Adam Lambert may spend more time getting his paycheck by fronting for Queen, but his own brand of music continues to combine present day production values and 1980’s synth-disco sounds to create the kind of bubblegum music that defined his previous two albums. The Original High, however, is especially disappointing in how the majority of the tracks here resemble watered-down rehashes of the songs in those albums.
The sole exception is the mesmerizing Ghost Town, with a chorus that consists solely of a haunting whistling refrain. This song creates a charming, if discordant, kind of contrast between the dystopian lyrics and the guitar-drenched background track. Sure, Avicii did this first, but the end result is still very nice on the ears.
The Light isn’t particularly original, but it has its charms, although the production value sounds quite cheap, in a background track on a Marco Marco runway kind of way. Lucy, which features Brian May on the guitar, is pretty good too, but I’ve heard this before when Michael Jackson and Slash collaborated on the song Give in to Me all those years ago, and that song is superior to this one.
Songs like Things I Didn’t Say and Evil in the Night all have catchy hooks, but they resemble Mr Lambert’s own songs in the past. In fact, the bulk of The Original High have this “heard this before” feel, and because I’ve heard most of them before in his own albums, it’s not like I can say he’s being inspired by or paying homage to great acts in the 1980’s. Maybe it’s time to change the production team for a fresher sound?