Adam Lambert is set to release his sophomore album in the new year, and he’s starting off this new era with a big bang. His lead single, “Better than I know myself”, hits the spot in all the right places, and I’m predicting it to be a huge hit.
To put it quite simply, “Better than I Know Myself” is pop perfection at its finest: it sounds current and “in”, but it also doesn’t quite follow the most popular formula. Instead of hooking up with someone like David Guetta, Lambert called up professional hit makers Dr. Luke (responsible for Katy Perry‘s Teenage Dream) and Claude Kelly. Avoiding the predictable dance route, Lambert took his previous hit “Whataya Want From Me” and updated it with more restrained vocals and a more genuine delivery.
The emotion behind the song is what truly elevates it. Whereas 90% of pop music offerings right now are about sex, drugs, and more sex, “I Know” tackles a more emotional subject. The song starts on a reflective and even regretful tone as Lambert sings “Cold as ice and more and more bitter than a December, winter night that’s how I treated you”.
But as the song progresses, it becomes clearer that “I know” is about holding on to a relationship no matter how many times you’ve thought about leaving. Backed by a drum-lead chorus, Lambert sings, “If I wanted to leave I woulda left by now but you’re the only one that knows me better than I know my self.” The American Idol runner up puts his heart and soul into the song, and it works.
The song’s one downside for me is the lack of a single climax. With his stunning upper range, Lambert could have easily added one high note after the bridge or just before the song’s closing.
But that’s really just a minor detail though as the song does show off Lambert’s vocal chops several times. The chorus is the absolute highlight, with its strong beat, catchy lyrics, and anthemic melody.
For the past two years, pop radio has been cluttered by too many house- and dance-infused tracks, many of which are peppered with vapid lyrics and formulaic beats. It’s great to see a pop-rock single (with some R&B leanings) bursting into the scene. Here’s hoping “I Know” becomes the big hit that it deserves to be.