Original High by Adam Lambert. This is Lambert’s third and most introspective album. Many of the songs easily could find a place in current pop radio sets or DJ mixes for dance clubs. What sets the album apart from many of the other pop sets are the lyrics and Lambert’s impeccable vocals. Opening the album, the song “Ghost Town” captures the grit and ecstasy of chasing the high life in Hollywood, where he been working and living since he was eighteen. He opens the song with the statement “Died last night in my dreams walking the streets of some old ghost town. I tried to believe in God and James Dean, but Hollywood sold out.” The song starts off with quiet guitar, and Adam singing the first verse. The quiet approach emphasizes the loneliness that such values can produce. The chorus for the song is treated differently. Whistling and a drum beat elevate the song, sonically adding a heartbeat and carefree nature that Lambert laments missing. In the song “Another Lonely Night” (the second single to release to radio from the album), the danceable beats contrast with the lyrics about living with the ghosts of a past relationship. “Another day, another lonely night, don’t want to throw away another lonely life.”
His most personal song on the album, however, does not have a dance club beat and is instead a powerful piano ballad. Entitled “There I Said it,” it is essentially a non-apology for being a “grown ass man.” He embraces the power of speaking your truth and letting it stand with lyrics like “it’s double edge sword your’re given, and I can’t see the truth in living, when we hide behind a wall of fear.” An amazing pop album.
The Fool by Ryn Weaver. Start with track 9, “The Traveling Song,” which she wrote about her late grandfather. Her description of this close, supportive relationship, “soulmates aren’t just lovers, you know” epitomizes what gives a family bond strength. “Octahate,” the first track released to radio, is about the high of being deeply in love followed by the shock and disbelief as the relationship ends. “Deep in the trench of the crossfire, you shot me down from the livewire,” Weavers sings. Her amazing vocal technique takes you to the edge, but never lets things get out of control. The music is sometimes danceable, sometimes quiet and melodic. Another amazing Pop album.