Review: Adam Lambert’s “The Original High” Is The Soundtrack Of Summer

Future Ancient God. Future International Space Station Plaque. Future College Course Subject. Human defibrillator paddle. Human Zephyr. Earth Ambassador To Planet Glitterock. There are so many ways to describe Adam Lambert, and with the release of his third studio album The Original High (out June 16th), we can add another moniker … Phoenix.

Adam’s second album Trespassing was a mostly excellent collection of pop, rock, and funk, but thanks to studio … indifference? Confusion? Clusterf*ckness? it wasn’t properly promoted (and yet still managed to make music history).

Now, almost exactly three years since the release of Trespassing, Adam has risen from the ashes of his previous label, and with The Original High has given us another well crafted pop album.

You can stream the entire album here, and let’s dissect each song below!

Note – Songs will be rated on a scale of one to four Fierce Adam Eyes.

1. Ghost Town

“Now, I’m searching for trust, in a city of rust, a city of vampires.” We kick things off with the first single, and it’s a fabulous way to open the album, starting on a slow-simmer until Adam finally lets go and goes full throttle. And that haunting whistle is one killer hook.

2. The Original High

“Just let me feel the rush like the first night.” Speaking of full throttle, halfway through this exuberant concoction of high spirits, Adam delivers his trademark wail, which pierces through the senses and lifts this stellar track to the heavens.

3. Another Lonely Night

“No time to sleep, all that I see is old memories of you.” Guaranteed to get your fingers snapping and put a smile on your face. And look, I know what the experts say, but I STILL HEAR A COW DAMMIT!

4. Underground

“I want you, I need you, I want you to take me underground.” That is a great hook in this R&B-tinged track, but I do have to dock it one fierce eye for the clumsy “velcro” line. It just doesn’t work.

5. There I Said It

“I’m a grown ass man, and I don’t understand why I should be living in your shadow.” Probably Adam’s finest vocals on the album. A ballad that begins with just Adam’s voice, the music kicks in and Adam gives us his famous falsetto, building with confidence as the song progresses, as Adam finally tells his lover to cut the shit.

6. Rumors (featuring Tove Lo)

“Why do we care about the rumors baby?” A serviceable duet with Tove Lo, but I have to deduct points for including the word “haterade” and because well, I couldn’t help thinking he should be dueting with Sam Smith or Jake Shears or another gay male artist.

7. Evil In The Night

“Danger by day, but you’re evil in the night” How can you not love those lyrics? Adam is at his cocky, sassy best with this super-charged delight.

8. Lucy (feat. Brian May)

“Run away … run away.” Of course the greatest rock song on the album would include Brian May, and Adam is completely at ease hitting the high registers, having honed his craft on the Queen tour.

9. Things I Didn’t Say

“I thought that I said it, in the things I didn’t say.” A fine performance highlights this otherwise perfunctory track. Not quite filler, but pales in comparison with the rest of the album.

10. The Light

“I’m the dust that ignites the spark.” A superior production takes this anthem to a new level. Destined to find sweaty bodies on the dance floor.

11. Heavy Fire

“Just like a funeral pyre, taking on heavy fire.” Another track enhanced by an earnest vocal from Adam and production wizardry.

There also three bonus tracks on the album I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to, but “After Hours,” “Shame,” and “These Boys” sound very intriguing.

So what is the final assessment for The Original High? After some concern when Adam left his label and floated in the ether for a while, I’m happy to say that the wait was well worth it. This is a superior collection with expert production, with Adam comfortable in his new digs and brimming with self-confidence. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Final grade: 3 1/2 out of four!

Okay, Glamberts, your turn! What is your assessment of The Original High?

80's Pop Culture Expert, Shooting At The Walls Of Heartache.
@therealsnicks