I go back and forth with my opinions of Adam Lambert. Sometimes I think I understand who he is, and sometimes I don’t think we’ll ever know who the real Adam really is. The more and more I see, I keep thinking it’ll clear it all up for me, but the more and more I become confused. I can’t just listen and enjoy. I have to “get” the performer. I have to know where they’re coming from.
I’ll admit, I was never jumping up and down and doing backflips when I first heard him, but I did enjoy his performances. I think he has a great voice, and yeah, we can all agree he’s easy on the eyes. I’ve been downloading his performances from iTunes (see the link in the sidebar on the right) since the beginning, starting with Satisfaction, then following it up with Black & White. Ring of Fire? No. That’s once I didn’t get.
And here’s where I started to form my opinion of Adam Lambert. After singing Satisfaction, we knew him as the rocker, but he’s a different type of rocker than Daughtry or David Cook. Some are calling him a glam rocker. Once he sang Ring of Fire, though, that persona seemed to take on a life of its own. Suddenly I didn’t see him as a rocker anymore, but an actor. He seemed to be playing a role. Like he was copying David Bowie or something. I even made a comment that he was beginning to seem like a poser.
I wanted to see the real Adam; I wanted to see some vulnerability out of him. I wanted to see the guy beneath the overpowering eyeliner and black nail polish. We saw that this week as he sang Tracks of My Tears. It was a very stripped down performance, I felt we were finally seeing the vulnerability, and he was showing us that he did have those feelings and emotions, and if we looked close enough, we’d even be able to see the tracks of his tears. He never did the unique Adam scream he inserts into every song. He kept it low key throughout, and earned praise from the songwriter himself, Smokey Robinson.
Now I’m introduced, thanks to my friend Kelly, to some of Adam’s earlier performances that are uploaded on YouTube. Some of them are out there just as much as Ring of Fire. Yet, once I saw one of him portraying Joshua in The Ten Commandments with Val Kilmer, I know one thing for sure – Adam is an amazing actor. He has an ability to emote a character so that we can look inside. However, when I watch someone sing, I want to look inside the singer, not a character. This led me to wonder if we were seeing Adam in Tracks of My Tears, or just another character.
It’s possible that Adam might not even know who the real him is. He’s been in musical theater since he was 10. He’s still only 26 years old. At 26 I had been married for a year, but was still many years away from figuring out who I was. And if I had the ability to portray someone else so easily and be believed and loved for it, I would have been doing it at every opportunity as well. I also would have been more confused than I already was. Maybe that’s the source of the tears that are forming tracks in his face.
Photo courtesy of Fox