On Friday, pop music sensation Adam Lambert debuted the video for "Another Lonely Night," the second single to be lifted from his latest studio album, The Original High. To be honest, I rarely think music videos meaningfully enhance a song's message, but this one is different. The "Another Lonely Night" video is a realistic and powerful depiction of loneliness that I suspect everyone will relate to on some level. Not only does it bring the melancholy track's lyrics to life, it shines a light on a universal part of the human experience that is rarely explored or openly discussed. Lambert and director Luke Gilford definitely did one of The Original High's major standout tunes justice.
The clip follows four Las Vegas performers — a lounge singer (Lambert), a dancer, a wedding officiant (YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous), and a stripper — as they go about their respective days. Lambert recently talked about the video's concept with iHeartRadio:
When the lights turn off and the costumes get put away, many struggle with the feeling of loneliness. I wanted to paint a picture that wasn’t necessarily happy or sad, but showed the entire range in between.
In the video, as in real life, loneliness exists on a spectrum. Each Sin City performer begins his or her day alone — but there aren't any tears or over-the-top histrionics. As we all know, loneliness doesn't always present itself that way. Sometimes, loneliness is an ache in your chest. Sometimes, loneliness is a dull pain buried too deep to be fully experienced. Sometimes, a moment of catharsis doesn't come, and you're forced to carry loneliness around with you like an overstuffed bag of groceries. That's just how loneliness works.
Each person appears to enjoy what he or she does to some extent: Lambert comes alive behind the microphone; the dancer lights up on stage; the officiant smiles as happy couples seal their wedding vows with a kiss; and the stripper works a club full of enthusiastic patrons with a sly grin. But, as you watch, you may wonder: "Are they faking it?"
After all, they are performers. Perhaps the cliché that performers are often secretly the most depressed, tortured souls among us might pop into your head. (I generally resist buying into such sweeping generalizations, but I actually think there's a small shred of truth to that one.) Are these people truly happy? Or are they just going through the motions? It doesn't have to be one or the other. In fact, it seems likely to me that both genuine and forced emotions are on display here. Again, that's just how loneliness works.
When the night is over, each person returns home to an empty dwelling and prepares to do it all over again the next day. At times, these people do appear to be sad — but you get the sense that we're just seeing a snapshot of their lives, a brief moment in time. Loneliness may be a part of their realities now, but it won't always be this way. At the end of the video, as Lambert lies in bed with the morning sun shining on his face, there's a small glimmer of hope. Because even when it doesn't seem possible (especially when it doesn't seem possible), we have to remember that loneliness is only temporary.
"Another Lonely Night" and The Original High are available on iTunes and Spotify now.
Images: Adam Lambert/YouTube (3)