The sophomore slump is something that every artist has to worry about at some point, but the chances of falling victim to it are especially high for Idol alumni. Once all the hype dies down and the next batch of talented hopefuls hit TV screens, old favorites are quickly forgotten and replaced with fresh faces, and thus the wheel keeps turning.
Adam Lambert may have outsold Kris Allen, graced the cover of Rolling Stone, and become the biggest star that American Idol has produced in the past five years, but now is when the hard work really begins. With a hit album behind him and Idol now a distant memory, Lambert and his slickly-gelled quiff are now in the big leagues competing against the Katy Perry’s and Rihanna’s of the world, and anything less than pure pop perfection just won’t be good enough.
But Adam knows that. As an avid Top Forty listener who cites the likes of Lady GaGa and P!nk as personal favorites, Glambert understands exactly what it takes to make a good pop song, so it’s only natural that he’s enlisted the indestructible team of Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly to helm his new single, “Better Than I Know Myself”.
“Better Than I Know Myself” positions Glambert somewhere between being the male Katy Perry and the gay Bruno Mars. The production is tighter than a screw jar, with cascading, Tedder-style drums and twinkling piano melodies that have been carefully engineered to burn a hole in the Z100′s afternoon playlist. It’s incredibly radio-friendly, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel even the least bit redundant or generic.
Lyrically, Lambert takes a more realistic look at love than most made-for-radio pop ballads before him have, confessing his flaws as a bad boyfriend, while desperately professing his undying love at the same time. For a Top Forty tune, it’s beautifully poignant and honest, containing that rare type of magic that’s made records like Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You” so timeless and touching.
And as much as this is the masterwork of Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly, Glambert deserves just as much of the credit as the hitmakers behind him. It’s his emotional delivery that truly brings “Better Than I Know Myself” to life, topped off with those now trademark rock star high notes that have made the 29-year-old one of the finest male vocalists in the industry today.
As far as pop music is concerned, it just doesn’t get much better than this. With songs this stellar, Adam Lambert could be looking at his very own Teenage Dream when Trespassing hits stores this March.