4 Out Of 5 Stars
Adam Lambert is the real thing. He is charismatic, flamboyant and sings his @ss off. He isn't here to make you like him, he's here to make you pay attention. He's not just there to shock you, he's here to make 100% certain that he was all everyone talks about afterwards. And they do. For days. Lambert laid it all on the table; from his sexuality to his theater background, all so you'd take notice. There hasn't been someone so blatantly lunging fists first at rock stardom since Billy Corgan smashed his pumpkins. And his new album is even better than the debut.
"Trespassing" quits the all-over-the-place song-styling of "For Your Entertainment" and concentrates on dance-rock. He cuts right to the chase on the title track and opening song, where he pounds out a drum/bass line worthy of Queen and states up front "No Trespassing, yeah well my *ss, wait till you get a hold of me." Make no mistake, Adam is out to make you dance (Nile Rodgers and Sam Sparrow guest on the slinky "Shady") while "Pop That Lock" trades on both dance and EDM style without giving up an inch of Adma-style. That may be because this time, Lambert has songwriter's credit on almost all the disc's tracks, as opposed to "FYE," where almost every song was outsider composed and usually by a star/stunt guest (Pink, Weezer, Justin Hawkins of the Darkness, etc).
Even the outsider songs have punch. "Better Than I Know Myself" continues the formula of the ballads like "Whataya Want From Me" from the debut. There's a cathedral of multi-tracked Lamberts and a climaxing production. Same with "Never Close Our Eyes," a Bruno Mars song that has a plenty of soul. Lambert explores both his vocal range and his emotional one on "Trespassing," with two ballads, the interesting "Underneath" and the stunning closer "Outlaws of Love." Without saying it explicitly, it's the main exploration of Adam's out-ness, (or the night after the party ends, you choose), but is sure sounds like a defensive pose in favor of relationships.
The funny thing is, "Outlaws" may be the album's most restrained performance. Adam maybe be the kind of man for whom over-the-top is merely a barrier to be conquered as often as possible, but when he "they say we'll rot in hell, well, I don't think we will. They've branded us enough, Outlaws of Love." As stunning as he is when he's glamming it up on the dance floor, Adam can be more effective when he's pulling back on the reins. He'll be doing some dates as Freddie Mercury with Queen this year, but the Adam Lambert of "Trespassing" is his own man now.