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High Drama

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The all-fabulous star takes the liberties he should, like when inserting mind-hijacking dance beats to songs such as "Sex On Fire. The singer turns back the clock for his spin on Dinah Washington’s “Mad About A Boy,” flipping it into a suave theme. It’s dramatic and extravagant in all the right ways, in a way that feels as true to the original as it does to his own sense of showmanship.

His rendition of Billie Eilish’s “Getting Older” delivers a masterclass in adding layers of emotional depth to a song with simple tweaks to its underlying structure. I heard, because I know Ilsey quite well, so I heard the original and I just thought, "Oh, this is so beautiful. I think ones that I haven't performed live yet that I know are going to be something are "West Coast" by Lana Del Rey our arrangement of it it's pretty hardcore.Sadly, that's one of the only moments of revealing interpretation on the record, though Lambert certainly pulls apart several pop hits in the process - sometimes distorting them unnecessarily (as on "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Sex on Fire").

Two more standout tracks are the atmospheric take on Duran Duran’s ‘Ordinary World’, and a gloriously camp, glam rock version of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding Out for a Hero’. High Drama is the fifth studio album and first cover album by Adam Lambert, released on February 24, 2023. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said, "High Drama is such an ideal title for Adam Lambert, a singer who specializes in grand, overheated gestures," and "he takes pains to give the 11 songs on High Drama distinctive arrangements that clearly delineate his version from the original.

Grammy-nominated pop icon, LGBTQ trailblazer, and Queen front man Adam Lambert brings you High Drama, a wonderfully diverse collection of covers with a twist, held together by Adam’s once-in-a-generation voice and trademark flair. In its best moments it approaches brilliance, and its relative lows still stand out as solidly crafted. Lambert is no stranger to impressing crowds with his carefully curated transformation of other artist’s songs, from the beginning of his career on American Idol to his 2018 performance at the Kennedy Center Honors, where Lambert reduced Cher to tears with his delicate ballad reading of her mega-hit “Believe. Over the past decade, I've explored a few different areas and sounds and energies, and I feel like part of this new chapter in my career is me being really clear on who I am, and what I am, and what I'm not.

However, I was influenced by the great rendition of the single Holding Out For a Hero to give it a shot. d. lang or Kelly Clarkson, but High Drama makes it easy to imagine an alternate timeline where he made a name for himself as a covers artist. The former trumps the latter since it is the Lambert one is after when purchasing a Lambert record – so excuse him when it's overdone. In the case of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” things shift entirely in the opposite direction, transforming the song into a piano ballad. I just think that it's a beautiful metaphor for life and the challenges that we are dealt and how we deal with those things.Baltin: Were there things about some of these songs that pleasantly surprised you when you got into singing them? As Lambert sings, "History, it pains me, and it chains me / 'Cause I'm mad about the boy," champions of freedom and acceptance become one, timeless – the best thing about good covers. And so it's interesting because I didn't even think about it consciously but yeah, almost all of the artists on the album were people that have had like their own moment, their own sound. Songs range from the more recent, Pink's My Attic, Billie Eilish's Getting Older, an epic rock re-imagining of Lana Del Rey's West Coast, to the beautiful interpretation of Noel Coward’s classic Mad About The Boy.

Although he does a great job of adding his own flair to the songs he covers and the standout moments are those where he takes a song in a slightly unexpected and very Adam Lambert direction, he maintains a consistent respect for the original tracks. With High Drama, Lambert has delivered a collection of unsurprisingly solid and well-executed covers.And, with "Mad About the Boy," Lamber turns a little song about a boy into a soaring Bond-theme ballad that never abandons its core of vulnerability. On his cover of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero,” the take is nearly unrecognizable from the original; it’s more in the proggy direction of Muse’s “Uprising. As you started to revisit songs by artists like Duran Duran or Sia or whoever, were there things that you noticed about their authenticity? Baltin: Was there one moment where you really noticed your voice changing and it allowed you to convey different emotions? Few have the power and range of Lambert’s vocals, as evidenced by his recruitment to front Queen, a role he’s tackled with poise.

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