CD Review: Kris Allen's KRIS ALLEN

When Kris Allen was on American Idol, it took him a while to make an impression on me. He didn’t stand out at first but then he started making bold choices like acousticizing Kanye West’s “Heartless.” By the end, I was voting for him over the louder Adam Lambert.

His album, titled Kris Allen (dropping Tuesday), is a mixture of low-key and rousing numbers, resulting in a package that’s pleasant enough even if none of the tunes really stuck with me. His voice is in good form, aching and cracking on ballads like “I Need to Know,” rocking on the energetic “Alright with Me” (the disc’s most catchy tune) and “Can’t Stay Away from You,” and a bit smoky on “Heartless.”

Allen co-wrote nine out of the thirteen tracks, alternates between playing the guitar and piano so he’s certainly talented. But even after multiple listens, I had a hard time telling one track from the next (except for the aforementioned ones) and identifying which cuts would make good singles. It’s more like a collection of songs that blend well together and would make nice background music at a party. Though well-crafted, the album is as modest as its namesake.

Nerd verdict: Pleasant enough tour through Allentown if nothing to write home about

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Poncho
    November 15, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Thanks for the review PCN!!

    As I said during the AI run, I found that Kris’s music is closer to my likes. I liked the record, ‘though I did not love it. However, Before We Come Undone was my fave, with Let It Rain being a close second.

    I might have to listen to it again, though.

    Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    November 16, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Thanks for the review, PCN ~ good to know! Australian Idol’s Grand Final is on this Sunday and I hope Stan Walker wins ~ I’ve loved him ever since I saw his audition. Ok, I’m a softie for soul, but I can still be objective and he’s something special. I’ll send you a link to a clip of one of his performances, PCN.

  • Reply
    FFBUFF8
    November 16, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Doesn’t it feel like so long ago that Adam and Kris went at it? Be still my heart!

    Anyway…..even as an Adam Lambert fan, I have to say that I like Kris Allen’s music better. Neither one of them have put out anything impressive as yet though. Maybe it has something to do with the immediacy of seeing them both perform week after week with new stuff and then comes the big let down from not having them do anything for awhile. I know they were on tour and all, but didn’t it feel like Kelly Clarkson’s debut was more immediate and had more promise?

  • Reply
    EIREGO
    November 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Still not a huge fan of Kris Allen. Maybe he’ll change my mind with his next release. At least he’s writing most of his own stuff.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    November 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    It’s not a great CD, but it’s certainly not bad.
    It’s actually quite good.

  • Reply
    Alex K
    November 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Exactly thought the same thing about the background music. Something to listen to without really listening. It’s not bad. I’ve listened to it three times. Average really.

  • Reply
    Susan P.
    November 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Kris? Adam? Loved them both on Idol, but quickly forgot about them as soon as the show ended.

    Honestly, I haven’t stopped listening to DAVID COOK’s CD. Today is it’s one-year anniversary.

    Idol found, game over.

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