Throughout his career, Adam Lambert has always been open to change. With 2019’s Velvet: Side A EP, the pop singer and LGBTQ+ icon hinted that he was heading in a funkier, rock-edged direction—far removed from the gleaming electro-pop sound of 2015’s The Original High. Now that he’s completed the second half of his fourth LP, VELVET, Lambert makes it loud and clear that he’s going to do things on his own terms. “Try to put me in a box/Make me something I’m not/Don’t give a fuck ’cause I’m gonna take back,” he sings on the swaggering anthem “Superpower” over a sensual funk-soul groove. Self-discovery is at the core of these songs, as he struggles with unrequited love (“Loverboy”), bemoans the lack of human connection (“Overglow”), and yearns for a fresh start (“Closer to You”) with his usual theatrical flair (he is the current Queen frontman, after all). On “Roses,” Lambert shakes off the drama with producer Nile Rodgers by his side, stretching his pearly falsetto to the limit over Rodgers’ signature guitar riffs.