There's no rest for the signed on the American Idols Live! tour -- just ask runner-up Adam Lambert and fourth-place finisher Allison Iraheta, who are using any down time on the road to continue working on their debut albums, which are both due in November.
Lambert tells Billboard.com that his set is "about midway" to being finished. "We recorded a bunch of stuff before the tour started, and I wrote a handful of stuff," he reports. "We have three or four weeks after the tour ends that I have to record like crazy, but we have a lot of material to do that with."
Lambert says the album "has elements of rock, of course, but it has a lot of pop sensibilities to it. It's really current, really fresh and yet still melodically and vocally it's nodding to the '70s and '80s classics. I know I got most of my credibility on 'Idol' doing those songs from those eras, and it wouldn't make sense for me to do an album that runs away from it."
Among Lambert's collaborators so far have been RedOne, Linda Perry, Max Martin and Greg Wells. The album is so far unnamed -- "I want to see what ends up on the album before I come up with a title," he says -- and will likely be comprised of all-original songs, though he says that "there might be a cover on there. It's a maybe." Similarly, he has not yet recorded any duets but says "the jury's still out. It really could happen."
Iraheta, meanwhile, has been writing songs with Kevin Rudolf and David Hodges for her album, which she says will "definitely have that rock sound to it. It'll be fun, and there's gonna be some deep stuff, too -- like, lyrics about what can possibly be happening to other people in the world right now that I've gone through myself, but also melodically, just some good, slow rock ballads."
Iraheta says she's feeling "less pressure" than either Lambert or Season 8 "Idol" champion Kris Allen. "They're not in my face as much as they are in theirs," she notes. Lambert, meanwhile, acknowledges the weight of expectations.
"I do feel a little bit of pressure," he says. "There's a lot of hype. I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of attention, which is a great thing for somebody in my position, with an album coming out. I think people are going to like what they hear. I hope they do, at least."