” Lambert said. “I hope it’s a good reaction. I tried to stay as true to the integrity of the song as I possibly could. It’s such a brilliant song.” Lambert will come full circle to his past when he performs at an Australian Idol live show in early March.
He has applied a deft touch to his performance of Queen songs since joining Brian May and Roger Taylor as the band’s singer.
“We’ve been touring off and on for over a decade now,” Lambert said.
“Obviously, we were in Australia just before the pandemic, and we did the Fire Fight show at the end of the run in Sydney and it was a great tour down there.
“Roger and Brian are incredible, I don’t know where do they get all that energy, but they are incredible on stage and wonderful guys. We get along like family.”