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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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