The followup song, "Cuckoo" is a fan favorite so far. Avoiding the over used cliche "crazy in love", Adam opts for being cuckoo instead, offering up a unique look at a situation that we have heard before. The song is talking about being in love with the music, and is definitely a track that will have you dancing. The breakdown was awesome, but a part of me was disappointed that there was a tiny bit of dubstep thrown in there. The dubstep breakdown is becoming overused and boring. My main concern with the song is a bit trivial, but he does drop the F-bomb a few times, but the song isn't labeled as explicit. Certainly this isn't his fault, but I know it has come back to bite some artists in the butt, so I'm hoping it doesn't blow up for him.
"Shady" was the song I was waiting for. I love Sam Sparro, and I've heard good things about Nile Rodgers. The thing I love most of all about this song, and album as a whole actually, is that Adam is finally out of his shell, and making an album with so many gay themes, and he is being accepted for doing so. "Shady" is a predominantly gay term, and the song even calls out "the gays" at the end. As for the song itself, it was a bit more animalistic than I was expecting, and it wasn't my personal favorite, but I'm sure it has a lot of fans.
The second of the lead in singles, "Never Close Our Eyes" seemed like a no-brainer for a single release. The song is a very straightforward pop song that is very strong both vocally and musically. He sings about being so incredibly in love with somebody that he wants to spend every minute with them. The first single, "Better Than I Know Myself", which has been song of the week previously, actually took much longer to grow on me. The two songs do a good job of introducing the audience into the new era of Lambert.
Another New-Age feeling Jackson song is "Kickn' In" has to be a favorite of mine. I think the main reason I find the songs to be reminiscent of the king of pop is due to the tracks driving groove bass line coupled with very strong, high-pitched vocals. Aside from this, the song is amusing as in it seems that it is about a girl who just doesn't get it. Lyrics that could easily slip by (unless you examine them in the sexy booklet with the album) such as "She wants to introduce me to her friend Eddie" and "Am I about to do a three?" give the song a whole new meaning. Let's try not to think about that too hard.
"Naked Love" is a musical change of pace. Still keeping the pop feel, it opts for acoustic guitars layered within a more traditional and upbeat pop feel. Being very radio friendly, I think this might have been made earlier in the album's production as it doesn't really fit in with the rest. The lyrics are very cute -- less dark than the rest of "Trespassing"s tone.
The change of pace only lasts for on track, as "Pop That Lock" brings us back down into the dark-n-dirty feel yet again. Being at a pivotal point in my life, this song's message really got through to me. The lyrics are urging you to follow your dreams no matter what it takes, which has been very close to some situations I have encountered lately, and the song has really set well with me. It may not be the most polished of them all, nor the most "Adam sounding" of the lot, but it's message is what I took away from it all.
Another pace-changing song, but in a different way from before, is "Broken English". This song has very obvious contest in Adam's life, as his boyfriend is Finnish. Sometimes when you can't speak to someone, you can still connect with them in other ways. The song is very sexually charged, which allows me to look past it's slower beat that can feel like it's dragging along. I can say it isn't my favorite song, but with so much amazing material to compare it to, that certainly doesn't discredit this one in any way.
"Underneath" is another slower song, relying heavily on piano, but for some reason it doesn't seem to drag along as much as it's predecessor. The song talks about there being more to him than just being a pop star. He is a real person, and he craves to be treated as such. The song being so bare really makes his important message get across better, and allows him to showcase his amazing voice. Sometimes I get so caught up in electronic back beats that I forget how talented some of these people really are. Bravo, Adam. Bravo.
Staying with the lower pace, "Chokehold" and "Outlaws of Love" may end the album on a slower note, but I feel they give the album a bit more of a harder edge, making it more accessible to those who aren't as big a fan of Adams delve into electro-pop. Im a fan of big finishes, so I am glad I got the Deluxe Edition, because the regular's final song was not enough of a finisher for me.
I had been hearing people rave about the Deluxe tracks, so I went ahead and blindly coughed up the extra couple of dollars to get the three bonus songs. "Runnin" is a great track both vocally and musically, which seems to delve into a darker time in Adam's life when he was "running from love." I'm sure this song could be interpenetrated in many different ways, but given what I know about him, I have to wonder if the song was about his coming to terms with his sexuality.
The best of the three bonus tracks is definitely "Take Back", a song about wanting to take back some hard things that had been said over a break up. This song is very much in line with the dark love theme of the entire album, and incorporates much of the new age electronic vibes, leading me to wonder why this was demoted to "bonus track." Regardless, I am thankful to have this one, as it is both fun to listen to and sing along with.
"Nirvana" was the song I heard the most about prior to the album's release (as I follow a lot of Glamberts on Twitter, ya know). An interesting mix of piano and dubstep, this song is definitely the first I've heard of it's kind. The song is about finding a place where he can be who he wants to be, love who he wants to love, and can be truly happy. The song is a very sweet yet unconventional love song, which is exactly what I love about Adam. His views of love seem to differ so much from the current state of pop music, making him stand out in ways far beyond his unique take at dark pop. This is the finisher that I was craving for.
So the question remains: Is the Deluxe Edition worth buying? It is only two dollars more in most places, including it's iTunes price, so I would say yes. The songs are strong, and add to not only the vibe of the album, but it's message and unique take on love. The only gripe I have about the deluxe at all, to be honest, is the album art compared to the regular edition. Anyone else think they should be swapped?
I am in love with this album. Sending both dark yet positive messages, Adam manages to accomplish what few others have done in the realm of pop music, and that is make an album where every single song is amazing. There isn't a single song on the album that I could find any major faults in. This is a very strong contender for album of the year, not just from Taking Over The Universe, but also from respected blogs, sites, and organizations worldwide. Adam is back. Dark Pop is back. God I love it.