Why Is Adam Lambert Suddenly an Unimpressive Singer?

On today’s Oprah, Adam Lambert performs “If I Had You,” the latest single being pushed from his record For Your Entertainment. And like most of the music in the album, whether performed live or recorded in a sound studio, we’re sort of … eh.

As an American Idol contestant, Lambert generated headlines and blog love because he was breaking down, or at least brushing up against the barriers that the program created for its singers. Like Carrie Underwood, Lambert delivered; unlike Carrie, he did so while cultivating a multi-dimensional character.

Handed the task of covering pop hits on the show, Lambert was free to update classics, and at liberty to spin the latest Top 40 numbers into his own style. But given his independence and the ability to record and perform his own songs, nothing we’ve seen so far has given us the “Wow, OMFG” factor.

We even dismissed Lambert’s American Music Awards performance as a forgettable musical number. Were it not for the kiss and the crotch thrust, it would’ve been forgotten about in a day’s time. Since the AMAs, he’s done the regular television performance circuit, and what’s most notable about this string of album promo stops is that none of them have been notable.

No, not every Lambert performance will attract the attention of his AMA saga. And they shouldn’t. But whether it’s the music or the ensemble or Lambert’s live presence, we’re just not being wowed like we were as Idol fanboys.

Which isn’t to say Lambert has lost his magic. Maybe we’re just over-expectant fans.

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