It’s been three years since Adam Lambert’s sophomore album, Trespassing, hit the shelves. Now his new single ‘Ghost Town’ from his upcoming album, The Original High, has just been released, and the change of pace in his style can only be described as fully refreshing.
Lambert had already been hinting at the album being “darker” than anything he has done previously, and we get a small taste of that in this new song. The song is the ode of a broken man, as explained by the hook, “Now I know my heart is a ghost town.”
The song begins with simple guitar riffs in the background, gentle verses that showcase Lambert’s voice in a vulnerable and poignant manner. The lyrics, “I tried to believe in God and James Dean / But Hollywood sold out” deals with the themes of materialism that Lambert often highlights in his songs, while the following line, “Saw all of the saints lock up the gates / I could not enter” brings elements of spirituality into it.
One of Lambert’s defining characteristics in his music is his ability to create a balance in everything he does, and the song doesn’t only strike a balance thematically but also musically. The chorus, in contrast to the stripped-down verses, are executed with a synth-pop vibe. The whistle hook that comes right before the chorus is utterly addicting, and it’s quite surprising to realize that the chorus only comprises of one line, the rest is purely electronic instrumentals.
It works in Lambert’s favour, however, as the second verse is more instrumentally layered than the first. The song just keeps escalating from then on, and the bridge is a marvel to listen to. The lines, “There’s no one left in the world / I’m gun slingin’ / Don’t give a damn if go / Down, down, down” brings just the kind of ferocity that the song needs. Being in a ghost town isn’t all metaphysical realities and bitter regrets—there is real, tangible anger in it that Lambert’s voice executes effortlessly.
The song does seem a little short in length compared to regular EDM songs, and with the saturation of the genre, it may be difficult to stand out in the crowd. But it’s still a commendable attempt at redefining genres while still maintaining his individual artistry. He has described his album as being “black and white” in tone, and the song proudly displays that with the utmost confidence.