October 28, 2009

"As if a '70s time-capsule blasted off into space and you're watching it through a holographic filter."

Adam Lambert's description of his new album, the cover design of which is getting a big reaction:



Lyndsey Parker loves it:
Now, I adore this cover's absolutely fabulous retro vibe. (It looks so much like a beauty shot snapped by Andy Warhol in some glitter-dusted private party room at Studio 54, I can almost imagine Bianca Jagger riding a white horse in the background; what's not to like?)
Others are less enthusiastic. Ian Spaceman:
What do you get when you mix together My Little Pony, Ziggy Stardust, a cheesy 80s school picture, the Purple Rain font, and Microsoft Publisher? The new Adam Lambert album cover, that's what. This is artistically indefensible and, I suspect, commercially suicidal.
I'm not sure what "absolutely fabulous retro vibe" feels like to people who didn't live through the 70s when they were really happening. I've been through much of Andy Warhol's visual work and I've read his various scribblings — "Diaries," "Philosophy" — but nothing about that Lambert cover reminds me of Andy Warhol. I thought more of David Bowie, but browsing through old Bowie album covers — after looking at Lambert's — they all looked damned subtle and artful to me. Compare:


37 comments:

Robert Cook said...

It's reminiscent of the packaging of such early 70s hypes as Jobriath:

http://earbuds.popdose.com/john/jobriath.jpg

http://www.amoeba.com/dynamic-images/blog/Eric_B/JobriathCover-ABRANXImageTreatment2.jpg

Florida said...

The pussy-fying of the American male continues unabated in the media world.

I say: Bring back the Marlboro Man.

Lung cancer, in retrospect, was a small price to pay.

Treacle said...

What he is, Ann, is a 27 year-old, ugly, pock marked Jew fairy, and if it takes him a little while to pull himself together, and if he smokes a little grass before he gets up the nerve to show his face to the world, it's nobody's god damned business but his own. And how are you this evening?

Robert Cook said...

Such lovely comments from such stupid, stupid people.

bearbee said...

Oooops.....I thought that was a picture of a girrrrl, heavy featured but nevertheless a.......girrrrl.

Took a moment to remember Adam Lambert was that shaggy-haired-peering-through-bangs male singer.

kentuckyliz said...

I can now operate the Photoshop Healing Brush that gets rid of acne scars and zits and blemishes.

I can whiten eyes, too.

How did they do these things in the 70s without Photoshop?

traditionalguy said...

What a confusing world for young people. Is Adam a he or a she? Or if it doesn't matter, than what does matter anymore?

MadisonMan said...

but browsing through old Bowie album covers

You need to have a garage sale if you can browse through old Bowie Album covers.

Andrea said...

"How did they do these things in the 70s without Photoshop?"

They physically airbrushed flaws out of the actual photograph. (You'll have to scroll down a bit for the relevant part about photography and art. And you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a reference to "airbrushing techniques" that doesn't take you straight to a Photoshop tutorial.)

As for the album cover: another tacky transvestite. It looks like any cover of any of those albums of the 70s and 80s (that's vinyl LP albums, kids) that ended up almost right away in the bargain bin with a hole cut out of the corner of the album jacket (to indicate they were resales, like the old practice of tearing off the covers of paperbacks before reselling them).

Pogo said...

1980s Prince wannabe found in the discount bin, $1.

t-man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Avierra said...

It may be reminiscent of the 70s androgynous thing, but I don't think Adam carries it off so well. The thing about Bowie is that he has amazing bone structure. I think Adam would have pretty good bone structure too if he'd lose about 50 pounds. He's too soft-looking. Bowie is all chiseled features and sexy danger-- a panty melter-- while Adam is someone you'd like to take clothes shopping with you. He just doesn't have the vibe Bowie does. But then, not many people do.

t-man said...

That doesn't seem 70's to me at all, it is 80's all the way. His pose is like Bowie's, but he looks more like the androgenous Brit guy who sang "You Spin Me Right Round, Baby Right Round." Everything else about the cover screams "Miami Vice".

Pogo - you are right about the Prince vibe, too.

Isn't the "effeminate man as shocking and edgy" schtick pretty old by now?

Shanna said...

That cover looks like he's trying too hard. I'll be interested to hear if what's actually on the album is as retro as the cover.

SteveR said...

Is as if he's making a statement, he's already made (and made, and made...). Move on.

bearbee said...

Has a kinda thick featured effeminate Elvis appearance.

The Crack Emcee said...

They both look like they're contemplating a suggestion to put my dick in their mouths, which is as it should be.

Hazy Dave said...

I thought first of Jobriath, as well. More than a hint of some of the highly polished ladies of the eighties, too. Maybe Pat Benatar or the more obscure Sue Saad, but I had nearly as little interest in their music as I do American Idol.

NP: "Aaawk" - Zappa/Mothers with John & Yoko @ Fillmore East (Playground Psychotics mix)

former law student said...

That album cover should only be for "A Tribute to Liza"

joan said...

I believe it is inspired by Todd Haynes movie "Velvet Goldmine" which was also inspired by David Bowie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120879/

Ralph L said...

I'd taste his baby-pink lipstick
and that's when I'd melt

WV abistig - he's only got the lower one

Bissage said...

That Adam Lambert cover is too painfully earnest for my tastes. Way too flat. Way too obvious.

But that “Hunky Dory” cover is great.

So is this one, and it picks up extra bonus points for subtle wit.

shade said...

The era is right but the references are wrong. This is the Roxy Music cover look. See:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ggFaXWbCL._SS400_.jpg (font)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZKdqqhkWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B0000256KM/sr=1-6/qid=1256741354/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music&qid=1256741354&sr=1-6

and ESPECIALLY:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000002LJL/sr=1-13/qid=1256741486/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music&qid=1256741486&sr=1-13

bearbee said...

Has a kinda thick featured effeminate Elvis appearance.

...or maybe Lisa Marie Presley look.

Squid Vicious said...

I'm sorry, this looks a lot less David Bowie-Hunky Dory than Village People-Renaissance. Google it if you don't know what that is, you're in for a treat.

chuck b. said...

Well, I like it. But, as I tweeted, the problem w/ Adam Lambert is that he doesn't go far enough. To be a glam rock idol, you have to blow that sh-t out. No half-measures.

Audities said...

Your first commentor Robert has it exactly right - Jobriath! With the colorinings and backlighting that graced dozens if not hundreds of awful 80s albums covers. Now if his producers have done Adam right the record will be synth-coated in that shimmering 80s mix that much destroys most recordings of the era.

Btw, googling "awful 80s album covers" & "bad 80s album covers" lands Lambert's entry in the 2 & 4 spots.

I suggest these cannonized repositories for such a round wonder:

http://www.worstalbumcovers.org/page/Fashion+Victims

http://www.boston.com/ae/music/gallery/bad_album_covers/

EDH said...

The next Pete Burns?

But he'll need a hit song first.

Paddy O. said...

It looks like one of those sparkly myspace images, but without the sparkles.

wv: distryp. It takes away the high.

Synova said...

The measure of whether or not this is "good" cover art or not is dependent on Lambert's audience and nothing else.

I'm thinking that his fans probably love it.

Which means it succeeds.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Reminds me of an Alyssa Milano album cover.

I hate Lambert, but I'd love him if he covered Look in My Heart.

Withyouanon said...

Interesting. Less reminded me of Warhol than a lot of the cover photography Richard Bernstein did for Interview magazine. Subsequently published in collected form as Megastars in '84 and picked up for a pittance at the time.
Saccharin in the extreme, but quite mesmerising.

menley said...

I don't like it, but I don't like Kris Allen's album cover, either.

Many Adam Lambert fans simultaneously claimed 1) he didn't win AI because he's gay, and 2) he will sell far more music than Kris Allen. It doesn't make sense to me.

knox said...

Adore the BOwie cover.

Methadras said...

What is that giant sucking sound? Oh, it's some record company executive putting a hole in his head when he sees this.

Methadras said...

Jason (the commenter) said...

Reminds me of an Alyssa Milano album cover.

I hate Lambert, but I'd love him if he covered Look in My Heart.


What the fuck is wrong with the world...?

Methadras said...

Robert Cook said...

Such lovely comments from such stupid, stupid people.


Why do you masturbate and kill kittens every time you do it?