Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this. Thankfully, we’ve only had to wait a little less than five months since the American Idol season 8 finale to see the cover art for Kris Allen’s debut CD. A spokesperson for 19 Recordings confirms that the image that popped up on Amazon.com and began to circulate around the Internet last night is indeed the real thing. Armed with that confirmation, I spent a tragic hour of my life analyzing the image to come up with five important lessons about Kris and his upcoming disc. Read on:
1) Kris Allen’s debut album will be self-titled: The absence of any words other than “Kris Allen” pretty much tells you that. (Unless there’s some insanely fine print creeping up in there.) Hopefully, that’s a good indication that the album will reflect the viewpoint of the charming Arkansas musician, and not the focus-grouped will of the 19 Machine. (That we do not want and will not accept, BTW.)
2) Back off, skeezers, Kris Allen is a married man: Yeah, Simon Cowell told him to downplay his marriage during his Idol run. And no, he and his wife only wore those matching red aprons early in season 8 at the request of a producer (click here to hear Kris confirm it himself). But the way the season 8 Idol’s wedding band glistens in the foreground of this memorable shot, you’ve almost got to think it’s a shout-out to wife Katy, sort of a “thinking of you while I’m touring/recording/promoting” love note. Or, well, that’s how my inner romantic chooses to see it, anyway.
3) Kris Allen don’t need no stinkin’ stadium seating: Nope, those metal-lined auditorium chairs don’t look cushy or comfortable, but who sits down during a Kris Allen concert anyway? On your feet, benches!
4) Kris Allen listens to Beyoncé: See how he’s looking “to the left, to the left”? (Also: Flashback to No. 2 above…he clearly liked it and he went and put a ring on it!) But more importantly, as MTV’s Jim Cantiello points out, Kris is the first Idol winner in eight seasons who’s “looking off-camera for his debut disc artwork. Every other champ stares back at the listener — except for Ruben Studdard, who keeps his closed eyes obscured with a cap on the cover of 2003’s Soulful album.” Hmmm. I’d interpret that Kris is, in fact, glancing backward at his Idol “journey,” the empty auditorium signifying his anonymous past, and this moment signifying the last seconds before the crowds begin to flood his daily reality. Whatever the meaning though, Tyra Banks would approve, as Kris certainly knows how to “find his light.”
5) If you were hoping for a jaunty Henley, you’ll have to wait till Kris goes on tour: The black leather jacket is no surprise (hidden Daughtry reference!) but the gray tank-top (“designed to show maximum man-cleavage,” my Idolatry buddy Kristen Baldwin just said to me via IM) represents a change from Kris’ typical plaid flannel and/or Henley tendencies. Either way, dude accessorized thoughtfully from the Macy’s accessory wall. Carry on.
What do you think of the Kris Allen album cover? Share your thoughts, and your anticipation level for the CD (mine: feverish-with-signs-of-squee) in the comments below! And to get all my Idol update, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!
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