Any Idol fan will remember Adam Lambert as a consummate showman: Just as sure as he'd reach for octaves generally reserved for the opera, he'd sport floor-scraping trench coats and traces of light-catching mascara. But three albums later, he told Out—for which he's the newest cover model—that he's turned a new corner, and that the release of The Original High earlier this month represents a point at which he's finally learned to let go of the pyrotechnics and fanfare and just be himself.

"It’s like growing pains, but I was just trying to express myself," he said of his formerly eccentric method of performance. "Looking back on it now, I can see that I was probably hiding behind it a little bit, sort of like the kid that goes to high school dressed like a goth because they’re actually really sensitive and they don’t want to interact with people and they’re a little scared."

And though he insisted he's content with where he stands, he admitted there was a point at which he felt unsure about exactly how to come out in the public eye.

"That was the one thing I wished I’d had: a little more guidance," he shared. "There were definitely moments of frustration and pressure, but there’s been a lot of good will as well—a lot of support from fans and media people, and it’s balanced out. I don’t have any sort of bitterness about it."

And balance is precisely what the singer seems to have achieved.

"I chilled out a little bit, I don’t know if it’s just being in my 30s,” he said. “When you’re younger and you’ve got a skill, you tend to show off more—you feel like you have more to prove. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten into a place where I feel a little more confident in what I do, and I don’t feel I need to prove myself as far as ‘look at all the tricks I can do.’ Now music for me is more about wanting to prove that I can feel something."

What do you think of Lambert's words, and are you into his new album? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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