There’s quite a lively debate going on in Headlines today about statements Hi-Fi CEO John Hecker made regarding the set of pre-Idol Adam Lambert recordings his label in partnership with Wilshire Records, plans to release this summer.
His statements insinuate that the recordings are full-fledged songs that have Adam’s blessing:
Lambert’s first single, “Want, ” is streaming now on the Hi Fi Recordings official website, and according to the company’s CEO John Hecker, the rest of the tracks will sound similar. “The music’s amazing, ” says Hecker. “There are some uptempo [songs], there’s some that rock a little more, and there are some songs on the same tip as “Want.” It’s a real album that’s coming out, not just a conglomerate of a bunch of songs. This is all original material — as a matter of fact, Adam wrote a lot of it.”
According to Hi Fi, Lambert co-wrote the material that will appear on the album and even made a trip to the Wilshire Records studio in Los Angeles as recently as May 2009 to hear it. “He was in the Wilshire Records studio right before the finale actually, and he was blown away by the material.”
Adam visited the Hi-Fi offices right before the finale? Really? Adam has released a statement disavowing the recordings, and it’s hard to imagine him making time to visit a the offices of a rinky-dink label at such a crucial time in his career–and with a major label deal nearly in hand. And he blessed the recordings? Very strange.
Also, after listening to “Want” I didn’t need Adam telling me it was a demo–the crapola production values screamed “demo” to me, despite, according to Hecker, featuring additional production by Mark Endert, a guy who had a hand in several Hot 100 hits. If the rest of the album sounds like the single, as Hecker claims, I have to wonder if they’re all demos.
The other weird thing is Hecker’s claim that Adam co-wrote some of the songs. It’s possible Wilshire Records, the outfit that approached Hecker with the material back in January ’09, either got their hand on demos of songs Adam co-wrote or were responsible for recording them. Adam has been in LA for 10 years trying to make it. It’s not hard to imagine he’s got enough recorded material floating around out there to make an album.
And when Hecker says he’s got the legal right to release this material, I believe him–it’s not unusual for artists to sign their rights away at hungrier and less savvy times of their careers. If Adam stands to profit from this financially–and Hecker claims he does, though he won’t disclose details–it’s likely a minuscule cut.
The album will be released, but the label will be hampered in their efforts to promote it. Radio won’t touch this crap, and Adam won’t be available to promote it. So, they’ll sell a few copies, but it won’t make a huge impact. Though, I think it sucks that this early material will be released ahead of his real debut. It will confuse some folks who might think it’s the real deal, and it’s just the principal of the thing. But, it’ll blow over. In the end, it won’t impact Adam’s career in a major way.
While Hecker’s statements sound dubious I have to give his company credit. They did a kick-ass job on Melinda Doolittle’s debut. I hope the controversy leaves her unscathed.