Keeping in mind that these are subject to substantial fluctuation especially for a song just released earlier today, here are the debut rankings for “Broken”:
Things are looking up for Adam Lambert, in probably his busiest year to-date, as he is finally apparently transitioning into a permanent celebrity fixture independent of his role on American Idol. Here is the list:
- Adam just signed with a UK modeling agency. It’s about time.
- Adam is judging the next season of X Factor Australia (after “Ghost Town” reached #2 for 2 weeks there following a well-received performance on the Australian version of “The Voice”).
- Adam is playing Eddie on an upcoming remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
- Adam recently released two non-album singles, “Can’t Go Home” and “Welcome to the Show.” While neither has been a major international smash, (or much of a hit in the US), “Can’t Go Home” has had some success in Germany, while the new music video for “Welcome to the Show” has been getting quite a bit of buzz (35 articles show up in a Google News search, and 0.5M youtube views in its first 3 days — competitive with other recent Adam Lambert releases “Ghost Town” [which was an international hit], and “Another Lonely Night” [which was not]). Is the music video the first step of a full promotion campaign to US radio?
- Adam featured vocals alongside Mary J Blige, Jason Derulo, Britney Spears, Tyler Glenn, Selena Gomez, Halsey, Ty Herndon, Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Jennifer Lopez, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Kacey Musgraves, MNEK, Alex Newell, P!nk, Prince Royce, Nate Ruess, RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Jussie Smollett, Gwen Stefani, and Meghan Trainor, and Mary Lambert (quick shout-out: who just released a super-cute and probably under-appreciated new music video about her love for her dog and her girlfriend), in charity single “Hands,” to raise money for survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre.
- Adam has “The Original High Tour” PLUS more tour dates with Queen + Adam Lambert.
- Adam is apparently already working on his fourth studio album, and he is doing it with hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback.
- Adam has been featured in major recent advertising campaigns by Macy’s and Oreo.
- Adam was the biggest-earning American Idol alum of 2015 with $10M (largely due to touring with Queen). With all of his projects this year, coupled with more Queen tour dates, Adam could see an even bigger paycheck in the wings.
- Oh, yeah. Also, somehow, Adam has basically become the token gay of country music, despite having never released a country single. Adam performed “Girl Crush” alongside Leona Lewis at the CMT awards last year on December 2nd. Now, he has been nominated for a CMT award for “Performance of the Year” for that performance. Either he is the token gay, or country music misinterpreted the performance as the first successful case of conversion therapy.
All of this follows Adam’s true post-Idol breakthrough success with “Ghost Town,” which the New York Times said was “perhaps his best single to date,” before it went on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide (including half a million in the United States), charting in dozens of countries, and reaching the upper rungs of several major music markets (#2 in Australia, #11 in Germany, #1 in Poland, and top five in Russia [of all places!]). Yes, “Whataya Want From Me” was legitimately a bigger international hit, and “If I Had You” was at least a bigger hit in the United States. But, both of those singles were released in the afterglow of American Idol. Typically, artists have their strongest sales with their first project after the talent show — then they slowly fade away to obscurity.
After 2012’s Trespassing, a person could have been forgiven for wondering if that was what was happening to Adam Lambert. The initial sales bump was just enough to give Adam the first ever #1 album by an openly gay male artist, but the singles largely flopped, and album sales dropped like a rock. The media talked less and less about Adam, despite an album that was chock full of what I would consider some of the best music that Adam has ever made. To some extent, that isn’t just me, either. Billboard wrote a 2015 cover article explaining why music aficionados should give Trespassing a second glance, saying “The majority of the album is pure kinetic energy, with Lambert delivering its choruses rapidly and squeezing over-the-top sexuality into every tawdry syllable.”
“Ghost Town” was Adam’s breakthrough single. It a sleeper hit with a long life, whose success was driven by its own catchiness. And the fact that two of pop music’s biggest hitmakers (Max Martin and Shellback) are still working with Adam Lambert for his next project bodes well for his future. But stacked up next to everything else that Adam Lambert has going on this year, it is just one sign among many that Adam has become a permanent fixture, and that he has finally outgrown his origins on American Idol.
I’m sorry. I LOVE Haley Reinhart. She is, without a doubt, easily one of the best vocalists to EVER come off of American Idol. And, I want few things more than to see her musical career take off.
But the studio recording of her new single, quite frankly, shouldn’t have made it past the cutting board.
I don’t mean to suggest that it is a bad song–on the contrary, it is a pretty decent song, ESPECIALLY when Haley delivers one of her signature STUNNING LIVE VOCAL PERFORMANCES. But somehow, when she got into the studio, AMAZING melted into FORGETTABLE.
Let’s be clear: this is NOT a new problem. This is EXACTLY the same problem that haunted the commercial underperformance of Haley’s debut album, Listen Up. Haley delivered solid vocal performances while for some reason leaving out the wow factor that her audiences have come to expect from a live performance.
Ironically, the studio version of “Better” sounds very much like it could have been a featured track on Listen Up. In its current incarnation, it just doesn’t have a chance.
Every time Haley has found success, it has been when she opens up and delivers a stunning raw performance.
That is how she found success on American Idol.
That is how she found success with her one-take viral covers with Postmodern Jukebox.
That is how she was able to bring an old love song to life for a viral Extra gum commercial.
And that is why she FAILS when her producers accept a bland studio performance from her.
Maybe Haley’s label can’t or won’t give her access to high end producers who are extremely talented at extracting an optimal vocal performance from her. My hope is that Haley will read these words and take them to heart, so that she can “listen” to the sound of her own voice.
So take one more listen at what could have been, and tell Haley that she can do “Better.” Bad pun intended.
THE END… & some more detailed critique for the masochists–
Just to be clear, the problem is NOT that Haley’s performance is sub-par relative to a typical current popstar. In fact, it would be a perfectly acceptable performance on a Demi Lovato track. BUT, this is NOT current music. This song is out of its time. It doesn’t fit alongside current hits. If Haley wants to pull this music into a time where it doesn’t “belong,” then she has to fight against gravity. She HAS to produce something that stands out, that grips the audience emotionally, and drags them into her circle.
To quote my boyfriend, “It is perfect background music. I can totally ignore it.”
He was referencing the end of the studio recording, where Haley repeats “I’m feelin’ better feelin’ better feelin’ better now” ad nauseam.
She uses the softer, growly, lower tonalities to build into a breakout point that never comes. At peak, she is still using growly lower register, just louder. It doesn’t work. Then, she just kindof falls back into that pattern at the end & puts it on repeat.
The studio version fails to make full use of Haley’s range & vocal technique. I want to hear some signature Haley vocal acrobatics around the bridge. The song generally fails to make use of the upper part of Haley’s range. It is positively BEGGING for a vocal breakaway at the high point of the song.
The lack of a breakaway into higher tonality detracts from the emotional capacity of the song. Physiologically, real emotions cause the vocal range to move higher. By not breaking out into higher parts of her range, Haley precludes herself from FEELING and CONVEYING the full potential emotional impact of the song. We can passively enjoy it, sure, but it isn’t going to grip our attention and drive us in droves to the iTunes store a la Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” performance a few weeks ago.
Haley’s strength is in her attention to detail. In short, she needs to focus on FEELING the song that she is singing, and she needs to feel free to improvise.
The instant you start listening to “Creep,” the quintessential example of optimal Haley vocal performance, you hear her move into clear, full, multi-tonal that are drawn emotionally with a kind of crystal clear and lattice-like subtlety, which neglects no part of her range.
She needs a sharper cleaner intonation rising into blissful high notes.She needs to be free to improvise. She needs to focus on the details and really feel what she is singing, so that she can really connect with the song and with her audience.
When she does, there is no stopping her.
Haley Reinhart delivered an early surprise for her fans, as she dropped the audio to her new single for YouTube streaming–at least for those with the secret LINK.
Haley Reinhart is dropping a new album tomorrow. You might know her from
— her cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on Extra’s viral gum commercial (~35.7m views from combined official youtube vids +15m spotify)
— her viral cover of “Creep” with Postmodern Jukebox (almost 17m views)
— her viral cover of “All About That Base” with Postmodern Jukebox (over 14m)
— her viral covers of “Seven Nation Army,” “Love Fool,” “Oops I Did It Again” and “Habits” with Postmodern Jukebox (4.8-6m views)
— her cover of “Mad World” with Postmodern Jukebox (2m views)
— her voiceover of a little boy on the Netflix original animated comedy “F is for Family”
— her debut album, Listen Up
— her days on American Idol.
Personally, I think she is the most talented vocalist ever to have been featured on the show. Her cover of “Creep” went viral (almost 17 million views) solely because of her sheer vocal talent. If you haven’t heard it before, you should google it.
First of all, here is the obligatory April Fools-oriented post. Please feel free to trend #SpinTheBottle on twitter & con as many #Glamberts as you can on social media and chat fora. Now, on to the weekly recap —
Ariana Grande just released a new music video — the first in a series? — for “Dangerous Woman.” If she is indeed doing something clever on the music video angle, she could have an incredibly intelligent management team plotting a path to #1 on the Hot 100. Step 1: Great music => spotify streams and easy radio promotion. Step 2: Early music video-type material to spur streams and attention. Step 3: Release new music-video style material on TOP of that which has already been released when the song seams to be at its peak, in order to give it that little extra kick that it needs to make it over the finish line and give Ariana her first #1 hit.
In fact, it seems to be a similar strategy to that being currently pursued by Sia and Iggy Azalea, both of whom released music video-like material (more than a lyric video, but less than the full music video) earlier to drum up the stream-count.
Speaking of music videos, Rihanna also dropped a new one yesterday, and it already has over 5 million streams on Youtube. “Kiss it Better” is a killer single and an excellent followup to “Work,” which has finally clearly peaked at #2 on Radio songs with 164.909 million audience impressions. “Work” loses 0.883 million audience impressions today and drops to 162.626 million over the past week. Couple those stats with the substantial lead that Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” retains (it is still getting over 192 million audience impressions) and the fact that “Sorry” retains a substantial advantage in Callout survey results of pop listeners, and the chances begin to approach 0% that “Work” will ever reach the #1 slot on the radio chart.
Nick Jonas (feat. Tove Lo)’s “Close” (89) is today’s greatest radio gainer, with 24.844 million audience impressions over the past week (+2.602 million today).
Lukas Graham‘s “7Years” (#8) is today’s second-greatest radio gainer with 102.265 million audience impressions over the past week (+2.245 million from yesterday).
Mike Posner‘s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” comes in third, with a 1.65 million increase today (96.562 million over the past week).
Zayn‘s new album, Mind of Mine, is set to top the Billboard 200 next week, but without nearly the level of sales that One Direction was used to. One Direction has typically sold 300,000-600,000 copies of their albums in the first week. Zayn’s Mind of Mine looks like it might have sold 125,000. It’s fascinating, because Zayn’s lead single debuted at #1 on the Hot 100, thereby nominally becoming a bigger hit than anything 1D ever put out.
Meghan Trainor‘s sleek new single, “No” is set to vie with Ariana Grande‘s “Dangerous Woman” for song of the summer, given that both should be peaking around memorial day. Will both or either make it to #1 on the Hot 100?
A few other songs that I think might blow up in summer time?
“Hey” – Fais ft. Afrojack
“The Original High” – Adam Lambert
“Can’t Go Home” – Steve Aoki & Felix Jaehn ft. Adam Lambert
“Team” – Iggy Azalea
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia
“BeFoUr” – Zayn
“Close” – Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo
“Rock Bottom” – Hailee Steinfeld v. DNCE
“Low Life” – Future ft. The Weeknd
“Piece by Piece” – Kelly Clarkson
“Desire” – Years & Years ft. Tove Lo
Adam Lambert may be in the middle of TWO world tours (one as a soloist & one as de facto frontman of Queen), he may have recently been cast in a major role in a Fox reboot of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and he may have some semblance of a love life besides, but he has still found time to release THREE new songs within the span of a week and a half.
First, it was passé “Welcome to the Show,” which starts slow, but which features an excellent vocal interplay with featured artist Laleh. “Welcome to the Show” made an initial dent at iTunes, but unfortunately failed to catch on radio — so far.
Then Adam dropped the deliciously catchy “Can’t Go Home” with Steve Aoki & Felix Jaehn. Felix Jaehn was, of course, one of the geniuses behind the #1 Song of the Summer last year, Omi’s “Cheerleader.”
Now, Adam has sent shockwaves through his global fanbase with a new pop masterpiece which he pairs with none other than his good friend, Kesha. “Spin the Bottle,” the first new music from Kesha since her (key) featured role on Pitbull’s 2013 #1, “Timber,” was, of course, an instant success, reaching #1 on the global iTunes chart within hours of its release this morning.
iTunes data scraped by kworb.net.
ORIGINS OF THE SONG
Adam was really there for Kesha during the lawsuit. Kesha thought it would be fun to record music together, and lo and behold, someone was waiting in the wings with a killer song. Next thing you know, we have a beat drop!!!
How can this be? I thought Kesha was mired in a lawsuit and couldn’t release new music?
Unfortunately, Kesha is still mired in litigation IN THE UNITED STATES. BUT, due to some clever lawyering, Kesha was able to find a loophole that allowed her to release new music INTERNATIONALLY.
Unfortunately for US fans, this means that the song is only available via seedy torrent sites and the like. BUT, for those lucky few Glamberts in select markets overseas where this song IS available, this song is THE FREAKING BOMB, and you have our undying jealousy.
BUT NOT TO FEAR — Kesha’s team has assured us that they are currently in negotiations to get this song released in the US. It is only a matter of time before Greedy Dr. Luke agrees to take a paycheck for what is sure to be a HUGE HIT!!!
Purchase “Welcome to the Show”: http://smarturl.it/adam.wtts
Stream “Welcome to the Show”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z73fSxKpYmA …
Follow Adam Lambert and find his music:
Official Store: http://smarturl.it/adam.d2c
Adam Lambert began a string of cryptic tweets yesterday that appear to be hinting at new music. Finally, he revealed this TEASER for a new single, “Welcome to the Show,” featuring Laleh, to premiere during his final American Idol performance this Thursday.
From Adam’s press release, we know that the song is brand new, having been recorded during an off day while he was on tour. The track was produced by hitmaker Max Martin, and co-written with Ali Payami and featured artist Laleh (who wrote three tracks on Demi Lovato’s recent Confident album).
It is fully confirmed that Adam will be performing the new single this Thursday on Idol. The song will also be released to iTunes for download on the same day.
Adam Lambert’s string of cryptic tweets: