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The Hollywood Reporter has gathered some potentially major intel on what could be the follow-up to 2012’s Trespassing. According to sources, Lambert’s label, RCA Records, is pushing for an all-covers album. Specifically from one highly influential decade: the 1980s.
It should come as little surprise considering Lambert’s version of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” which he performed on Idol and subsequently on various tour dates, has been heralded as one of the best and most original performances the Fox show has ever seen — and heard.
And if Lambert’s July 3 appearance at Hollywood club Playhouse, which doubled as a fundraiser for Trevor Project, is any indication, he already is diving into the task by taking on another Tears for Fears hit, 1985’s “Shout,” which he played that night as part of an hourlong set, as well as on July 2 during a concert in San Diego.
Asked at the event whether he had plans for an all-covers collection, Lambert stayed mum on any recording plans, saying only, “Rumors are funny little things, aren’t they?” But asked which song defines the decade of big hair and glam, he offered “Shout,” noting, “Tears for Fears are pretty amazing.”
A rep for the singer tells THR, “Nothing has been determined yet” but acknowledges that the idea of a concept album of songs from another era is just one of several currently being bandied about.
RCA Records would not comment.
Lambert’s Trespassing sold a respectable 185,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, about a fifth of how his debut, 2009’s For Your Entertainment, performed. But many fans feel it fizzled because of lack of radio and tour support. A label source acknowledges that internally, enthusiasm was lacking for the sophomore effort but that the Sony-owned company could get behind a covers collection so long as execs have input into such aspects as song selection and cover art.
As for other Lambert rumors du jour, the possibility of him joining the Idol judges’ panel hasn’t progressed much, it seems, as he repeated a line from back in May when he told reporters he’d be “thrilled” to join.
Fortunately, his other passion, the fight for LGBTQ rights, has made serious strides in the past few weeks, not the least of which emanated from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Said Lambert of the emotions he felt on the day DOMA news came down: “There was a sense of relief. I think we all kind of felt like Prop 8 got screwed up the first time, so it was nice to see it fixed. Retribution is a nice feeling.” As is handing over a $50,000 check (courtesy of AT&T as part of the Live Proud! campaign) to a cause so close to his heart.
That exuberance was palpable at Playhouse, where Lambert belted a flawless set that included radio hits “If I Had You” and “Whataya Want From Me,” covers like Jimi Hendrix‘s “Purple Haze,” Lenny Kravitz‘s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and Bob Marley‘s “Is This Love,” as well as such album tracks as “Trespassing” and “Outlaws of Love.”
No word yet on when a new Lambert album may be out.
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