Adam Lambert unveiled the cover for his forthcoming debut CD, “For Your Entertainment,” on his official site Monday afternoon, and to paraphrase the sadly under-appreciated 2003 single from current “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Mya: This cover’s like ... whoa! A publicist for 19 Recordings reveals that the image was shot by Warwick Saint in August in New York City. And, to put it mildly, it’s a little more, um, out there than the pensive-yet-ultimately-benign images we’ve come to expect from “Idol” runners-up. (If you’re not familiar with the show’s post-second-place oeuvre, do check out Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Exhibit C. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, of course.) Is America ready for this particular jelly? Some of my EW colleagues aren’t terribly optimistic, but might I remind them, we’re dishing a dude who sailed through Grand Ole Opry week with a hypersexual, sitar-infused take on “Ring of Fire.” Anyhow, while the Glambert nation collectively wipes its brow, catches its breath, and attempts to unlock its eyes from Adam’s hypnotic gaze (good luck!), here’s five things I think the cover art reveals about the artist and his debut disc, set to drop Nov. 23.
1) I’m catching homages to Michael Jackson (a single glove on display), Madonna (and a fingerless glove at that!), and Prince (the “For Your Entertainment” font is more than a little reminiscent of “Purple Rain,” no?). Clearly, the season 8 runner-up has no shortage of (formerly brunet, now cerulean) ambition, and whether you think Adam is deliciously gutsy or ridiculously presumptuous for subtly inserting himself into that A-list galaxy, at least you can’t accuse him of playing it safe.
2) And anyhow, more likely than not, Adam Lambert is actually an alien from a distant planet. Yes, that planet looks a little bit like it resulted from the collision of a Jem cartoon, “The Neverending Story,” “Starlight Express,” and K-Tel’s “Power Glam Explosion” (hat tips to my colleagues Samantha Harmon, Joe Lynch, Leah Greenblatt and Mike Bruno for their unfiltered first impressions), but perhaps the extraterrestrial has come to teach us something? Glam is back. Unicorns are real. And boring people are going to be zapped with giant lasers and turned immediately to dust. (OK, this paragraph kind of went and did its own thing, but I missed a screening of “The Fourth Kind” to try to get this item up ASAP, and I’ve got space creatures on the brain. It’s too late to apologize.)
3) Lit properly, Adam Lambert’s locks resemble bird feathers. I won’t lie: That makes me a little jealous. Under similar conditions, all you’d see on my noggin is the unfortunate emergence of male pattern baldness.
4) The suggestion of nudity in this photo is going to make a lot of Adam fans go weak in the knees. Oh, I know, dude might very well be wearing pants in this picture, but fans who threw sex toys at the stage during “Whole Lotta Love” during the Idol summer tour don’t need to know that, do they? Well played, Mr. Lambert!
5) I know Adam came out on the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine, but any theories/worries/suspicions that he would tamp down the gay while promoting ‘FYE’ just went the way of the leftover milk in my cereal bowl this morning*. I mean, good, bad, or totally insane, this album cover is outre, playing up Adam’s pouty-lipped, yellow-mascara’d androgyny. America, get ready to taste the rainbow, metaphorically speaking.
* Down the drain; Special K Cinnamon Pecan leaves behind too much residue for a satisfying sip.