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Adam Lambert's risky CD cover
 

Fans and critics are torn over the "glamtastic," "hideous," "cheesy" cover of Adam Lambert's debut album, For Your Entertainment (a pre-release sales smash on Amazon.com). The openly gay American Idol belter says the retro-'80s artwork is "deliberately campy," but some worry its androgynous rendering of Lambert might play badly with middle America. What was his record company thinking? (Listen to clips from Adam Lambert's new album.)

The cover is provocative, but so what? The awesomely cheesy photo—so reminiscent of 1980's Xanadu—might put off "closed-minded" mainstream fans "too embarrassed" to take the album up to the cash register, says Lindsey Parker at Yahoo! Music. But you know what? It's "their loss."
"Adam Lambert's Album Cover: Xanadu, Or A Xana-Don't?"

Androgynous? Try 'tacky': Admit it, says Stuart Heritage at Heckler Spray. "You thought it was a hoax." But it's not—and its inexplicable tackiness overshadows any risk of heterosexual jitters: "It looks like one of those awful transfer-print T-shirts that people who like wolves buy from tatty market stalls … it looks like a poster that someone you hate would buy."
"Adam Lambert wanted his album cover to look like that, honest"

This is a fearless move: The album art proves one thing—Lambert has a "giant set of cojones," says Rachel Sklar at Mediaite. Sure he could have "eased up on the eyeliner" chosen a "neutrally smiling shot [and] Clay Aiken’d out" like his banal Idol predecessors. I’m sure Lambert’s advisors begged him to tone it down. "Instead, he went hard in the other direction." And, for that, I salute him.
"Adam GLambert! New album cover gets more press than most actual albums"

 

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