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Customer Review

34 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kris Allen Debut Album (Review), November 17, 2009
This review is from: Kris Allen (Audio CD)
Kris Allen makes his debut as a solo artist after his win on 'American Idol'. Off hand, the best thing about this release is that the music matches with the music and style that helped Allen win. Often, these 'American Idol' winners release albums that sound nothing like what they sounded like on the show. Not the case with Kris Allen. His debut is filled with rock/pop songs that sound as if they belong in the catalogs of such groups and singers like Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, Rob Thomas and Coldplay. There are some uptempo songs, there are also a slew of slower, moodier ballads that features Allen's vocals. In all, 'Kris Allen' is average at best. Sure, there are some catchy songs like the single "Live Like We're Dying", but the weakness is that the album suffers from attitude and any resemblance of a unique personality behind the voice.

The Good: The best part of 'Kris Allen' is that the music fits Allen's style as seen on the show. Kris Allen is definitely comfortable in the rock/pop genre. The songs can be described as radio friendly; they're upbeat, they remind you of songs from other groups and artists, for the most part the songs are catchy. Allen's voice shines on many tracks, especially "Let It Rain" which relies more on his range than the instrument backing and "The Truth" where he's actually able to convey emotion and feeling beyond the lyrics and words. If you watched Kris Allen on 'American Idol', rest assured, you're getting that same artist and style of music on this release. He even experiments a little with his sound by straying from rock to go into blues on the track "Is It Over" and taking on hip-hop and pop on a new rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless" (yes, it's slightly different from the one he performed on Idol and just as good).

The Bad: The weakness of this release is that many of the songs lack any real personal touch from Kris. His style is very 'American Idol' where many of his performances sound like imitations of other artists and popular songs. He sounds like Daughtry on "The Truth" and "Lifetime"; mimics Rob Thomas on "Written All Over My Face"; channels Coldplay on "Bring It Back". In sum, it left me wondering who exactly is Kris Allen as an artist? With this release, instead of having a unique sound and a distinct personality that sets him apart from other music artist, he sounds a lot like a cover artist. While this release offers some good music, it is a bit dull and boring. This comes from few chances being taken, and Allen not really emerging from his 'American Idol' background to define himself as a person. The delivery of each song feels a bit tame and safe, no chances being taken out of fear of alienating his 'Idol' fans. Yet, it makes for a bit of a boring listening. The release starts out with uptempo songs, goes into a few slower, quieter tracks and ends with an attempt at dramatic and emotional ballads. Yet, after listening, many of the tracks didn't leave me with a lasting impression. The music, and Kris Allen, seem a bit forgettable.

In all, probably one of the better releases from an 'American Idol' winner but the music itself is tame and somewhat uninspired and boring. 'Kris Allen' is a very tame, safe, forgettable album. It's unfortunate but Allen's personality and individuality are lacking and his music feels very by-the-book and as if it was created via a formula. Radio friendly, it won't scare away any fans, but does not leave an impression. Buy at your own discretion but my verdict would be to skip it.

Listen To These: "The Truth", "Can't Stay Away", "Live Like We're Dying", "Heartless"
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 17, 2009 2:19:47 AM PST
Adrian says:
I think the people that are giving you no helpful votes are just blind. I'm listening to samples now and Heartlesss sounds like the best thing I've heard so far.

This is an album i wouldn't purchase (not that I was going to in the first place).

Thanks for your honesty.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 5:03:53 AM PST
Jon says:
There are no samples.

Posted on Nov 17, 2009 6:05:22 AM PST
Collector says:
I was looking forward to this album and now I'm disappointed. None of the songs really stand out. It's very boring. I think AI is giving him the shaft.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 6:14:17 AM PST
Really, Kris Allen may have been the winner last season but 'Idol' has been giving Adam Lambert all of the attention. Clips from his album are above and beyond more interesting than what's on Kris' release. Lambert gets to work with a variety of producers and writers (he has songs written for him by Pink and Lady Gaga and Kara DioGuardi). Kris? Not so much, his songs sound like Daughtry left overs. If this release had been great, I'd have sung it's praises. Kris isn't a bad artist; 'Heartless' shows his talent and versatility. Yet, this release just doesn't leave a good lasting impression. I'm placing my bets that Adam's "For Your Entertainment" will definitely surpass this album in quality and exposure.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 6:24:38 AM PST
Collector says:
You hit it on the head! Kris's album is a half a$$ effort to appease Kris and his fans. And I have noticed Adam getting all the big promotions. So far Adam's album sounds like a lot more thought was put into it. It's unfortunate cause I really like Kris.

Posted on Nov 17, 2009 7:20:00 AM PST
Gabriel Oak says:
Many of these comments are an insult to Kris. If you've listened to any of Kris's interviews, he's been working like crazy to finish this CD and has not had moment's rest to get it done.

You act like Kris had no input in the album at all. He co-wrote or wrote 9 of the songs.

He definitely cares about how he's presenting himself. He's also said he doesn't like being in the media. He is happy performing and working on his music.

Adam obviously likes to promote himself, which is why we're seeing him everywhere. This will serve Adam well for the moment. He's already talking about being in film. I wish him well but this dismissal of Kris is just ugly.

Posted on Nov 24, 2009 9:07:16 PM PST
Pinky says:
I totally disagree. I've listened to this album over and over and do not find it "boring". The lyrics are very meaningful and speaks not only to the heart but to one's soul as well.
He has kept his produce music that he can be proud of. Gimmicks not needed! Just pure talent...and I am enjoying every song.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 3:46:29 PM PST
Excellent review. While Kris Allen has the looks to appeal to tweens and 20-something females, (as well as their moms,) unfortunately for him, he's vocally and artistically ordinary.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2010 5:42:00 PM PST
Talent my ass.......If he can't copy, he's nothing....Bor-i-n-g.....If he's a winner, I'll eat my feet....You'll get to watch his ha ha career crash and burn.

Posted on Jan 18, 2010 7:42:55 PM PST
Pinky says:
Soothing voice and meaningful lyrics....never a dull, boring moment for me.
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Review Details



Antoine D. Reid

Location: Durham, NC United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 90,290