Adam Lambert’s goal for ‘High Drama’: “Drastic” reinvention, to “remind people what I do”

ABC/Paula Lobo

When Adam Lambert first came into our collective consciousness in 2009, he was delivering new interpretations of famous songs like “Ring of Fire” and “Mad World” on American Idol.  Adam says his new album of cover songs, High Drama, is sort of his way of reminding people how good he is at that.

“It was about finding songs that I could completely reinvent,” he told ABC Audio at an album release event in New York City last week. “If I didn’t think I could do something drastic with it, I didn’t want to put it on the album.”

Among the songs he’s done “something drastic” with on the album are Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?,” Kings of Leon‘s “Sex on Fire,” Sia‘s “Chandelier,” Lana Del Rey‘s “West Coast,” Billie Eilish‘s “Getting Older” and Duran Duran‘s “Ordinary World.”

“I think I just picked songs that would be interesting to a listener,” Adam told ABC Audio by way of explaining how he decided which songs to cover. “I wanted to keep an element of surprise in the tracklist. They were all songs that felt authentic to my experience, and all the storytelling…was something that I probably had gone through myself.”

In a recent interview, Adam said that he first decided to release High Drama as something to tide his fans over while he works on his next big project: an original musical. But Adam says the project evolved beyond that.

“I think one of the initial motivations was that, but once we started making the album, it was definitely more than a stopgap,” he notes. “I think the idea behind it was to remind people what I do. And luckily, it seems to be working!”

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