Kris Allen covers '...Baby One More Time.' Should this be a bonus track on his debut disc?

So Kris Allen apparently promised a concert to the 540 students of Ohio’s all-girls Seton High School if they raised $5,000 for breast-cancer research by today, and holy raging hormones, they did it! Nice as that may be, though, I don’t want to talk about altruistic acts or good causes here. Nope, I want to know if — after hearing Kris’ stripped-down, slowed-down rendition of “…Baby One More Time” — you think the American Idol season 8 champ should cover Britney Spears’ very first hit for his upcoming self-titled debut disc. I know, I know…on paper it sounds crazier than a reality show about touring Europe with Kevin Federline. But however you wanna slice it, “…Baby One More Time” is a hot-ass track, and Kris’ acoustic cover — which puts an emphasis on the tight-as-a-Botoxed-forehead melody — only serves to drive home that point. I’d actually love it if cagey Kris zipped back into the studio, cut an acoustic “Baby,” and made it a hidden bonus track on his CD. Hey, considering Kris’ fellow season 8 alumni — Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert — both worked with Martin on their upcoming discs, it would kind of complete the Swedish hitmaking circle of liiiiiife. Or something like that. Who’s with me on this one? Vote in our exclusive Music Mix poll, then share your thoughts on Kris’ Britney cover in the comments below. (I’m particularly loving the gaggle of giggles after the audience struggles with the high note on “still believe.” Good times.) Oh, and get up-to-the-minute updates on all my Idol-related coverage by following me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.




More from EW’s Music Mix
Allison Iraheta talks new song titles, tracks about abusive boyfriends, working with Max Martin
Exclusive Photos! In the studio with Adam Lambert
Lady Gaga to appear in new Beyonce video; Diva matrix explodes (Hey it can’t be all Idol, all the time, people!)
Kris Allen’s self-titled album cover revealed! (And the five things we learned from it.)
Adam Lambert’s ‘Time for Miracles’: 29-second leak may cause sweating, palpatations
Kris Allen on songwriting collaborators, video concepts, and nasty rumors about his debut disc
Allison Iraheta’s ‘Friday I’ll Be Over U’: Does the teen ‘Idol’ have a hit on her hands?
Adam Lambert vs. Susan Boyle: Which Nov. 24 record release has you more excited?
Kris Allen’s ‘Live Like We’re Dying’: What do you think?

Comments (202 total) Add your comment
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  • DW

    I love Kris, but haven’t there already been about a million riffs on “Baby One More Time”? For once I’d like to hear an acoustic version of “Toxic” or “Oops, I Did It Again” just to be different.

    • GingerCat

      Yael Naim does a version of Toxic. Check it out on iTunes.

      • Brandon

        Exactly! Her cover was spare and terrific, and I don’t see why Kris can’t do the same with “Baby…One More Time”.

      • Bones

        Yes, vote for bonus track!
        Kris is amazing. Everything he touches turn GOLD!

    • del

      Yup, lots of versions out there. One of the best: Marty Casey on Rockstar: INXS

      • Jym

        I was thinking the same thing. Marty nailed it.

      • orville

        That version is still pretty high up there on my iPod playlist. I loved it because no one thought he could pull off a valid rock version of the song. Fabulous.

      • jackson

        I saw Marty do this on Rock Star and he was brilliant. Marty was my favorite and I still love Marty and the Lovehammers. Kris’ version is different from Marty’s and I love Kris’ version too and think it would make a great bonus track on his CD.

      • J28

        I agree Marty from Rockstar did the best cover I’ve heard of the Britney tune. And although I like Kris’ version (although hard to hear him really sing it cuz of all the girls singing n screaming in clip)I don’t think it should be a track on his new album bonus or other wise. Perhaps a bside to a single if he were to release a song in europe. Then US fans could just order it from Amazon. There is alot of other songs not just by britney that kris could put as a bonus track on his record. I personally like to see an acoustic version of Heartless as a bonus track.

    • brandy

      nickel creek did a fantastic version of “toxic”

      • shannon

        The nickel creek version of toxic blows all other out of the water. Its fantastic and hilarious.

    • Ian

      Travis did my favorite cover of it. But it’s always fun when guys cover this song.

      • Luddite

        Mine too! It was so unexpected that the first time I heard it I got halfway through the song, singing along the whole time, before I found myself asking…what song is this? and how do I know the lyrics?

      • Tina

        I loved Travis.

    • Heidi

      I think Toxic could be a good bluesy song also, actually! I like this cover; saw it before with Marty on Rock Star but this one is very good and shows his riffing ability as well as musicality. He has perfect pitch and a great timbre to his voice. Adam and Allison are awesome but I proudly voted for Kris and think he’ll prove he’s worthy of the win.

    • Mari

      You can also find videos on youtube of Tristan Prettyman doing a decent acoustic cover of “Toxic.”

    • Paige

      Check out Even Better Than The Real Thing from itunes.Juliet Turner does an AWESOME Toxi and Glen Hansard (from Once)does the unthinkable and makes Everytime an AMAZING song. Also, Baby One More Time was covered brilliantly by Marty Casey of Rockstar INXS fame. Allen basically rips him off.

    • nikkido

      This sounds like Bowling for Soups version which I love.

    • sarah

      there is an acoustic cover of toxic, by tristan prettyman. it is actually really really good. found it on itunes!

    • Pamela

      Richard Thompson does a kick a** version of Oops. You can check it out on itunes. It is on the 100 years of popular music album.

  • Chambers

    This is amazing! I want him to perform the whole version (without all the screaming girls).

    • Tina

      I agree.

  • Jorge

    I’d LOVE a full HQ studio version. After hearing it, that was the first thing I thought of.

  • Red Guitar

    This desevers a 2nd Album!!!
    KRis allen you ROCK man

    • Carley

      Barf. Sorry Michael I just can’t help but think you like this only because your crush on Kris has you feeling a bit off. Do us all a favor – hunt Kris down, have your way with him and be done with it. That way you can start writing about someone/something else and we wont have to be updated every time Kris makes a dookie.

      Just sayin….

  • Rich

    Yep, let’s pretend it’s 1999 again and Fountains Of Wayne, Travis, etc haven’t already done this exact same thing a decade earlier…

    • Reality Check

      Based on most of the music coverage I’ve seen by EW, I doubt the author was old enough to be listening to music in 1999, let alone have heard of Travis or Fountains Of Wayne.

      • OMG

        Oh, I am sure Slezak was listening to music and dreaming of Kris back in 1999. I mean Kris should be sending him some ca$h for reporting his every move. It’s almost like Slezak is Kris’ own Twitter.

  • ella

    Kris did this because he told the girls at this HS appearance it was his favorite song to sing in the shower — and then they asked him to sing it for them. So it was an impromptu performance.

  • KF

    YES!!!!!!!!! I need this in my life. THE FULL THING.

    I don’t even know what can top him singing that…so much stuff to flail about!

    I only wish the girls were a little less screamish, but then again, I probably would be doing the same thing hahaaa!

    Ps- I love how Kris interacts with the kids! He is such a sweetheart! <3

    And Slezak, I love how you follow up everything on Kris, you're so awesome!

  • theBigE

    Fountains of Wayne did it 10 years ago, and much better. Long before “Stacey’s Mom.” I’ve had it on a bootleg for a long time, but they finally released it on the B-side collection “Out of State Plates.”

    • Ellie

      Hon, this was just a cute little off the cuff thing that Kris did because these girls asked him to. It’s not that serious, so calm down.

      • addie

        This is was just a benefit performance. Chill.

      • Reality Check

        Yeah, but credit for the arrangement needs to be given where it’s due.
        TRAVIS and FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE covered it in 1999!

      • James

        Exactly! It was an impromtu performance.

  • pike

    WTF, that was terrible. The Travis cover is the best.

    • Reality Check

      Thing is, this is the Travis cover, covered itself by this American Idol guy.

    • check

      Who is Travis? WTF Who cares!

  • Yup

    Me likey. This could be a fun bonus track, why not?

  • Liz

    Who cares if it’s been done before? That was awesome! I was laughing so hard at the audience singing all squeaky & high-pitched on “still believe”.

  • Cindy

    Add it Kris….I never liked Heartless until I heard his acoustic version…have never liked Britney Spears – but this sounds like it has potential with him singing it….

    He seems to be able to take songs from horrible artists and remake them into likable songs… sign of a true artist.

    • Red Guitar

      I heard you. YES!!

    • Walter

      why not try something original for a change? Taking something other artists have done and turning them into “his” songs is not going to make a great career!

      • Leslie

        Well, it’ll probably make for a long career cause there are tons of songs he can strip down and make “his own” ROFLMAO!

    • sparkle

      um this has been covered before. Marty Casey of Rockstar INXS did a stripped down version of it 5 years ago. He also did it better than Kris…10X better than Kris. This isn’t something that hasn’t been heard before.

      • isthislife

        you do realize that he was doing this on a lark, right? it’s not like he had prepared it before hand. tbh i don’t care what marty casey did (which was done even B4 him by travis tyvm.) I’d still love this to be a bonus track. i think it would be fun for his fans.

      • rme

        love the version by marty casey!

    • bob

      The Heartless acoustic version is The Fray’s version- not Kris Allen’s. He is not original!

      • James

        Kris changed the Frays version and did it so much better. Do you not remember Randy Jackson telling Kris that his version of Heartless was better then the original by Kanye and better then the Frays version. Kris put his ‘original’ spin on many songs on the show, maybe you just can’t remember them.

    • T

      I hate to tell you but Mia from MTV’s Taking the Stage, she did that exact accoustic version FIRST. So Kris is not the first one to do it like that. Give credit where it is due.

      • Shirley

        Well, Kris said in an article that he came up with the Heartless arrangement in 4-5 mins, his arrangement is an ORIGINAL version, bitterbert!

      • T

        I am not a bitterbert and I don’t give a crap what Kris “said”. He did not come up with that version first. I have proof if you want it moron. I doubt Kris said that anyways.

    • Katie

      Like “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer–always hated it, but liked Kris’s version.

  • strickens_girl

    Meh. Might make a good bonus track without the screaming teenies.

  • Frank

    Oh yippie – Kris sings yet another song really slow. Yawn.

  • Anne

    This sounds like it was inspired by Marty Casey (of The Lovehammers) who KILLED with this on Rock Star Supernova. I will have to look up the FOW track.

    • kris is so pretty!

      It was Rockstar INXS, not Supernova.

      • T

        You are right. I watched Rockstar INXS. Do you remember the chick who hosted that? Brooke Burn? Man she was hot! Heard she did dancing with the stars last year and won. Funny. And has like 4 kids. Wow. With a body like that, and 4 kids? Blows my mind.

      • T

        They need to have more shows like that. NOW that is real rock. Adam Lambert thinks he is rock? WTFE!

    • isthislife

      i think it was inspired by “i have a guitar and the girls are asking me to sing it so lets see how it goes,” more than anything else really. and travis did it before marty. they’ve been doing it for years.

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