Broken Open: Adam Lambert; The Agony and Ecstasy of Singing

There is a case to be made for the fact that each of us is born with innate abilities, which when honed, transform us into experts, at best, in our fields of interest, and competents, otherwise. Our absorbing interests often also turn out to be what we feel most passionate about. Thus athletes, writers, painters, lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc., are all examples of people who may have perfected their skills in the area of their greatest interest and passion.

Singers are no different. As a singer myself, I absolutely believe that singers are born that way. Our connection to our voice generally manifests itself in an overpowering urge to sing, usually from a very young age, and it drives us relentlessly on to develop our skills and to find the repertoire best suited to our instrument.

Adam Lambert is a perfect example of a born singer. Not only was he born with an exceptional instrument, he started working on it from a very young age. On his site, NegativeNeil.com, his brother, Neil, talks hilariously about siblings, and how annoying it was for him as a youngster having to listen to Adam wildly improvising over songs on the radio all day long. Neil thought Adam was just showing off. As a non-singer he would not have understood Adam’s need to do that. Neil goes on to say that he understands it now, though.

But for singers, this yearning to sing is typically so intense, that we feel as though we have almost no choice in the matter; that singing has in fact chosen us, not the other way around, and we must heed its call, or suffer excruciatingly. The necessity to sing is more than a passion: it is a need so strong, that if ignored, causes actual physical pain, but one for which there is no painkillers, because the pain is emotional and spiritual, but sits, nevertheless, in our physical body, alongside our voice.

During an online conversation with Juneau, she asked what I would like to write about and I mentioned that I wanted to write on this topic – the uncontrollable, inexplicable urge that singers have to sing and what happens when we ignore this overwhelming desire. “Oh,” she said, “is it like the uncontrollable, inexplicable urge we have to spend our days on the computer trying to find all things Adam?” I had to laugh. But she has a point: it is somewhat similar, and something we can all relate to, right? Now multiply the Adam urge by about a thousand times and you’ll get the idea of what it feels like to need to sing.

One of my own singing teachers, a world-renowned operatic tenor, used to say that the call from our voice to sing is like an incurable disease and the only relief we’ll feel, is in those few moments when we’re actually singing. Perhaps that’s what Adam is like for us? He is our incurable disease and the only relief we’ll feel is to have him in our lives as much as we can. And the only way we can do that is by looking at him, listening to him, and by knowing that he‘s there, that he is continuing to shine his magical essence into all our hearts. And therefore, he would need to continue to sing for us – and also for himself. My old singing teacher used to say, too, that you can hear a person’s soul through their voice, and if that is true, then Adam’s soul is beyond beautiful!

Of course we know that Adam is a magnificent, highly skilled, extremely intelligent, versatile, uninhibited, utterly fearless performer, that he is uniquely talented and enormously creative, that he is physically and spiritually unearthly beautiful, and that he is one of the most charming, charismatic, courageous and sensual humans ever to walk this earth, but for me, his astonishing vocal instrument is the thing I cannot get enough of. When I hear his voice, I find myself utterly captivated: I have to stop what I’m doing and give his voice my full attention – I never dare listen to his CD in the car! I experience his voice like a sound bath: it washes through every fibre of my being, and it feels as though the harmonics and frequencies in his voice massages all of me, right down to the very smallest quark that makes up my physical body, and right down to the tiniest wisp that makes up my soul. I have never had that experience when listening to any other voice before – I’ve listened to some pretty good ones and have had the privilege to be very close to some of the most beautiful and renowned voices in the world today, and I remain astonished by the effect Adam‘s voice has on me.

But because we all have a voice, even without consciously using it as the musical instrument that it is, we can all relate especially to the music of singers’ voices, which is the reason why, when listening to an instrumental piece, if a singer starts to sing, especially a good one, our attention shifts immediately, completely and entirely to the singer’s voice.

For singers, the importance of our voice is doubly real, because we’re continually aware of the fact that even as we carry our precious instrument within our bodies, our connection to it is a physical, emotional, spiritual and sensual certainty. But because the voice exposes so much of who we really are, even singers often find it difficult to allow themselves complete connection to it in front of an audience. I guess we all want to hide our real, vulnerable selves from the prying, possibly judgemental eyes of others. And yet, we still cannot deny the voice’s demand that we sing, because the pain associated with not singing when you have been chosen to do so, is unbearable.

Apparently all singers at some point in their careers, experience this pain associated with the voice. Some find it intolerable and seek to numb themselves into believing that they weren’t any good in the first place, so they attempt to bury their singing voice, and instead choose some other way to fill their days – this is never a good idea; the voice’s call will find you eventually! Others go through the pain barrier and the experience shows up in their voice’s timbre and tone as beauty, sensitivity, depth, strength, openness and passion. Does this sound like someone we all know?

With what knowledge I have accumulated of voices, having sung professionally for more years than I care to remember, and periodically also having taught singing and voice for over twenty-five years, I feel some of the reason that Adam’s voice is so exceptional in its elegance and exquisiteness, is that he too, had to have gone through the pain barrier, related, at some level, with the feeling of coming to a dead-end in singing. Of course, Adam has experienced other kinds of pain in his life: that too, is obvious in the sound and texture of his voice, because as unfortunate and distressing as these experiences are, they enhance the voice of a singer. I may be wrong, but it feels as though the anguish he most likely would have experienced at some point, may perhaps have been associated with a frustration at not being able to ‘fly’ with his voice, at not being able to sing to his fullest capability, and perhaps at not being given the opportunity to push against the limits of his instrument, something which all singers want to do, and which, usually, together with the search for the right repertoire, becomes the cause of a vocal crisis. Adam has mentioned several times his incomprehension at not being promoted to the male lead role in Wicked, for example, and this, no doubt, would have added to his frustration and would have brought about that kind of crisis for the voice. But although clearly agonizing for him at the time, I for one, am very happy that it all worked out this way; not just for us, but for him, too. This is just the beginning: he has only just found his feet – I’m out-of-my-skin excited to witness the ‘flying’ when he’s ready!

When we experience a singer like Adam, who has not only given himself permission to connect to his own voice on every level, but who is also further exceptionally courageous by being as vulnerable as anyone can be, giving of himself one hundred percent each time he performs, the experience for the audience becomes an overwhelming one at the deepest levels of truth and authenticity. And because he makes it looks so easy, we feel we too, can do what he does. That, however, is his artistry. And so for those moments that we watch him, we become him, and we too, experience our uninhibited, free selves, not thinking or worrying about what others think of us – he makes it safe for us. And through that, he heals us; he heals our broken dreams, our broken, wounded selves, our neglected selves, and our limited selves.

There are very few singers in the world today, though, who have given themselves permission to do what Adam is doing and to be that vulnerable. One, who readily springs to mind, is the Spanish tenor, Placido Domingo, another incredible singer, an innovative, fearless artist, and a beautiful human being. Quite a coincidence that he, too, like Adam, is an Aquarian.

Listen to his amazing rendition of the well-known Puccini aria, Nessun Dorma, from the opera, Turandot:

Of course Adam has worked hard on his vocal instrument to be able to produce the wonderful sounds that he makes, to be able to sing so many concerts in a row, to be able to communicate so emotionally and uniquely with his audience, but what makes his voice, in particular, so astonishing, I feel, is this: Adam has complete understanding of his voice as a musical instrument. He uses pure classical techniques for breathing and to support his voice, something which he has undoubtedly perfected over years, so that he plays his voice much like a concert pianist or violinist would play the piano or the violin. Of course he borrows and uses many skills from different styles and genres of singing – even in this, he is inclusive! – but he is very clever in that the core techniques which support his voice so perfectly, remain the classical ones.

When listening to music that affects us deeply, we are not usually aware of the techniques involved, because we are transported by the music itself. Adam clearly appreciates that his voice has this power, too. He recognizes that what make his voice sound like music are the long unbroken lines (legato lines) that he sings, on elongated open vowel sounds, which is already difficult enough to master. But what makes him so astonishing and absolutely unique in today’s pop music industry, is that he sings with an opera singer’s technique, in that he sings not only these long lines in the music, he does so also with the lyrics, tying one word to the next, whilst still having absolute clarity of diction and tone. This is a very difficult skill to learn, even for operatic singers, many of whom can do one but not the other and if they do both, you can’t understand what they’re singing. It is a further testament to Adam’s understanding of the music of his voice, and of his dedication to his instrument. And it is this, primarily, which makes us, the audience, experience the ‘wall of sound’ effect he presents to us, and that’s why often, it seems as though he doesn’t need any accompaniment; that his voice is music enough on its own – which it is!

A singer, no longer with us unfortunately, who, in my opinion, comes closest to demonstrating with his voice exactly what Adam does in terms of the legato line, is Jussi Bjorling, a Swedish tenor. (Freakishly, he was another Aquarian! I didn’t know this until I researched his birthday on Wikipedia!)

Here he sings one of my favourite arias: Una furtiva lagrima, from the opera L’elisir D’amore by Donizetti

You’ll see what I mean about Adam’s use of legato lines if you now listen to him singing Broken Open (or indeed any of his other songs – even the up-tempo ones!)

The reason I like this one, specifically, is that it’s very acoustic with just the guitar, and although the sound quality isn’t so great, Adam’s voice is completely warm in this one, and also, because he has by now been singing it in a few shows, it sits better in his voice. His voice has taken on a different, more depth-full tone, and in this particular version, his legato lines are completely perfect.

To demonstrate the influence our own voice has over us, including for non-singers, we may look at those times when we’ve lost our voice – maybe through laryngitis or because we’ve screamed ourselves hoarse at a sports event or at a rock concert – maybe even at one of Adam’s shows? The next few days, whilst our voice is recovering, we’ll have that surreal ‘loss of self’ experience that comes when people seem not to ‘see’ us as we’re unable to voice ourselves to the world. This is a big clue as to how much of our identity, of ‘us’, is tied up with our voice and that goes for everyone, not only for singers. And it should go a long way to help us appreciate precisely how magnificent, how generous, and how courageous Adam is in giving us so much of his voice and so much of himself – it truly is not as easy as he makes it look. He really is ‘Broken Open’ every time he gives us his gifts.

I think the lyrics to the song, Broken Open, tells us a lot about Adam‘s voice.

Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
I don’t want you to go, don’t want to see you back out in the cold
Air you breathing out fades you to grey
Don’t run away, find me

I know the battles of chasing the shadows
Of who you wanna be
It doesn’t matter, go on and shatter
I’m all you need

Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here it’s safe here, I’ll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here, so we can be broken open

Let’s enlighten the night
We can fall away, slip out of sight
When you drop your guard, melt into time
So intertwined, quiet

I know the battles of chasing the shadows
Of who you wanna be
It doesn’t matter, go on and shatter
I’m all you need

Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here it’s safe here, I’ll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here, so we can be broken open

 

About soundbath

I loved singing from a very young age and first performed in public when just seven years old. As a child, living as we did, on a farm in the middle of the Kalahari Desert - the place of my birth - we had no television and my mother played records by Mario Lanza, Guiseppe Di Stephano, Beniamino Gigli, Franco Corelli, Jussi Bjorling, Enrico Caruso and other well-known Italian opera tenors, day in and day out. I adored this music and their beautiful voices, and was convinced I would be a tenor when I grew up. But the small matter of being born a girl, shattered that dream! I trained as a soprano instead, and have been fortunate enough to sing all over the world, enjoying some wonderful moments along the way, including being invited to Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of my contribution to the music, economy and culture of the UK.
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33 Responses to Broken Open: Adam Lambert; The Agony and Ecstasy of Singing

  1. cassie says:

    Angelina,
    You are a gem! You made me listen to Broken Open with new ears! As you said, when something is exquisitely performed we are carried away and don’t know why. BO is such a melodically simple song. Certainly not an obvious jaw dropper in range that we so often hear with Adam. Guided by your words, I listened to the long lines and elegant phrasing, and, AHHHHHHHHH, THAT’S what is so beautifully tender and touching about it. (And, as you pointed out, a technical challenge as much as the glory notes are.)

    Thank you for sharing your insight and expertise.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Cassie,

      Thanks so much for dropping by and for your great comments. Yes, Broken Open is such a deceptively simple song, both melodically and lyrically, but, oh so powerful – probably exactly BECAUSE it’s so simple and so clever.

  2. celtcwrtr says:

    Enjoyed your insightful article. Adam’s voice is more than amazing, and I appreciated your technical explanation and theory regarding it.

    Broken Open has always been my favorite from FYE. Not only is it beautiful and “speaks to me,” it was co-written by Adam. And while I’m a fierce advocate of Monte Pittman (he is an absolutely awesome guitarist and the friendship he shares w/ Adam provides them a bond that extends to their performances) my favorite rendition of it is the one from the VH1 sessions.

    Zac Baird on keys was outstanding, and the quality of the sound is so much better than what’s recorded by fans @ the GNT concerts (that were lucky enough to experience it).

    • soundbath says:

      Hi celtcwrtr,

      Thank you for dropping by and for your lovely comments.

      Yes, I too, LOVE Broken Open and actually, my favourite version is the one on the For Your Entertainment album. I appreciate you sharing your favourite rendition of it with me, and you’ll probably have noticed it’s the one I’ve used in the programme about Adam’s Powerful Lyrics, because I wanted our listeners to hear the words completely clearly.

      Unfortunately, Adam didn’t sing it in during the GNT shows I attended – I would so have LOVED to have heard it live!

  3. glamity58 says:

    Once again, you express so articulately what we are all thinking about Adam. I wish more people would have the courage and openness to listen to this great singer. Please don’t give up on promoting him. I do it in my own way here in Wisconsin. So many people say, he’s a great singer, but they don’t really know how great he truly is. I have loved Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Whiteney Houston, Josh Groban, Pavarotti, etc. But one thing they can’t seem to do is cross over into several genres like Adam can. Adam was the first person I heard sing classical or serious music and then amaze me with his singing of Pop, Rock ‘n Roll, and musical theatre. He can do it all. I hope he does well and America and the UK welcome him as he deserves. Thanks again for explaining the science and beauty of Adam’s voice to us “lay people.” We apprecaite it.

    • soundbath says:

      Glamity58, Thank you ever so much for taking the time to leave a comment here – I appreciate it enormously.

      I know exactly what you mean: there are very, very few artists who can cross-over authentically from one genre to another and Adam is certainly extraordinary in his ability to do so seemingly with such ease. I’m so happy we have him in the world.

      And you’re right: those of us who can, will keep on promoting him, and his exceptional gifts, right?

  4. LAMBERTLUST says:

    wow what a beautifully written article!

  5. Anja says:

    Hallo soundbath

    Im studying voice from an “energetic” point of view so i was fascinated to hear your views on the power of voice, and what it reveals, and Adam Lambert’s voice in particular. Im not trained in listening like you are, but i agree there is something….something….exquisite and exceptional about his voice – like a 4 carat diamond. Voices carry vibrations, and we cant fool anyone at that level of perception: what we are gets vibrated out through our voices, among other things. The impact Adam’s voice has on me, makes me very curious, and very delighted. There’s something truly exquisite about this man, about his soul. And its really hard to pin down, define logically. Poetry, Song, and Swooning might convey it better!

    • soundbath says:

      Hello Anja,

      Your voice studies sound fascinating – I’d LOVE to hear more about it! I’m delighted that you like my musings and that you took the time to comment here.

      I agree with you about the vibrations and frequencies in the human voice, which we somehow perceive beyond our ‘normal’ senses – a truly fascinating area of study! And as for you, the impact of Adam’s voice on me is continuously surprising to me, and astonishing in its intensity – I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it, because each time I listen to him, even on the same recordings I may have listened to numerous times, I find something I hadn’t experienced before – it’s like an exquisite celestial flower with layer upon layer of harmonics, complimentary colours and shapes and resonances and just when you’ve peeked behind a layer, thinking you’ve found the answer, your attention is diverted somewhere else – so for me, yes, his soul is beyond beauty and his voice absolutely defies logic!

      LOVE your last sentence: “Poetry, Song, and Swooning might convey it better!” :)

  6. Sandy says:

    Dear Angelina, your article put me in that very special soft, encompassing place I go to when I need to gear down and float away from the many pressures of every day life. I remember trying to sing “una furtiva lagrima” when I was 12 yrs. old. I don’t know how I came about Jusse Bjorling’s album then but that was 56 yrs. ago. Adam Lambert is such a precious creature. Trying to explain to people just how talented and special he is can be frustrating because most people won’t go that extra mile to find out just who he is. After seeing him for the first time, I gleaned all I could from youtube and found Brigadoon, My Conviction, and, of course the guilty pleasure of Crazy, among so many other videos. I agree with so many of you when you express that he is the world’s greatest singer. Then you have his entertainment style…riveting! It’s been said so many times that no matter what else is going on stagewise, all eyes are always on him. I tried to see who else was in his woodland video but it was fruitless…his beauty demanded my attention. Your article comes to me at a very poignant time, however. My husband, who is also a huge Adam fan, just had a complete laryngectomy. Although he could carry a tune, he was never a singer in your sense of the word. But he loved to communicate with people. This diagnosis came out of left field for us since he hadn’t smoked in 44 yrs. and is other wise in great health. We are woodworkers and possibly years of being around wood dust might have triggered the cancer. I bring this up because when he first noticed a problem with his voice he went to the doctor and was told that he had a paralized vocal chord. It was suggested that he come back in six months because sometimes the condition heals itself. When he started having trouble eating, it was then that the doctors discovered the mass or tumor by his esophagus. It still took many months to diagnose cancer. In the last few weeks before surgery he was unable to even swallow his own saliva.

  7. Sandy says:

    Sorry that I am taking up so much space but I need to continue my thought. My husband is having a hard time dealing with the thought that he will never use his voice again. Oh, he will have therapy in using other devises for sound and communication but to him his voice is his soul. The expression of love in his own unique sound is gone. There are many people like him and he’s not really feeling sorry for himself but just knows that part of his humaness is gone forever. I remember his voice…I remember him crying after listening to Adam sing Brigadoon. The voice is such a gift.

    • soundbath says:

      Oh Sandy, I was in tears reading your post! And it’s taken me a while to think how I might be able to respond to you.

      Thank you enormously for sharing this very moving account of your husband’s cancer with me. My heart truly goes out to him. I understand only a little of what he went through, and only because I become very ill two years ago and have been unable really to sing since then. The sadness and the unutterably overwhelming feeling of that loss indeed rocked me to my very core, and I found myself mourning my voice for many months. And even though, like your husband, I didn’t feel sorry for myself, it did feel as though an integral part of my spiritual self would never again be made manifest in this world. All singers feel this: we instinctively know that our voice is the direct connection between the spiritual world where our souls live, and this physical world – even if it’s not something that is frequently discussed. And it’s especially difficult to deal with when your voice is still connected to your body, because you’re so aware of it still physically sitting inside your body, like another limb, even though you’re unable to access it.

      But reading and re-reading your account put me in mind of one of the lyrics of a song Adam sings so poignantly – it’s from “Soaked” – no matter what happens, no matter how lonely, how dark, how trashed, how unloved you may feel; by yourself and others – “your soul will be ok.” I found that lyric particularly helpful and of course, I revel in, and appreciate others’ voices and Adam’s, possibly even more than ever before. But this respite from my own previously rather heavy singing schedule, has given me the opportunity to try to share with others how special, how phenomenal, how extraordinary and how rare Adam’s voice is – and I’ll always be grateful to him for filling that void where my own voice used to be.

      You are so right: “the voice is such a gift.” I always tell my students to be aware of the magic of their voices – that before they make a sound, there is silence – they create this extraordinary thing, called sound, from nothing! And also to be aware of the sounds they make – that those sounds go out into the universe as energy – to try to not make mean, vulgar or destructive sounds – unless it’s in character, of course! – because singing is a healing experience for both the audience and the singer, and Adam has healed so many of us!

      Luckily, my own voice is finally slowly returning to me – to my utter delight and astonishment! – albeit with a different sound and feel. But I’m taking baby-steps, and perhaps counter-intuitively, found myself singing ‘live’ in one of my radio shows. The sky didn’t fall in and no-one threw rotten veggies at me, so I guess it’s all good. :)

      Thank you again most sincerely for sharing your post. I wish you and your husband lots of love and light and many hours of being bathed in Adam’s healing sound – his soul will be ok!
      xx

      • Angelina, I have to reply to you as well. I am so sorry to hear about your illness & how it affected your voice. I am so grateful that it is coming back to you. Anything that is an integral part of ones self being damaged is just as hard to deal with as it being gone. I am so happy it is returning to you. Sending you lots of good vibes & healing energies for your continued recovery. Sometimes healing takes a long time. Hugs & prayers, Micki.

    • Oh, I have to comment. Sandy, I’m sending all the positive energies & good vibe I can find, & all the virtual hugs I can to both you and your husband. Cancer is always scary, and especially if it robs one of something that is an integral part of themself. Since this reply is nearly a yr late, I hope he & you are both doing well. Hugs & prayers, Micki.

  8. Irena Brezenski says:

    Dear Angelina, this article is so beautiful and shows your own passion for the Voice as an instrument and your love and admiration for Adam.
    I never went to any of the performances where he still performed “Broken Open” live.
    It would be interesting for somebody who has never heard or seen Adam ( unfortunately there are still many people like that) to listen to the song without watching the video and then show the visual part….. This Angelic Voice paired with the sexiest leather pants ever and this is what gives Adam the “Keel Over” factor. It is the combination of so many things that make him beautiful. I truly can’t think of another performer who has the kind of magnetizing stage presence. I also don’t think there has ever been a male performer who has cried on stage and then in the same show crawls on the floor like a wild animal. This is why women go absolutely nuts over this man. He is the most sensitive and intelligent Bad Boy combined with The Voice and all we can do is scream, weep and write beautiful blogs about him. His Voice evokes such deep emotions that people’s lives are changed forever, like mine.
    There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the tremendous healing I have received through his expressive and magnificent Voice.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Irene,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and compliments.

      Like you, I also never experienced Adam singing Broken Open live – I would have loved that! Maybe one day…? But to experience him live at all, was so much more than I could have imagined!

      I agree with you that Adam is such an extraordinarily rare artist in so many ways, that “all we can do is scream, weep and write beautiful blogs about him,” because who has ever experienced such an artist, right? It’s hard to contain our excitement and appreciation for him. And of course, then there is the voice…! I love your line: “His Voice evokes such deep emotions that people’s lives are changed forever, like mine.” And mine! And like you, not a day goes by that I’m not grateful that this exceptional artist and human being shares this time with us.

  9. b says:

    “Of course we know that Adam is a magnificent, highly skilled, extremely intelligent, versatile, uninhibited, utterly fearless performer, that he is uniquely talented and enormously creative, that he is physically and spiritually unearthly beautiful, and that he is one of the most charming, charismatic, courageous and sensual humans ever to walk this earth…….”

    Wow……..just wow.

    Perfect description of the performer,the vocalist, and the man…….Adam Lambert!

    Beautifully written.

    Thank you.

  10. Tiso says:

    Hello and thank you for your article – beautifully describing the wonder that is Adam. I also want to share with you my favorite version of Broken Open.

    Thanks again

    • soundbath says:

      Oh Tiso,

      Thank you so much for the wonderful gift! It is truly an exceptional version of Broken Open and I was in tears (as usual!) listening to it! Thank you also for your kind words.

      xx

  11. funbunn40 says:

    Thankyou Angelina for so eloquently describing the passion to unleash a singers voice and how we are affected as listeners. When I hear Adam sing Soaked, Broken Open or Come to me, Bend to me, the world stops turning. I am transfixed and have to hear every glorious note.. It actually affects me physically. I feel an adrenaline rush and a deep connection to the passionate beauty of Adam’s vocal perfection. The ending of Come to me, Bend to me moves me to tears and is awe inspiring. The words “kiss your lips” is so crisp and clean and one angelic note, held 21 seconds is so powerful and clear. His phrasing and breath control are a testament to his excellent vocal training and instinctive musicality. I loved Mario Lanza’s voice as a child and am also a fan of Josh Groban, but I’ve never seen or heard anyone like Adam. Seeing him live is a visceral experience , like nothing I have ever experienced with any other artist. Adam is the rarest of gifts. I’m amazed that it’s taking the world so long to recognizehis unique capabilities and how profoundly he affects his audience. He radiates joy, pathos and sunlight, along with a beautiful, giving spirit. Thankyou again for your beautiful, insightful. professional critiques of this magnificent man! It’s articles like yours that willgive Adam the credibility and positive exposure that the world needs to hear and experience.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi funbunn40,

      Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read my blog and to comment here, leaving such lovely compliments for me – I appreciate it enormously.

      The songs you mentioned are some of my own favourites, too, and yes, whenever I listen to Adam sing, I too, have to stop whatever I’m doing and give his voice my full attention – and it’s in fact my privilege to do so, because when has the world experienced such a voice, or such an artist, right?

      I’ve had the pleasure and honour of singing with some very fine tenors in my life, but Adam’s voice is truly a one-off and, as for you, his voice has a powerful physical affect on me too, unlike I’ve ever experienced with any other artist before.

      Thank you again for your most kind and generous words.
      xx

  12. Carol says:

    Excellent, superb article. I am a classically trained musician (instrumental – bassoon and piano – though). I have never liked rock, pop or contemporary music, ever, until Adam Lambert and it’s because of his magnificent voice that I’ve become a fan. Your article explains perfectly why I feel the way I do about Adam. I don’t go crazy for all his on-stage theatrics but I do recognize his wonderful ability and presence on the stage. Thank you for writing about this artist.

    • soundbath says:

      Thank you for your compliments and comments, Carol – like you, I’m not really into pop or contemporary music, but as a teenager, my life revolved around opera and rock – not too dissimilar from each other, I suppose. Adam (and some of my current teenage students) have opened my eyes to the wonderfully creative medium that pop music can be. But of course, his voice is such an exquisite instrument, he is such an intelligent and creative artist, that I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if he comes up with a new genre of his very own!

      Thanks for popping by!

  13. Millie says:

    I did not like Broken Open on FYE largely because I felt that the instrumentation was drowning the vocals. I honestly felt as though his voice was like a swimmer in trouble in the ocean — so close to shore, but no one is able to hear them crying for help because of the sound of the waves, a buoy clanging and the fog depressing the sound waves. I was so frustrated because the lyrics were meaningful and well — why would I want that voice to be muffled? What a thrill it was to hear him sing Broken Open live and without all the “fog” of that instrumentation from the album!

    In general, even on the best-produced recorded tracks, the recording does not do justice to the rich and power of his voice live. I’ve been to countless concerts in my time, but I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I felt that it was a privilege to be in the audience. Three of those times were hearing Adam Lambert in concert.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Millie,

      Thank you for your comments. I love your description of how you experienced Broken Open – what wonderful pictures you create! How we experience art is usually a very personal affair and for me, Broken Open was an utterly overwhelming experience, which left me quivering in a glittery puddle on the floor – the sounds, textures, shapes and colours created by Adam and the instrumentation on that track, is beyond anything I’d ever experienced. And yes, it is a privilege, pleasure, honour and joy to be in the audience when Adam performs, isn’t it?

  14. Summer says:

    Thank You Angelina~This is so insightful how the singer feels! I must explain how I feel…I was blessed to see Adam live 4 times and he sang Broken Open 2 of the shows. Broken Open, from the first 30 second snippet I heard, before the cd dropped, it saturated my soul…it was like HOME. When I finally got the cd, Broken Open put me to sleep on replay so many nights..it was my lullabye…the lyics as if God inspired Adam and his Angelic beautiful voice was again like HOME…just wrapped me in Love, Security, Peace, Warmth and it felt like he was holding me to sleep….I know this sounds silly, but Adams Voice..from the first time I heard him sing in the Auditions, then all through Idol, saturated my heart and soul, and I felt an instant connection with his heart and soul…like I did know him…forever bonded. I have been on this journey with him ever since. Adam’s Melodic Voice is like air or food for me..it is so emotional..I have a hard time putting it into words. I never understood how this happened to me.
    I am a music lover of all types and I have never been captivated or “Spellbound” by any other artist in my life. This is perplexing to me. How Adam has this Power over me and why I need to hear him daily…like food. You explained this so well, our connection to his “Open” heart and how Adam transmits his spirit to us! I do feel everthing you explained. His Voice transmits his sweet, loving heart and we feel it deep inside us…he LET’S US IN! Adam connects to us that are “open” and uninhibitated, but those who are tight and closed minded have a difficult time feeling his spirit..it may even scare them. I have so many people in my life that just don’t understand Adam, but I will send this link, hoping that it will help them to “open” up.
    XOXO

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Summer,

      Wow, I LOVE how you describe your experience of Adam’s voice. It is hard to put into words why he has such an impact he has on his audience, isn’t it? Like you, I’ve never really followed any particular artist before, but to me, Adam’s voice is the ultimate vocal instrument. I like how you said it’s like air or food, because it illustrates perfectly the confounding necessity, so many people have expressed, to hear his voice daily.

      By the way, lucky you to have experienced him singing Broken Open live twice!

      Thanks for dropping by.
      xx

  15. You have so eloquently express my sentiments so exactly that is’s unbelievable. I do not tire of listening to him. I am so fascinated by him, his self and his soul that I felt completed to create a character as to the Adam I perceive through his own manifestation, in two of my books It is a shame a lot of radio stations do not play his music and IF they do , it is done maybe once every other week. It is also sad that other medias chose to ignore this gentle and wonderful man and only concentrate on speaking of his sexual preference. So what!! We are all God’s children and Adam Lambert has a soul many which they possessed.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Maytia,

      Someone sent me a video today of an older interview Adam did just after For Your Entertainment was released. In it he talks about the fact that he wishes we could all focus on the ‘human’ community – not the ‘straight’ community or the ‘gay’ community or whatever.

      Personally, I think he’s doing all he can towards his vision of the world becoming a ‘human’ community, and his fans are clearly right there with him, and helps to spread this vision of inclusivity like ripples in a pond, don’t you think? It may take some time, but I’m optimistic! And now, with his astonishing new album, he’ll gain plenty more fans and the unity will spread further.

      I’m also crossing everything that this time, the radio stations will play his fab new music! :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  16. hi angelina (sorry for no caps – i’m 1-handed typing with an arm full of 1 of my 3 cats, the one who loves adam’s voice as much as i do; she is a glambert!).

    i wanted to ask you though about the swedish fellow, jussi bjorling. i tried listening to the one you linked, and it seemed like I could make out the individual sounds more clearly than i can with anyone other than adam, but because I only know english & am so inexperienced with music due to my hearing impairment, I was wondering if you know of anything he may have performed in English that I could try to find? (My cat jumped down, now I can capitalize properly.)

    I would like to hear him singing words I’d understand and see if I can actually hear him as well as it seems I might. If I can, it may also help in my search to understanding why I can hear Adam’s lyrics in spite of my hearing impairment. I’ve heard P.D. before as I’ve had family who loved his voice, but in most things he seems mumbly to me – in both English & other. To me his sound is like trying to read a run-on sentence. (I know he’s a great singer, I’m not dissing him; he’s just not compatible with my hearing impairment.)

    Sorry I’m so late to comment/ask. I went back & was re-reading these from the beginning. I so love your insights and how you take the time to explain & share your knowledge. You truly are a wonderful person.

    Hugs from Canada!
    Micki

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Micki,

      Lovely to hear from you!

      No worries – I also have a cat who is a Glambert! :-)

      I’m so glad you liked Jussi Bjorling’s voice – I’ve found his version of d’Hardelot’s “Because” for you to listen to – hope you like it.

      Thank you again so much for your kind words about my ruminations on the voice and for saying such lovely things about me, too! Really, really appreciated!

      Hugging you back from London!
      xx

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