‘For Your Entertainment’ is everything you could hope for in a record – it’s fun, it’s sexual, it has incredible vocals, excellent production and catchy hooks. It introduces you to the kind of recording artist Lambert truly is – hard to categorize but highly entertaining.
Read the track by track review after the jump!
1. Music Again – Written by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness and produced by legendary rock producer Rob Cavallo ‘Music Again’ is a complete throwback to Queen-like rock songs of the 70’s. Beautiful harmonies, brilliant background vocals, a driving electric guitar, and the sing along chorus of “You make me want to listen to music again” drive this thumping album opener.
2. For Your Entertainment – ‘FYE’ was the first single released off of the album and was the pop world’s first true glimpse of Lambert as a recording artist. A dancey pop song with a slinky bass line, the song commands us to make no mistake that Adam is here for our entertainment. An infectiously catchy track.
3. Whataya Want From Me – Written by Pink for her Funhouse album then discarded, it was given to Lambert and chosen as the second single from the album. While it may not have fit in with Pink’s project, it fits in like a puzzle here. This was the single that cemented Lambert’s status as a pop star. Soaring vocals and perfectly produced, ‘WWFM’ hit #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
4. Strut – Written by Kara Dioguardi, Strut is another perfect fit for Lambert as it goes right in line with his entire persona. The vocal work here is absolutely incredible. You can imagine Lambert in a top hat strutting around the stage, singing this with the conviction and attitude the song needs.
5. Soaked – Soaked is a completely gorgeous ballad about missing the feeling of love and all that encapsulates. This soaring ballad gives Lambert the chance to really show off his incredibly huge vocal range.
6. Sure Fire Winners – A fun, throw your first in the air song that mixes rock and electronic perfectly. This song is a call to arms for all those who have been called a loser in their lives. Lambert lets you know that he’s been there too and you’re free to join him.
7. A Loaded Smile – Written by super writer Linda Perry, A Loaded Smile isn’t what you’d typically expect from the writer for Lambert’s debut album. While expecting a sure fire dance pop song, the song is actually a slow burning ballad. Lambert shows amazing vulnerability and an aching sadness that comes out of the speakers and directly into your heart.
8. If I Had You – If ‘WWFM’ was the song that established Lambert as a pop star, ‘IIHY’ is the song that should shoot him even further into the stratosphere and allow him to establish his own planet there – The song is that good. With a driving rhythm and poppy dance sound, the song will have you blasting your stereo and singing out at the top of your lungs. This deserves to be the anthem of the summer.
9. Pick U Up – Lambert wrote this song with Greg Wells and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. ‘PUU’ takes the best of Weezer and combines it with the best of Lambert – Crunchy guitars and super high vocals throughout the song make this yet another keeper.
10. Fever – Arguably, Lambert is the male counterpart to Lady Gaga, who wrote this dance confection. A driving chorus complete with shimmery synths complement this disco flavored track.
11. Sleepwalker – This song really shows the diversity of Lambert’s debut. ‘Sleepwalker’ could be found right at home on a OneRepublic record and with good reason – Ryan Tedder contributed the song for the album. No one else could make this song work so perfectly.
12. Aftermath – Another Lambert written track follows ‘Sleepwalker’ both chronologically and musically. Another rock track that would be well placed on any Top 40 station along Maroon 5 or OneRepublic. The impeccable harmonies only add a cherry on top of this top notch song.
13. Broken Open – The album closer and third song written with Lambert. Broken Open tells a broken lover to come back and be broken together. A sparse, atmospheric song that serves the album well as a closer.
So many contestants from American Idol have tried and failed to launch a career. I think, without a doubt, there aren’t many people who would disagree that Lambert was born to be a star. ‘For Your Entertainment’ doesn’t just launch a career – it establishes him as the artist we all wanted him to be – and more. He sheds the image of ‘just an American Idol’ and makes us forget who Simon Cowell is. While Lady Gaga’s debut ‘The Fame’ was mostly very strong, there were still a few missteps. ‘FYE’ is strong from start to finish. An inspiring album that truly makes me want to listen to music again and gives hope that there are some true pop stars left out there. From the opening seconds to the closing notes, there is no doubt that, indeed, Lambert’s here for our entertainment.