I have now listened to the Internet stream of Kris Allen’s debut CD, “Kris Allen,” at least a half a dozen times.
And I can honestly say I am more in love with the guy than ever...
The CD is pure unadulterated pop and that’s not a bad thing. Especially when the songs are held together by a voice as recordable as Kris’. There are a few times when Kris stretches just a little too far but the songs are so catchy and Kris is so adorable, you’re willing to forgive them.
The CD kicks off with what I think could possibly be one of the best “Idol” related singles ever, “Live Like We’re Dying.” Then it’s back-to-back uber-catchy numbers with the Rob Thomas-sounding “Before We Come Undone” and the funky “Can’t Stay Away.”
Kris hits his first power ballad with “The Truth” and just as you’d expect, it’s gorgeous with a sweeping chorus using the analogy of a house falling apart to describe a dying love affair (It was co-written by Pat Monahan of Train.). Then it’s back to upbeat pop with “Written All Over My Face.”
But the upbeat doesn’t last long as Kris goes back to the piano ballad with one of the CD’s strongest tracks, “Bring It Back.” The strong tracks continues with “Red Guitar,” a song Kris wrote himself, which reminds me of The Fray and Rob Thomas rolled into one. Then it’s a touch of the blues with “Is It Over,” followed by a sweeping chorus with “Let It Rain,” and pure fun and funk with “Alright With Me.”
“Lifetime” is another ballad with a classic sweeping chorus, but “I Need to Know” takes the ballad idea one step further by slowing the song almost to a crawl to allow all of Kris’ emotion to pour out.
The bonus track on the CD is not “No Boundaries,” but is instead a new version of “Heartless.” At first I was disappointed because this new poppier version stripped the song of the great acoustic sound that Kris gave it both on the show and the “Idol” tour. But after multiple listens I completely fell in love with it too. However, be warned there is one very questionable note in the middle of the song that I would have never let slide.
There’s nothing I love more than a good pop album and “Kris Allen” totally fits the bill. It’s good to see that 19 finally has this whole winner’s album thing down now. There are A LOT of potential singles here. I just hope that 19’s obvious infatuation with Adam Lambert doesn’t keep us from being able to hear all of them.
“Kris Allen” hits stores Tuesday, November 17th. You can hear it now here.
Photo Credit: 19/Jive