"For Your Entertainment" didn't sound like anything else Ryan normally plays--or like almost anything else on the radio in general, actually. This is both a compliment and curse. I previous described the song, which I sneak-previewed last week, as sort of the quadruple-headed glittery alien baby of Mika, Sam Sparro, Robbie Williams, and Kevin Rudolf...and now, after compulsive repeat listens in my Hello Kitty headphones, I stand by my impressed first impression. The song is three and a half minutes of glowstick-brandishing, disco-stick-wielding, rump-shaking, mojo-oozing, party-starting, floor-filling, life-celebrating, genre-blurring awesomeness:
Yep, pure fun. But let's face it: while Kevin Rudolf has made headway on the airwaves here, Mika, Sam, and Robbie have sadly never received much U.S. radio play. Abfab artists like them and, say, the Scissor Sisters are massive in other countries...but they have continually struggled on these shores. (It seems like only female pop artists--Lady Gaga, Pink, Madonna, et al--are allowed to superflamboyant in America. I have many theories as to why this is, but this is not the space for that tangent.)
Of course, none of those aforementioned acts had the herculean power of the American Idol machine behind them--Mika wasn't beamed into viewers' living rooms for months via the nation's most-watched blockbuster talent show--so Adam does have a distinct advantage here. But it still remains to be seen if America's radio audience will accept Adam as enthusiastically as America's TV audience did. (Especially when he won over the TV audience singing rock classics by Queen, Kiss, and Zeppelin, while this electropop jam is nearly Britney-esque!) Marketing and promoting this uniquely unicornian mythical musical creature--with his penchant for obscure electro artists and rainbow-brite, K-Tel-inspired album covers--will not be easy. Adam Lambert is polarizing. Adam Lambert is not Carrie Underwood.
But Adam Lambert is one of a kind--in my never-all-that-humble opinion, it's GOOD thing that he doesn't sound like everything else on the radio--and his acrobatic vocal skills and theatrical showmanship are undeniable. And speaking of undeniable...this song's funk-pop hook is under-skin-wedgingly catchy. Hopefully radio programmers won't deny any of this. And if "For Your Entertainment" gets the airplay it deserves, then who knows--maybe that'll help break down some programming doors, and even acts like Robbie Williams and the Scissor Sisters might get a few deserved U.S. radio spins someday. Additionally, Adam might be the first American Idol since Kelly Clarkson to be a truly huge star overseas.
And as another plus, the public will probably dig the single's cover--with its interestingly Beyonce/"Single Ladies"-like cyborg glove--more than Adam's oddly controversial album art. People if you dig the song, now put your hands up!
- Adam Lambert
- Robbie Williams