Ding, ding, ding, ding! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rummmmblllle…or at least get ready to mark Nov. 24 on our calendars with big, red ‘Xs.’ How come? Because that’s when two of this season’s most anticipated debut albums will be dropped like scalding plates coming out of the microwave.
In the Simon Fuller corner, it’s American Idol season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, the man whose rendition of “Mad World” left approximately 20 million Americans sobbing softly on their couches. The man whose boots/jacket combo made the members of Kiss look downright demure at the Idol season finale. The man who caused my Social Security-collecting mother to lasciviously shout “Come to mama!” at the Idol concert tour stop in Albany, NY, in August. The man who managed to top Barbra Streisand and Madonna on Amazon.com’s album pre-sale charts this week — even though fans won’t be able to listen to said record for almost two months.
In the Simon Cowell corner, it’s Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle, the woman whose audition to “I Dreamed a Dream” has racked up more than 76 million plays on YouTube (for the official version alone), a performance I am not ashamed to admit just made me get a little lump in my throat when I watched it again a few minutes ago. (Hey, just because your emotions are being manipulated doesn’t mean they’re not genuine, right?) Susan also topped Amazon’s pre-sale chart last month thanks to rabid fans who helped her surge past the Beatles and Whitney Houston.
That said, while I’m curious to see how Sony shoehorns the talented Ms. Boyle into the pop-music marketplace, as a total Idoloonie, I’m more excited for Adam’s set. I’m sure I’m not the only one obsessed with finding out what in the universe Adam’s debut is going to sound like (best guess: probably like nothing currently in said universe), and his list of collaborators to date — including Linda Perry, Max Martin, RedOne, Ryan Tedder, and Greg Wells — indicates his label is leaving no commercially viable stone unturned. What’s more, Randy Jackson told me recently that he bumped into Adam in the hallway of an L.A. recording studio, and what he heard of the still-in-progress disc was “hot, interesting, and cool.” (Okay, that’s not a lot of detail, but at least I scored you something better than a standard-issue “molten-hot lava bomb,” yes?) What’s more, Boyle’s lead single (a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses”) sort of reminds me of one of the growing number of victims on The Vampire Diaries: Outwardly pretty, but drained of any blood or life or excitement. In the pantheon of “Wild Horses,” Rolling Stones > The Sundays > Susan Boyle. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I have to hold out hope that whatever Adam unleashes on radio in the next week or two will, by comparison, be positively throbbing.
But maybe that’s just me. Vote in our poll below and tell us which Nov. 24 record release has you fluttering on the inside: Adam Lambert or Susan Boyle? (And to keep up on all my Idol-related articles, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!)
Image Credit: Lambert: Frank Micelotta/Fox; Boyle: Robert Perry/TSPL/Camera Press/Retna Ltd