Just Who Is Max Martin?

We’ve all read and heard the names over and over who are contributing songs and production talents to what we feel is the most anticipated album/CD in history, right? We’ve heard about Rob Cavallo, Claude Kelly, Dr. Luke, Linda Perry, Ryan Tedder and Max Martin, in addition to performers Justin Hawkins of The Darkness, Pink, Lady Gaga, Muse, and even Adam’s own very close friend Alisan Porter. It sounds like Hollywood is tripping over themselves to work with Adam, right? But who are these people? While most of us know Pink and Lady Gaga, and some of us even know Muse and Justin Hawkins, I really don’t know about the others, do you?

So while we wait for the “For Your Entertainment” release on November 23, let’s learn about Max Martin. I found the following article, and thought you you might like to know too! It’s not an Adam-driven article, but it does mention him in the end, that you’ll reach if you click on the link. There’s even some delicious videos taking us back to the dreamy sounds of Backstreet Boys, Kelly Clarkson and an innocent Britney Spears; careers in which Max Martin had an instrumental role in. We’ve all educated ourselves on so much new information since the birth of IdolAdam, so here’s one more piece to add to our AdamKnowlege.


From PopEater by Steve Baltin.

Sure, it was Katy Perry who kissed a girl and Britney Spears who sang “Livin’ in sin is the new thing,” but the words are actually those of Max Martin, a 38-year-old Swedish producer that some would argue is the biggest pop songwriter in the world.

“He was the guy who ushered in teen pop being more like a form of creative expression,” Ann Powers, pop music critic for the L.A. Times tells PopEater. “Look at [producers] Stargate, Ryan Tedder — they wouldn’t exist without Max or the success he had. There’s been a huge shift in the 21st century towards appreciating mainstream pop and I would base that as a shift to when Max Martin started.”

If these sound like heady claims, just ask one of the artists most closely associated with Martin’s rise and career. “I’ve always credited Max with being the godfather, the Berry Gordy of the Backstreet Boys,” BSB member Howie Dorough says. “He helped us establish our sound and some of our biggest hits have come from him, so we will always be indebted to Max. He truly could be the sixth Backstreet Boy.”

So who is this man with the Midas touch when it comes to writing hits? Born in Stockholm, Martin actually started his music career as the frontman of glam-metal act It’s Alive in the mid-’80s. The band was signed to Cherion Records, a label owned by Denniz Pop, who recruited Martin to become a producer/songwriter after It’s Alive proved to be the only thing Martin was involved in that didn’t top the charts.

For more, including videos by Max Martin’s successes Backstreet Boys, Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears, click here.

About Carol

I started writing on this site back in May 2009, not knowing what I was in for or where it would take me. I had no idea of the joy and personal satisfaction I'd find here. I never dreamed that I'd get to meet Adam, but that dream came true! The bonus of becoming such great friends with Lila and the other fans is what keeps me going. Music gets me though every day. In addition to Adam, I love Muse, Linkin Park, 80s and finding newer bands and supporting them by attending everything that's within 350 miles. With Adam, the boundaries are farther! Thanks for joining us on this ride! :)


  1. KO's smiling says:

    Great idea! I’ve been googling/youtube searching these names since the tour ended. It’s fun to check them out and their talent makes me uncontrollably excited for Adam’s album!

  2. Very cool article. He is also responsible for putting together Carolina Liar, my FAV band at the moment. ‘Coming To Terms’ is their album, and their music is everywhere:)

  3. GLAMB#474kimber says:

    OMG! Just 16 more days. Never did order from amazon, but I know WM will have his cd and I just want to buy them all!!! Good reading article. Like Katy Perry, and so does my hubby, but never spears. If Max Martin doesn’t know what ADAM is really all about he will soon find out. His album is going to sale! sale! sale!!!

  4. I fully acknowledge the genius of Max Martin and the indelible contribution he has made to pop music history.

    He and a handful of others have been the arbiters of pop music, basically defining it and deciding what we as the mass audience should hear and like. They (these uber-producer/writers) are used to working with pretty people with weak voices and have developed formulae in production so that everything sounds the same after awhile. The whole song revolves around an endlessly repeated hook, and you can maybe remember the hook but that’s about it.

    To me, it’s why mainstream radio is so incredibly boring. Everything is so overproduced and overcompressed, you can never hear the words, and half the time the words are just stupid. Plus you can’t sing these songs to save your life. Hey, think how goofy some of these songs sound when they’re sung a capella at the AI auditions: a lot of keening and wailing…signifying nothing.

    I was sorry to hear that Adam was working with Max Martin as Max Martin is totally old school now, and I would have been more impressed if he’d gone in a more indie, original direction. However, I can’t blame Adam for wanting to take advantage of his current situation to meet and work with some of the greats.

    And just because I have a personal dislike of over-homogenized, mass-marketed pop crap, it doesn’t mean I do not appreciate the artistry of the Max Martins of the world. He’s had one hit after another!

    • Dianne Hill says:

      I have to say I am with you on this songwriter4adam. I have never really liked the mass produced sound of Britney, Back Street Boys and I really don’t even like Kelly Clarkson all that much. I have to say though that I have never really been a “pop music” fan, I have always loved rock music. There is the odd pop song that I will love but they are few and far between.

      Having said that I do like the 30 second snippet of the two songs that Max Martin has co-wrote for Adam, so maybe it is not all bad. They may just be the songs that I really love. I don’t really see Adam as being a “popstar”. He is so much more than that and at present he is just finding his feet. Having listened to the snippets of his songs for his album I do have to say that there is not one song that I don’t love and I cannot wait to hear the whole album.

      • I agree with both of you. the word ‘ overproduced’ didn’t even make it into our consciousness years ago. I do not like it and think they are doing Adam a disservice by putting too much of that “nasally twang sung in a long long tunnel” sound!

        However, it seems to be a trend just now. It is even creeping into the odd song by tried and true singers with good voices, like Muse and Michael Buble and they are not even in the same genre category!

        I agree with kimber in that Adam is so much more than that. Adam has the ability and the drive to transcend this current fad. His music will go on and on like MJs because he dares to change as he goes along. Adam might even come up with a whole ‘new’ sound, who knows?

        At first I cringed when he said his album would have a variety of genres… but why not? As was said in a linked article this week, listeners today are not so much hung up on a particular type of music. Remember, black leather jackets, collars up, ducktail hair and rock n roll? Or the preppy look of listeners of Pat Boone (boy am I aging myself!)

        Adam has already shown leadership qualities and as a true Aquarian which he seems to be, he has vision and is ahead of his time in many ways… and I for one, love the way ‘his time’ is going….

        • Helen/Canada says:

          I too agree with you guys. I hate the overproduced sound, all it does is drown out Adam’s amazing voice. Having said that, I do like most of what I’ve heard on the cd. It’s hard to really know what the song will sound like in 30 sec. I’m hoping for the best. There are a few songs, that I know I will love already. Adam’s voice is so pure, he doesn’t need all that crap around him–just let him sing!!
          Never have been a fan of Brittany and the others–to me they all sound the same, who knows which one it is when you hear the song. As Bob Seger said, “just give me some of that old time rock and roll, the kind of music that moves your soul”.. LOL I know Adam has to please a wide variety of fans, but I still think he could do that without all the production around him. I do LOVE For Your Entertainment, it makes you dance!

          • Yep that :modern”sound was exactly what I was scared of at first, and the firsttime I heard FYE but of course love it now, and I know just from the snnippets, there is enough different sounds for all tastes Go my little Music God, Jan

    • mADAM Glamb # 486 says:

      So totally agree. Adam is has so much more to offer. Sorry he went down this road. But with all those trying to get a piece of him, he’s probably hearing a lot of shop talk. I’m sure some tracks on the album will be adamiously great!

  5. Great information— Thanks

    EVERYONE– Lets all call our local radio stations to request Adams Songs and get Him to #1!! You can also log on to the radio stations and enter your requests.

    Also, you ca go to VH1 and add adam as a “WILDCARD” entry in the VOTE for the top 20 page.
    This will help Adam shoot to #1 fast! It is all about YOU VOTING and REQUESTING his songs on your local radio stations….. that will get his songs played and KEEP them played!! There is no limit to how much you can vote.

    My best friends daughter was the star in the Daughtry video “Over You” and we had people all across the country voting all day on VH1 for the video and it stayed at # 1 for months on end!!!
    It works!

    Let’s all over load the circuts so they HAVEto keep PLAYING ANYTHING ADAM!!!

    • AdamRocks! says:

      Every time I put my choices in the boxes for the VHI top 20 (with Adam at #1 of course!), I click submit, and then it says error, try again. . . every time. . . maybe I’m doing something wrong. 🙁

      Cindy in MS
      Glamb #37

    • mADAM Glamb # 486 says:

      I don’t have a “radio” in the house so listened live stream to local. Nothing on the web site gives a way to make a request. After about 20 songs deejay gave info, missed that, was in a bored state after so much freakin bad music. Live in the Pitts PA area. Does anyone know how to get thru to the radio station to make a request?


    • AdamRocks! says:

      Ofra, SO COOL!!! I LOVE it!!! I just tweeted Adam with a link to it. . . that would be the coolest thing if he saw it.

      Cindy in MS
      Glamb #37

    • sherry s. says:

      So exciting to see these talented kids appreciating his music! A routine already—and the single only came out this week! Clapped like crazy when it ended.

    • Dianne Hill says:

      Love this Ofra. wow those kids can move. Hope Adam sees this I think he will be tickled pink by it.

    • GLAMB#474kimber says:

      Thanks Ofra, that was way too cool. It made me think of ADAM’s upcoming performance on the AMAs. CAN’T WAIT!!! And the CD!!!!!

      • Thanks Ofra, me too Kimber, first thing I thought of was the dancers he wants to have perform with
        him at the AMA;s should be an awesome performance! So good to see the young kids moving to
        this song, right up their alley!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. A new and very good interview showing yet more insight into who Adam really is :

    (not the National Inquirer, I dont think???)


    • AdamRocks! says:

      Great article Terry! Thanks for posting that.

      Cindy in MS
      Glamb #37

    • theresa– +Thank you for this link to this great article with Adam. I love all of his interviews because he is so real– so honest and open– he really wants us to know who he is!!

  8. Ah, the joys of cyberspace!! Adam’s FYE is flying everywhere, check this out..


    What fun for kids at gym or dance class!!

  9. Gee, these links just keep jumping out at me!!

    This one is about the music biz especially this year and how and when album/single/releases take place. Adam gets a huge compliment!


  10. Very Informative. My faith and trust remains with Adam Lambert’s artistry!

  11. cheryl 334 says:

    IF MAX MARTIN’S CLAIM TO FAME IS THE BACKSTREET BOYS, BRITNEY SPEARS AND KELLY CLARKSON, RUN ADAM!!!! Run for your life!!! Or at least know when to say “No” to this ‘let’s overproduce and manufacture’ voices of the music world!!! Another Barry Gordy!!???? Good Lord, No!!! Whoever says that should be slapped silly!!! Bary Gordy needs to threaten them with a lawsuit!! But, seriously forlk, (channeling Joe Walsh!), Adam is not a backstreet boy kind of guy! Hahahaha!!!! To even think that is so ridiculous! Nor is he a Britney or Kelly, all of whom I cannot even listen to even a snipit of their, so called, music. Yuk Yuk Yuk!!!

    Barry Gordy was a genius. Smokey Robinson a genius. Al Green, a genius. Max Martin-not-so-much! Or not at all!!!!

    Adam needs someone who will work with his extrodinary voice, not with high powered noise, commonly mistaken for ‘music! Adam has the greatest instrument in the world, his voice. Why in the name of everything that is sacred would he need to have it pushed into the background and put forward a bunch of electro-nonsense! Makes no sense, to me. But, hey, I’m just one person, altho I do have exquisite taste, if I do say so myself, and I do! (haha!!)

    No Max Martin for Adam. Adam can do more for himself and less ‘damage’ than if Max Martin is involved. I will say that there are only 2-1/2 songs on the album that I can say with any certainty that I will love. There may be more, or even the wholle album, but I do not like all the electro-fake beat! Give me some good old rock ‘n roll anytime! It was good in the 60’s till today, and will always be, it is a no nonsense sound that everybody can groove to. Adam sings classic rock even better than the originals to sang the songs. Pop is just that. Music for ‘this moment’, never lasting. It mostly sucks to me. I enjoy the occasional ‘pop’ song, but would not consider buying any of it. Just call me old fashioned, but I like ‘good’ music, not ‘manufactured’ like Martin produces. He is going for the ‘fast buck’, not long lasting great music. This is all, of course, my opinion, and you can treat it as such!

    peace-love-light-hope-joy-happiness 4 Adam.

    • Amen, Cheryl.

      • mADAM Glamb # 486 says:

        I get it Cheryl. My daughters ( all 21+ ) say ” I like the beat”, “it’s catchy”. Not about ADAM being a Great singer. I find that sad. Yeah, his covers of ROCK and such were soooo much better than the originals. FYE is adamgastic just because it is’ him’ to us fans. Not so much to the newbees. Sounds like all the rest on pop radio. Sorry to say, but the lyrics are the best part. TFM is GREAT though. Beautiful voice, beautiful lyrics! Even my daughters say so.

        • cheryl 334 says:

          SONGWRITER AND MADAM GLAMB 486…………………………..Spot on! I would love to hear Adam sing “I kissed a girl” too!!!!! hahaha!!!!

          mAdam… yeah it is sad. I think Adam will learn a good and valuable lesson from this album and come back with an even hotter collection of great songs next go-round!!! He has so many people advising him, and he is so awed by them, and wants to give respect to them by doing their song on his first album, that he could not bring himself to disagree very much wth the poweres that be. But, for me, this is not Adam’s album. It’s all the people he considers great and feels so honored by them, that he gave them more say than he should have. But, with all that ouot of the way, he can be more true to himself. He is ‘paying his dues’ with these writers, ‘giving back’, so to speak, and being simply thrilled at their wanting to help him, that he had to do this album this way. That’s what I feel. I will play the CD I have of his performances on idol more than the new album, I think. I may be wrong, but I love the way he sang every song on idol. Love it. Love it! I can actually ‘hear’ his voice without strainning, and I wouldn’t use the word, ‘catchy’ to describe even one of them. They are just too right for that generalized word!

          • Ladies, I would also love to hear Adam sing “kissed a girl and like it””
            As far as his album. I believe it is very much Adam, his sound , his way of coming across current, which he is. From what he has said, he has had a lot of input in this album. I cannot see Adam being pushed into any idea he wouldnt feel comfortable with. FYE is an electronic hip dancing song. Try and adjust your sound systems to allow you to hear his voice better. His words are clear as day. I love his deep low voice just as much as his high pitched screaming range. First album will be a hit for sure a good mix of sounds.

  12. Notwithstanding any other remarks I’ve made on this post, I wouldn’t mind hearing Adam sing one of Max Martin’s co-written hits, “I Kissed a Girl”!

  13. Adam is a ROCKER WITH THAT GREAT VOICE! I personally hate all that polished back ground crap! ADAM DOESN’T NEED THAT! KEEP TO YOU CONVICTIONS ADAM!
    DON’T ler anyone try to change you. Stay true to your self like you did on American Idol! You can change up and do different things! Buy you do not need that slick junk. ALL YOU NEED IS YOU FABULIOUS VOICE. Let us hear it Baby! KEEP ROCKING ADAM! Sherry K Glambert #445

  14. I endorde all you guys say, you have just put it all into words so much better than i could, thanks heaps.