How many spins do you give a record before you decide whether it’s a winner or not? We’re the first to admit, there’ve been times when we fully appreciated a song or album only years after it hit (or missed) the charts. But there’s still something to be said for that first time a new piece of music reaches your eardrums, and that’s what this feature is all about. Every so often we’ll be registering our initial thoughts on a new album in real time (ooh, fancy!) and posting the verdict.
First up: Today we’re geared up to listen to Kris Allen’s debut album (posted on AOL’s listening party), and post our song-by-song thoughts while we listen from start to finish. Let’s get to it!
Live Like We’re Dying
Wait, is this Maroon 5? Is this really Adam Levine’s solo album? The similarity in their singing voices is uncanny. It already sounds like something that’s been on the radio for 56 billion years. That’s not really an insult.
Before We Come Undone
“This is really boring.” – Robbie. Still, this song is not as offensive as Adam Lambert’s album cover. I feel like I’m playing paint by numbers. Next.
Can’t Stay Away
Ooh! Jammy intro! This one has edge! “This sounds like Maroon 5 again.” – Robbie. Is that a band singers want to sound like? Maroon 5? Maybe five years ago when “This Love” came out? I have to admit that three songs into his album and Kris’ band doesn’t sound as crappy as the American Idol band. Bonus points for that. (God my expectations are looooooow.)
Ooh, ballad-y. And there’s an orchestra! I have to admit I’m a Glamberter from head to toe, but I can’t find fault with Kris’ voice. It lacks the gravelly-ness of David Cook’s voice, and he sorta belts everything, but I can’t find anything to mock. But I do sorta feel like taking a nap. I think this entire album would help if I could see Kris Allen’s dimples singing it live.
Written All Over my Face
Another pretty decent track that sounds like it should definitely only be played in the background of a college apartment party (while the host is still setting up and waiting for everyone to be fashionably late).
Bring It Back
Solemn piano. I can almost see the birch trees swaying in the snowy air. I can actually almost hear Adele singing this or Ben Folds, possibly? And maybe tearing Kris Allen a new one while doing so? It’s got a catchy chorus though.
“No Boundaries isn’t sounding so bad right about now.” – Robbie. Aw, he’s kidding. I mean, I guess this song is okay, or whatever… When’s Lady Gaga’s album dropping again? A few more weeks?! Gahhhhhh!
Is It Over
Acoustic-licious. I think Kris should only sing acoustic. It’s infinitely more interesting hearing just his voice and a guitar then letting him get generic-afied by too many instruments…. Oh, I spoke too soon. The acoustic part lasted about a verse. Le sigh.
Let It Rain
“This sounds like the first song with a hook.” – Robbie. Maybe it is the first song with a different hook. I will never find out because I probably will never listen to this album again unless the store at the mall I’m shopping in involuntarily makes me by playing it on their dressing room stereo while I’m trying on sweaters.
Alright With Me
Ooh, folky! Am I clapping hands and singing around a campfire? I just might be! I think I’m liking this one best because it just sounds different. It’s got its own personality, whereas almost every other song on this album sounds like another version of itself. But this song is, wait for it, alright with meeee!!! Wooo high five for awesome puns!!
“He sounds like the guy from The Fray in this one.” – Robbie. Kris Allen + Adam Levine + Isaac Slade = easy listening supergroup??
I Need to Know
Piano = sad. Every popstar knows that. But why do they keep putting them on their albums? WHY?
This is clearly the best song on Kris’ album. Too bad it’s also the best song on Kanye West’s last album. Funny, The Fray also covered an almost-identical version of Kanye’s “Heartless.” At least now we know that if Isaac Slade ever has a heart attack while having sex, Kris Allen can fill in without anyone noticing. (In other news, I need to Netflix the movie Dave right now.)
In a Nutshell: If you were a Kris Allen fan on Idol (Allenite? Kristalker? What the hell do you people call yourselves?), you’re gonna eat this lil album right up. As for the rest of us, we recommend downloading “Alright With Me” and “Heartless” and saving the rest of your moolah for Adam Lambert’s debut instead.