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Monday, 9 June 2014

ALBUM REVIEW - Adore Delano - Till Death Do Us Party


Turning reality show fame into a successful music career is anything but easy. For every Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, there are thousands of briefly-beloved but forgettable friends who go right back to their pre-fame existence. And a second chance in this industry under any circumstance is rare.  Which makes Danny Noriega's journey into the fabulous drag superstar Adore Delano as enthralling as the debut album he's given us...

The world first met Danny over six years ago on American Idol, and while he didn't make the top 12, he was one of that year's more notable performers. You see, on a pre-Adam Lambert American Idol, any variation in sexuality or gender expression was equally terrifying and mesmerizing to many of the folks involved with the show.

And as such, it was kind of tough to watch Danny on Idol. He was a great singer and a fun person, but you could literally see the 18 year old feeling the pressure to hold in who he was as he endured snarky comments and looks from various folks and fans. The pressure coming from the show was unfortunate, but he also admits that his mother steered him towards appearing more masculine, to try to protect him. That perspective is understandable, if still not equally sad.

Because the real Danny Noriega is fabulous, and now we all know it. 

So it's fitting that the debut album from his drag persona is equally unique, irreverent, and fun. Emphasis on the fun. Viewers of RuPaul's Drag Race loved Adore Delano's personality, a mix of wit and charm that we like to call "humble sass". And this album is full of it. It's never more obvious than on I Look F*ckin Cool, a duet with fellow Drag Race alum Alaska that showcases how awesome (and aware of it) they both are. But the album is by no means an ego fest. On Hello I Love You, the singer plays the role of the most pathetic, love-crushed stalker imaginable. It's equal parts creepy and hilarious and showcases the spunky self-deprecation that makes Adore so loveable.

The album is full of legitimate dance hits as well, easily earning the #1 debut spot it scored on the iTunes dance charts. You'll hear more than a few of the standard anthems for drag queen sashays down the runway. Speak My Sex and Party are simple and catchy, and easily rank as dance floor crowd-pleasers. But Calling All Goddesses is one of the best dance tracks we've heard all year. We've already choreographed a divalicious video full of cameos from Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, and Kylie Minogue. Please make this happen, Adore!

It should be stressed, however, that while the tone of the album is definitely perfect for those seeking a carefree party (party.), Adore amazes with some sensational and surprisingly vulnerable pop songs. Give Me Tonight brings emotion to the dance floor in a way that recalls the best of passionate 80s synth-pop feels. And our favorite track, I Adore U, is pure ear candy. It's a perspective we don't hear much, as Adore sings of hurting someone you love and watching them move on without you. Those are some complicated feelings, perfectly reflected by the juxtaposition of Adore's speak-rap and a beautiful, melodic cooing of "I adore you". This is simply one of the best songs of the year. Period.

Adore may not have won American Idol or RuPaul's Drag Race, but I suspect she'll win the game that really matters...life. Even if she never achieves Clarkson-Underwood levels of fame (though it would be fantastic if she did), she has a very large fan base that idolizes her and is captivated by her effortless talent and charm. Looks like we were all ready to adore Danny Noriega, we just needed her to adore (and Adore) herself.

So stop whatever you're doing and run to get the album on iTunes . Then get all sexy and sad with the stunning video for I Adore U below..!

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