“This record was very much a collaboration”
Bearing in mind Lambert’s talent for reinterpretation, it seems only natural that he would record a covers album at some stage. His post-American Idol solo career has yielded four solo albums of freshly-penned material, so you might wonder why it’s taken him so long. Then again, the collaborative process that led to Lambert co-writing previous hits such as Whataya Want From Me and Sleepwalker with the likes of PInk, Max Martin and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder provided the blueprint for the High Drama sessions.
“This record was very much a collaboration,” Lambert says. “I got a list of songs from my team and my label, and we narrowed them down. I worked with producers and musicians, including George Moore (Clean Bandit), Andrew Wells (Halsey) and Tommy English (Kacey Musgraves), but I was heavily involved in the whole process. Not just in terms of pitching individual songs, but also coming up with ideas for how to transform them. That was a really creative process and very enjoyable.”
Such is the quality of High Drama that it sells the record short to describe it as merely a “covers” album. The tracklist casts its net wide, snagging a selection of tried and tested classics from the past six decades, but also showcasing radically reworked material from contemporary artists whose stars are very much in the ascendence. A song from one of these young firebrands, Billie Eilish’s Getting Older, provided the spark that set the High Drama sessions alight.
“It just struck me that it’s such a clever way to talk about growing up,” Lambert says of the song, which – in its original form – opens Eilish’s second album, Happier Than Ever. “I found it really interesting that she’s only 19, yet with that song, she’s perfectly captured the feeling of what it means to grow up. She’s totally done her own thing, and I admire the fact she dares to be different. Her spirit really appeals to me.”