Possibly the most talked-about "American Idol" graduate ever, Adam Lambert returns with his sophomore major label set of songs. He's about to be everywhere again -- and not just on the radio.
Trespassing, the second album from "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert hit the stores on May 15. Originally slated for a March release, the sophomore set got a "Mapril" (a term Lambert used to describe the possible rescheduling month) pass by Lambert and his producers so that they could add a few more songs to the collection. But the delay is now over -- the 12-track Trespassing officially went on sale at midnight -- and went to the top of the iTunes chart.
"#1 on iTunes?! Yes!!!!" he posted to Twitter just before noon on the day of release.
Lambert and company undoubtedly have high expectations for the follow-up to his first major label release for RCA, 2009's For Your Entertainment, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and sold over 838,000 units (to date). The album featured three charting singles, including the Billboard Top 10 Grammy-nominated "Whataya Want From Me?"
But can the album take the top spot on the Billboard 200? It's a possibility. Still, it has some stiff competition going into the week. Competing for sales, according to New Music Tipsheet, will be new releases like the 22nd studio offering from Santana (Shape Shifter), Lisa Marie Presley (Storm & Grace), the first album from Garbage since 2007 (Not Your Kind of People), Hank Williams Jr. (Icon), and a live album from Godsmack (Live and Inspired), which includes a four-track bonus CD of covered material.
Trespassing will also be competing with albums already vying for sales, like the latest album from fellow "American Idol" alumnus Carrie Underwood, whose fourth studio effort, Blown Away, netted her a third consecutive No. 1 spot this past week on the albums chart. Billboard sees her as holding onto the top position for a second week, even though she'll have to do battle with new albums from Keane, Silversun Pickups, Karmin, and Tank. Of course, there are other strong sellers that Lambert will have to displace, like Norah Jones, B.o.B., One Direction, and others. And then there is the everpresent 21 by Adele, which is still selling enough to stay in the Top 5 nearly every week.
The run-up to Trespassing's release began with the release of the album's first single, "Better Than I Know Myself," in December, but really kicked in with the live closing performance of the title track in early April at the Logo channel's fifth annual NewNowNext Awards. The second single, "Never Close Our Eyes," saw it's debut on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in mid-April when Lambert performed the song (with other songs from Trespassing) on the show's concert series. The song itself was released on April 17.
He also performed "Never Close Our Eyes" on ABC's "Good Morning America" the day before the release of the album, making a triumphant return to the show that refused to allow him to perform after a number of complaints about his live performance at the 2009 American Music Awards, which was broadcast by ABC. The cancellation ignited controversy over not only Lambert's performance and his open homosexuality but also over the hypocrisy of the media's complicit permissiveness of blatant sexual content during performances by men and women on other shows, both live and edited.
Besides Season 10 winner, Scotty McCreery, Lambert is the only true bona fide star "American Idol" has produced since 2008. However, previous "Idol" "stars" -- like 2008's David Cook, 2007's Jordin Sparks, 2005's Taylor Hicks, -- have all faded with time. And although longevity isn't a friend to most in the music business, there is something disappointing about a show that purports to catapult music idols into the spotlight but sees their careers seemingly short-lived. To date, only a handful of artists on the show have gone on to careers that keep them in the spotlight: Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Constantine Maroulis, Fantasia Barrino, Clay Aiken, Kellie Pickler, and the aforementioned Carrie Underwood.
And, of course, the irrepressible Adam Lambert, whose every move seems to have been monitored since he lost to Kris Allen on "American Idol." Not only has he been a hot topic on TMZ and in the tabloids for some of his off-stage exploits, he has also become a spokesperson for charitable organizations like DonorsChoose.org, where he asked friends and fans to donate to the website that supports educational programs instead of sending or buying him gifts for his 28th birthday. The following year, he asked that donations go to charity: water, an organization that uses contributions to provide clean drinking water to areas around the world without the valuable resource. He has become an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community as well.
The glam rocker will appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on the day of Trespassing's release and is scheduled to appear on the "American Idol" Top 3 results show on May 17.
Lambert is also gearing up for a summer tour, part of which will be to sing lead for the rock band Queen. He is scheduled to do five shows with Brian May and Roger Taylor, the two remaining members of the legendary quartet, in Europe, according to the Los Angeles Times.
(photo credit: Greg Hernandez, Creative Commons)
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