“The Original High” by Adam Lambert: Album Review

Well it seems like the release of Ghost Town was pushed back to the sixteenth rather than the twelfth, but that means it’s out all the same. Since I’m an eager beaver this week, this review is going up right now, especially since I won’t have another chance to sit down and listen to it for a review for around two weeks. But that’s beside the point, because we’ve got new Adam Lambert to think about!

“Ghost Town” was the lead single off the album, and previously reviewed here so I’ll be diving into the songs we haven’t yet talked about on the album. “The Original High” starts off energetic with a subtle groove to it that pulls the listener right in to Lambert’s sultry vocals. The energy of the song is nearly palpable and the song blends lower and higher pitches with ease, letting the vocals explore a wide range as the song captures the listener by the ears and keeps them hooked to the album with ease. It’s a quick paced song, but that works for it and doesn’t pull away from the range and variety of sounds in the track. “Another Lonely Night” starts with a quieter melody and a distant snapping. It moves considerably slower than the titular track on the album did. The vocals cut a stark presence against the music, and it creates an emotive track for a second before the song takes a sudden turn and amps up the energy and pacing for the first chorus. The build is slightly more noticeable, but the sudden turn when the second chorus hits is preserved with a sense of ease. it’s a very interesting track to listen to because it takes you by surprise. “Underground” starts slowly, and quickly adds in that sense of emotion again. It moves steadily at first, but then picks up speed and takes on a vague R&B feel as it continues to play. it holds the attention though, and the song ends up working really well because of this steady step by step build. This time the emotion stays noticeable through the song, even if its a little bit more provocative than evocative in places.

“There I Said It” starts with a quiet piano that builds gently at first, and lets the vocals cut across a minimal background and hold the main focus of the album. It moves at a steady pace, and keeps the effect of stark and evocative vocals against a simpler musical background for a good period, slowly adding in more and more backing sounds through the course of the song, until the background isn’t as empty sounding. The instruments and effects build to the point where both vocals and instruments explode in perfect harmony during the final chorus of the song. It’s incredibly well placed for this sort of long build, and it holds the attention extraordinarily well. “Rumors” features Tove Lo, and opens with a guitar driven melody that easily pushes into a more electric feeling sound as Tove Lo starts to sing the vocals. The song moves at a steady beat, and has a quick pace in period that easily builds into an energetic explosion of instruments and harmonizing vocals. The song balances itself with ease and it really helps pick up the energy after a slew of slower songs and songs that took a bit of time to build. “Evil in the Night” begins with vocals that pull the song along at a quick pace, and though the song starts out with really obvious vocals, the instruments waste no time in claiming their own corner of the song as it steadily grooves along down it’s length. It’s a wonderfully fun song to bop along to as it plays, and it keeps the energy that “Rumors” helped to reinvigorate.

“Lucy”, which features Brian May of Queen, opens with a strong guitar presence that leads easily to Lambert’s higher pitched vocals. The song easily moves along, mixing in a piano and seeming to be a song that’s going to have a slow in steady build before it turns everything up and explodes in a mix of loud instruments and strong vocals that pull the song along with ease, keeping it energetic and invigorating to listen to. It’s a wonderful auditory trip that really helps to mark the point where the deluxe version of The Original High crests the halfway point. “Things I Didn’t Say” starts with slightly dissonant notes that quickly give way to a fast paced groove that the vocals match and help drive along. It’s a song with a lot of strong emotions, and it almost seems to be issuing a challenge at certain points. A lot of the song can come across as having a very in your face attitude to it. “The Light” begins with a quick pace that has a strong best and rhythm influence. The music leads the vocals a little bit, but the effects littered through the song makes this work really well because of the sure amount of vocal textures that are littered through the song. The song has a wonderful groove that holds the attention really well.

“Heavy Fire” opens with a deeper groove, and vocals that echo onto the track as the song builds at a rapid rate. It almost feels like the song envelops the listener before letting go into a big flowing sound that helps tie the song together so early on in the track. It’s a beautiful blend of effects that easily leads into the final tracks of the album.  “After Hours” marks the start of the bonus tracks available on the deluxe album and has a quieter groove to it, moving easily along. It’s a steady paced song, and it’s really pretty in it’s quiet nature. It makes an excellent addition to an already interesting album. “Shame” is the second of three bonus tracks and begins with a quick paced vibrating melody that the vocals match ease. It’s almost instantly fun to listen to. It takes no time at all for it to grab the listener and pull them along for a ride. “Shame” is fun and energetic through its entire length. It’s easy to groove along to, and really earns it’s place on the album. “These Boys” is both the last of the bonus tracks and the last track on the album. It opens with a beachy sound at first, with high and fast paced vocals that change the overall feeling of the song in a matter of seconds. It’s really quick paced, and it’s really impressive that Lambert can sing that fast and still be understandable. It’s a really fun song to wrap things up on though, and really makes the album feel complete.

All in all, The Original High is a really interesting album that has a lot to offer. I definitely think it’s worth a listen, because it really was a lot of fun and it had a lot of surprises. There’s probably a few more surprises that I won’t notice until a second listen through, but that’s part of what makes music so much fun.

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