“Time for Miracles” is the end title song for “2012,” Roland Emmerich’s forthcoming disaster film about the end of the world, and is our introduction to a post-“Idol” Adam Lambert (following this summer’s collection of tunes recorded by Lambert pre-“Idol.”) as we wait for his full-length CD.
On the face of it, “Time for Miracles” is another one of those mid-tempo, turgid power ballads that Diane Warren specializes in and usually plays during the end credits of similar big budget epics like “Pearl Harbor” or “Armageddon” or, even, “Con Air.” This one was written by Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider and the alleged back story gives the song a drama that even the end of days can’t match: the pair, who were also romantically involved, wrote the song as Shneider was dying of cancer (she passed in July 2008).
But how does Lambert sound? Okay, just try to convince me that Lambert isn’t a dead ringer for Richard Marx (remember him?) in the first verse? Then, as the song progresses, Lambert lets his glam freak flag fly and his inner Freddie Mercury/David Bowie takes over.
He doesn’t unleash his multi-octave instrument for full effect until after the cacophonous bridge as he battles “Kashmir”-like menacing strings and guitars. The song is a step up from the treacly “I’ve made it and conquered [fill in affliction of your choice here]” tunes that the “AI” winner always has to rush release in order to capitalize on the fervent immediacy of “AI” voters, but not much. That’s in part because of the over-the-top production by Rob Cavallo, who is very capable of applying understatement when he’s working with acts like Green Day or Dave Matthews, but not here. Take Lambert’s carefully-orchestrated flamboyance and marry it with the type of dramatic orchestration these movie themes seem to require and it’s a bit of an assault. We’ll wait for Lambert’s CD to get our fix. Luckily, we don’t have to wait until 2012: Lambert’s debut comes out Nov. 23. “Time for Miracles” is not included on it at this point.