By Melissa Maerz
May 11, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT



Adam Lambert might be the only American Idol alum who considers purple eyeliner a daytime look. So it’s hard to understand why it took him so long to make his big gay dance-club album. Even after he came out in 2009, the eighth-season runner-up didn’t stop flirting with the straight crowd, indulging in classic-rock guitars and gender-neutral pronouns on his debut, For Your Entertainment. But on Trespassing, he’s left the closet far behind — defending gay marriage (”Outlaws of Love”) and celebrating what happens when two consenting adults love each other enough to share their safe words (”Chokehold”). He’s also officially coming out as a superfan of funk, ’80s-night house, and Studio 54 grooves, tapping Chic’s Nile Rodgers to produce, along with Pharrell Williams and Dr. Luke. Thanks to these pop vets, Trespassing‘s first half is a study in fabulosity: ”Kickin’ In” is stripper-heel disco at its finest, and the rousing ”Shady” plants its freak flag in the uncharted territory between Nine Inch Nails and Michael Jackson. Too bad the ballad-heavy second half is so laughably over-the-top. By the end, our hero is wailing about fallen Towers of Babel and ripping away his flesh and bone to a ”red river of screams.” Cheer up, Glammy. It’s nothing a little makeup remover can’t fix. B-

Best Tracks:
Scissor Sisters-inspired Kickin’ In
Industrial Pounder Shady


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