In conjunction with the recent rush of publicity regarding Adam Lambert, Billboard got in the act this week by tweeting out their February article Adam Lambert’s 10 Best Songs: Critic’s Picks. Because they got it wrong Because mine are different, I felt it was my duty to go on the record with a more correct with my list. 🙂
In no particular order with each song’s album in parentheses:
Sleepwalker (For Your Entertainment) A big Ryan Tedder (One Republic) song in the vein of big Ryan Tedder-penned songs like Beyonce´s Halo and Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone. The power and self-assurance Adam displays here is amazing, especially considering this is his first album.
I had to be resuscitated after the live performance of this from his first tour Glam Nation Live.
Runnin’ (Trespassing) Queen’s Brian May says Adam is “the best singer on the planet. Period.” There are dozens of reasons why that would be true and all of them can be heard in the three minutes and fifteen seconds of this song. Runnin’ contains the full repertoire of Adam’s talents: timbre, vocal range, dynamic range, chest voice/head voice, resonance, projection, rhythm, pacing. All while making you feel every single last word. And the “my heart’s beating faster and I know what I’m after” at 2:49 is mind boggling.
The Other Eight
Never Close Our Eyes (Trespassing) It starts as a light, airy acoustic pop song. Then it becomes dark and electronic. The chorus is a banging, four-on-the floor dance jam. And Adam’s stratospheric voice drives each song within the song.
Chokehold (Trespassing) – A dark, simmering pot of electronica, rock and a dash of pop that eventually boils over. In a good way.
If I Had You (For Your Entertainment) – Sometimes all you need is just a big, fun, dance party song.
Underground (The Original High) The haunting opening piano chords. The deliberate in-no-rush tempo. The three octave vocals sung so easily with so much emotion.
Feel Something (Acoustic Live single) Adam’s earnest pleading “I just wanna feel somethin’” can’t help but make you feel something.
Map (Trespassing U.K. version bonus track) – I had a friend from England bring me the U.K. version of the Trespassing album so I could have this song. The buildup from the pre-chorus to the chorus slays me, as does the “I believe” bridge to the final chorus.
The Light (The Original High) As sophisticated a slice of four-on-the-floor Swedish synth-pop as there is.
Ghost Town (The Original High) – Like many songs in his catalogue, this one was a few years ahead of where the rest of pop music was. The song never goes where you expect it to, there are hooks in random places and only as talented and versatile singer as Adam could keep all the misdirection together.
Just Missed the Cut
Broken Open (For Your Entertainment) – Breathtaking. I mean “breathtaking” in the literal sense of not wanting to breathe lest I miss something.
Honestly, after three very different albums of amazing material, how do you even pick any number of “best”? I’ve left so many songs off this list to keep it to ten. And with a new album in the offing, this list will likely have to be changed or, more realistically, expanded.
I can’t wait.