Adam Lambert’s ‘Trespassing’: Review Revue

Three years after Adam Lambert‘s stint on American Idol — and two-and-a-half since the release of debut LP For Your Entertainment —his long-awaited (and slightly delayed) sophomore offering Trespassing is finally out. Some critics seem to agree that the first half of the album is a glitter-drenched pop-dance workout, while the latter half is a bit ballad-heavy. Read what the Internet at large had to say about Adam’s new record below, then let us know your own thoughts on Trespassing.

:: Rolling Stone conjured up some colorful imagery when reviewing Adam’s latest: “Trespassing delivers, with a mix of tinsel disco-club sleaze and leather-boy love ballads. While he excels in a radio cheddar bomb like ‘Naked Love’, he gets deeper in slow jams like ‘Underneath’ and ‘Outlaws of Love.’ But all over Trespassing, Glambert sings everything like Zeus in a thong.”

:: Says Newsday, “For much of Trespassing, Lambert draws inspiration from Michael Jackson and Queen’s Freddie Mercury that encourages him to sound bigger and bolder than ever. Subtlety be damned.”

:: Entertainment Weekly was lukewarm on the album: “Adam Lambert might be the only American Idol alum who considers purple eyeliner a daytime look. So it’s hard to understand why it took him so long to make his big gay dance-club album… Trespassing‘s first half is a study in fabulosity… Too bad the ballad-heavy second half is so laughably over-the-top.”

:: The Miami Herald agrees with the latter sentiment: “Pity the album’s second half becomes mired in overproduced, melodramatic ballads that threaten to sink even a fine melody like ‘Outlaws of Love’, Lambert’s plea for equality. Stick to the infectious first half, and you’ll be in aerobic dance heaven.”

:: The Washington Post is also on the fence: “On Trespassing, his second studio album, Lambert narrows the focus to profitable dance pop (though the hyper-emotional ballads still force their way in). The result is a more consistent but less-gratifying sophomore offering… If dance music or the club scene is your thing, then you’ll love most of this album. But if you like Adam Lambert the Renaissance Man as shown in his debut, you might be left wishing for a bit more variety.”

:: The Wrap is left with a couple questions: “…Trespassing is supposed to be the one where enough time was taken to show us the true Adam, as naked as his biblical namesake. He goes some way toward fulfilling that ambition, but questions remain. Like: Wasn’t the Lambert who established himself as a glam-rocker on Idol at least partly the true Adam? And if so, why is this sophomore album so devoid of anything resembling rock ‘n’ roll, throwing that former musical identity over for electronic dance music?”

:: USA Today did a review of each song. Here’s what the publication had to say about the album’s title track: “Adam’s album kicks off like a drill-team version of Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’. It also establishes a recurring outsider theme, as Adam swaggers undaunted past a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, singing ‘Life’s my life and liberty, and I’ll shine when I want to shine.’ Here, and throughout the album, Adam embraces his ‘other-than’ status. For an artist (and an audience) that prides itself on pushing boundaries, this song’s an audacious opening volley.”

:: The Hollywood Reporter summed the LP with this: “Glamberts should be pleased — there’s plenty of uptempo glittery pop along with more revealing ballads all of which showcase Lambert’s ridiculous range.”

Trespassing is available now from RCA. Purchase it at eMusic.

  • pr63

    the album has to grow on me. it has moments of brilliance, but i prefer adam singing hard rock. “outlaws of love” can make you cry. as always, adam’s voice is spectacular

  • Jill

    Did you go out of your way to find any somewhat dubious comments on his album? Almost all of the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Metacritic score is 80, which is one point away from “Universal acclaim”. Those ballads? Excruciatingly poignant and beautiful. Underneath is haunting, and there is nothing overproduced about Outlaws, which is more than I can say about some of the songs on his first album.

    • Bob

      You call those reviews positive? Wonder what they would write if they absolutely hated it?
      Truth is, and I’m an Adam fan, this album will only sell to gay club goers. Adams vocals are being exploited, as usual. They are pandering to a gay fan base and forgetting that they are only 3 to 4 percent of the population. Adam’s career will suffer and he will never do anything meaningful or that would stand the test of time.

  • Marian B. Painter

    Robbie, not sure why you chose those sections of reviews that leaned toward the negative rather than the positive. Why don’t you please go back and research the many more positive and in-depth reviews about each of the songs and the album as a whole, and post excerpts from them that are highly laudatory, positive and in the majority! I believe I’ve read them all and I find your review excerpts completely biased.

  • Jc

    Why don’t you mention in your article that Mr. Lambert’s Trespassing has been the #1 selling album on Itunes for two days?

    • Bob

      Thats because people clammer to buy it because it is new. I did too, because I am an Adam fan. And as a fan, I am completely disappointed. Screeching over produced vocals, repetitive beats, songs go nowhere, they stay the same throughout. Boring. Its ashame that the industry will never let Adam do something with longevity. This sort of type casting will do him in. They are wasting a great talent.

      • versalee

        Wow, Bob — You just know it ALL, don’t you? A little humility, and the occasional “in my opinion” might have people take you more seriously. Since there’s a lot of bombast in your little “review,” but no heart, you come off as a total a**.

  • arlene

    I agree with comments of 8:37. For all the great press this album has had, you managed to pick out the more negative comments.
    Why don’t you give it a listen-It is really terrific.
    I guess biased is biased.

  • SaraBeth Sechrist

    I feel for the people who wrote those reviews, but really…maybe the album just wasn’t meant for them. I think the ballads balance the other half perfect. I was skeptical because i love F.y.e so much, which surprise, critics hated …but this album is incredible from start to finish. There are maybe 2 weaker songs. But on a disc of so many potential hits,who cares. I don’t care what the charts say….this album is fab. And way to be unbiased. Any positive reviews?

  • Jason

    So Robbie Daw, you saw fit to print an excerpt from the Homophobic rant from Maerz at Entertainment Weekly which had nothing to do with the music and everything to do with her bias toward Adam and gays. Nice going. The internet at large is very positive reviewing this album and you chose to not show that. Wonder why? BTW, this is an amazing cd!!

  • Carol Baligush

    Why oh why must a super talented guy like Adam endure all of the hard scrutiny and constant slings and arrows that lesser talented so-called singers like Bieber and Minaj, etc. skate right by to stardom? Give him a break because he has more talent in his little finger than most of the people topping the charts these days and, excuse me, but I include the 7 million, 6 Grammy woman Adele in that list.

    • Bob

      Its true Adam Lambert will fade away because the industry just wants to sell. They are not interested in his career longevity. This album panders to one crowd only, the gays. The songs are nothing more then club repitious bllsht. The vocals are over produced. They will waste one of the best singers in history. They need to focus on his talent and forget about dance beats and screeching vocals. None of adams songs will stand the test of time.

      • versalee

        Carol, I was just thinking the same thing — The scrutiny that Adam and his music have had to endure is something I’m not sure I’ve seen before. It’s as if this incredibly talented man is being punished for being gay — an archaic tactic I thought was fading into the past.

        As for being an album that’s only “for gay club-goers,” Bob ~ What constitutes a gay dance album? A dance album (which this is noi, in its entirety, anyway) sung and produced by a gay artist? An album that contains not only dance songs, but also ballads that happen to contain sexual imagery? And, if we weren’t aware that Adam is gay, THEN what? Would we call it a STRAIGHT dance album? Since when is music that people enjoy dancing to assigned a homo– or hetero- label? I appreciate that you are (as you claim) a fan off the man … but it appears that you are one of those fans who is determined to assert that YOUR vision for the artist is the only valid one. Adam Lambert is up against enough obstacles as it is ~ and I mean from NON-fans! It’s too bad “fans” like you aren’t more respectful and supportive.

  • Rhonda

    I agree that the selected reviews don’t accurately reflect the amount of positive buzz surrounding this album. The EW review is a homophobic a smear and was flooded with a mob of angry comments; it has no place here. It’s interesting that the negative stuff I’ve seen is either homophobic or mostly “conceptual” complaints (the two halves of the album are too different, he should do more rock, or less dance, or shouldn’t fuse the genres too much, he had too many collaborators, what about the timing of the release, what’s the hidden agenda for the change in look/style, etc.) The detractors rarely evaluate the songs on face value! It shouldn’t be hard – do you enjoy listening to it and why (or why not?) When you ignore the blatant bias and the self-important navel-gazing, the reviews are extremely impressive. The only legitimate music-related criticism I’ve seen is that some people think the ballads are too melodramatic. I disagree, but that’s a matter of taste. We should be promoting reviews with good content, not just good ratings.

  • TinLV

    I got picked up the album today and have been listening to it off an on all day. The track I keep going back to hear again is “Underneath”.. all I can say about that song is WOW.. what a haunting, eloquent song and his voice sounds perfect. You know those ‘goosies’ JLo is always talking about on Idol ? She oughta hear this. The song definitely gives me goosebumps. Never Close Our Eyes grows on you. Nirvana is really good, too. I’m not all that into the dance-pop songs, I think his voice sounds better on rock and ballads.. and I buy his music to hear that voice; there is no one else like him out there.

    • Avon Jon

      I can’t get enough of “underneath”.

  • Barbara Schneier

    I am so sick of the games these reviewers and people writing articles play at when it comes to Adam. All you want to do is garner controversy and heat up the fans that love him to get the hits. No review has captured what real people feel when listening to this album. It seems to be lost on reviewers because they are too busy reviewing it from a gay viewpoint. Let’s make sure that the people know Adam is gay. I say finally get over it and write about the music, which is universal, creative and brilliant. Start appreciating the genius that is Adam. His youth was spent in dance clubs and he is writing the best dance songs I have ever heard. I laugh at all of you reviewers that scoff at the ballads. These are ballads that make you feel, I know it is the age of dummed down music. Sorry but when you listen to these ballads you need to open yourself up to feel. Listen to the beauty of the songs, melody, lyrics and OMG! the voice that is a gift from the gods. Never has anyone heard a song like Underneath or heard it sung with such depth that it tears your heart and soul out. Or Oulaws of Love that is so poignant or Runnin or Take Back or Broken English or the closest some of us will ever get to Burning Man named Nirvana. There seems to be a common thread among reviewers. They all want something different from Adam. Leave him alone and just let Adam be Adam and create and sing what he loves. He is magnificent. I can understand why Adam named his album Trespassing as that is how the Music World makes him feel and why his signature song is named Underneath. the sad part is these reviewers still do not see him. It is their loss our gain. They want to put him in a box and he just want let them do it. Thank God.

    • ralph

      Thanks Barbara, your words speak for me also….I can’t wait to watch Adam Lambert accepting the Grammy for Album of the year….

      • Bob

        Real musicians with real ears can hear how much this album sucks. Over produced vocals, songs that go nowhere interesting, pandering to only the gay crowd. They will ruin Lambert in the industry because they only care about their bottom line, they don’t care about Adams career. He will fade away and unfortuneately, his stuff will never stand the test of time.

  • TVA

    I absolutely love Adam Lambert and have been a consummate fan since his stint on Idol. Unfortunately, I have to say that I hear a bit of all Adam’s musical past in this album. Never Close Your Eyes has similar sounds to a song from “The Ten Commandments”. Pop the Lock has an N’Sync sound. I absolutely love Underneath, as it really showcases Adam’s vocal range as well as his personal depth. As a middle-aged mother of 3 who as idolized Lambert since AI, I have to say that I anticipated and expected more than I got, especially having to wait so long for the sophomore album. I am not giving up on Adam, as I still believe he is one of the most outstanding vocalists of this decade.

    • BB

      Really? You think NCOE sounds like the Ten Commandments….Bruno Mars wrote this one by the way. Nsync and Pop that Lock? I don’t hear it.

      Of course there would be shades of Adam’s past embedded in some of his music. What’s wrong with that? It’s part of someone’s inherent quality. Would you rather he deviate completely and go into rap or country? I think every artist has a distinct through-line that makes them who they are….MJ,Madonna…same essence,different sounds…..didn’t hurt them. I think Trespassing is a huge departure from FYE. Totally different vibe. I love both,especially for that reason.

      That’s my take.

      • BB

        Ooooh…sorry @TVA. Just reread my post and I sound a bit defensive and snarky. Not my intention. Everyone hears things differently. To each his/her own opinions.

        I do agree with you on Underneath. It is sublime.

  • Avon Jon

    I agree with the rolling stone review, “a mix of tinsel disco-club sleaze and leather-boy love ballads”. I have listened to this album 4 times already and can’t get enough. Very please with the album from start to finish. Can’t stop listening to “underneath”.

    • Bob

      I guess you are into over production and songs that go nowhere interesting?

      • versalee

        Okay, Bob, okay! We get it — You hate the album. You’re not a fan of subtlety, are you?

  • opbaby

    Strange you should just choose the negative reviews, hard to find as they are. True, this album is different but at least it has shown the world that AL continues to grow as an artist, not get stuck on teeny-boppy-soon-to-forget songs like “Boyfriend.” This article just confirms my conclusion that many writing music reviews only like those they promote, not the music that really counts.

  • MJ2

    The Chicago Tribune gave it 4.5/5. Why wasn’t that included? Did you just try to look for the more “negative” reviews?

  • BB

    People Magazine gave it 4 out of 4 stars.

    Perhaps you could redo your list with some more positive excerpts….They’re everywhere and easier than looking for the negative!!

    Trespassing is the type of album that has something for everyone. It also has everything for some…..I’m on that list!!

  • kat23

    I think it says it all…when groups like LMFAO get in top ten…Minaj…Bieber, Rhianna…Spears (mind you in her tour she sang two songs live and lip synched the rest-audience was walking out on her) where they sing dumb songs…stupid lyrics…and get rants and raves from reviewers…But you have a man who can sing and perform most under the table…sing anything and has tons of appeal…and a big heart…but openly gay…and he does not get the hype. His songs are real…they express statements about being you…about having fun…about not judging people…and he gets crap from reviewers like EW writer. WOW. I love this cd…Way we fix this is to buy his cd…and spread the word. No worries…his Glam Tour was the only tour that was so successful in US and overseas that they had to add venues…all others were dropping concerts due to lack of sales. Adam works hard…and that is a key. He will endure and turn out to be a trend setting…record breaking artist.

  • Dil

    I am not a huge uber Glambert, but this guy is mad talented and this Trespassing album is great, no denying it.

    The problem with so many reviewers is that they are MORE concerned with themselves coming off clever, in the know… to bad they just come off smug – and maybe a little bit, oh how shall I say it… that old phrase comes to mind: those that can, do… and those that can’t teach (review).

    Review the damn album, or post an article that exhibits research, and accuracy, and fairness… stop trying to come off so damn smart and clever and hip… its outdated!

  • Chay

    The wrap asked about the Adam from Idol who was all for Rock ‘n’ roll but the way I see Trespassing is another layer to a complex and well loved artist

  • rubykarat

    His vocals are overwhelmingly beautiful on the ballads and rocky on the up-tempo tracks. Negative comments won’t sway the opinions of true fans and.besides. we’re big and ugly enough to be able to make our own minds up. I hope when he comes to England on his Trespassing tour (fingers firmly crossed) he visits other towns apart from London. Bring it on!

  • Hanna

    Don’t care about reviiews and stars.Trespassing is weak and Adam is going nowhere near stardom with it.After listening few times, cd went to my donation bag.Very,very disappointed.Silly,silly music,absolutely not what I;ve expected from Adam.I feel cheated as was rooting for Adam since AI.Wow, what a garbage.I love FYE and this one I’m keeping.

  • lola

    I love Adam, but after listening to the new album I came away wishing he wouldn’t write his own songs. He isn’t a great song writer. Period.

    In the nicest way, Adam, please stick to singing and let the professionals write your songs!