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Tag: Kris Allen (11-20 of 24)

Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, and Kris Allen: Awesome three ways in NYC

To folks who aren’t fluent in American Idol, there was probably zero appeal in the idea of Ryan Seacrest’s “Rock My Town” contest that brought season 8 stars Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, and Kris Allen to the Highline Ballroom in New York City last night. Too bad for them. Because all three singers delivered such powerful, confident sets from their recent debut discs that blind devotion to Fox’s ratings behemoth was hardly a requirement for getting left weak-kneed, sore-throated, and ultimately elated by the time the trio combined forces to close the show with Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

That said, seeing all three performers in an intimate venue like the Highline, as opposed to on a TV set or in the larger stadium setting of the Idols Live tour last summer, made it clear how each one connects to the audience from a different place: READ FULL STORY

What did we leave off our list of Best Songs by 'American Idol' graduates?

This just in from the Department of American Idol Blasphemy: Earlier today, I posted a gallery of 28 of the best songs ever recorded by the show’s alumni, and my omission of not just one, but two Idol champs, as well as three Idol runners-up, resulted in the launching of many strongly worded emails and Tweets in my general direction. “You included LaKisha Jones but not **a*a *e*a***?” “How could you leave off *a*ha**ne ***hee?” “Where the heck is **be* S****a**?”  some of you demanded to know. And, to my shock, I even managed to offend myself by overlooking season 8’s tragically early evictee Deanna Brown and her bluesy little number “Sometime Ago,” from her recent indie release Traveler. (I’ve tried to make amends by embedding it below.) But hey, that’s how it goes when it comes to the graduates of American Idol U: There are former contestants out there making a whole lotta music, and when a definitive list of some sort or other gets compiled, there are gonna be inadvertent (and, yes, overt) omissions. Click here to check out our randomly ordered playlist, then head on down to the comments section below to tell us which songs and artists you think should’ve made the cut. (Yelling at your humble listmaker is both allowed and encouraged, as long as you follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!)

Kris Allen: How to explain the 'American Idol' champ's disappointing chart performance?

The first-week sales results for Kris Allen are in, and they’re not spectacular. The American Idol champ moved 80,000 copies of his self-titled debut album, placing him at No. 11 on SoundScan’s chart (behind Justin Bieber, Casting Crowns, and Norah Jones, though ahead of Leona Lewis), and perhaps more alarmingly, giving him the lowest first-week sales returns for an Idol winner in the show’s eight-season history. READ FULL STORY

Kris Allen: A track-by-track analysis of his self-titled debut album

My colleague Whitney Pastorek recently reviewed Kris Allen’s self-titled debut (out today) — check out her thoughts, and her grade here — but as EW’s resident Idoloonie, I couldn’t let today’s momentous release go by without a borderline crazy analysis of every track on the record. Yeah, I know, I already went overboard on lead single “Live Like We’re Dying” (as a snippet, a full song, and a video), and I previously weighed in on 30-second leaks and/or live Miami performances of the American Idol season 8 champ’s remaining dozen tracks. But for those of you who’ve either declared Nov. 17 as Kris Allen Day or who don’t understand the meaning of an Idol off-season, the following deep dive is for you. Let’s get the party started, in chronological order, after the jump! READ FULL STORY

Kris Allen's 'Live Like We're Dying' video: You digging it?

The all-Idols-all-the-time American Idol off-season continues today with PopEater’s world premiere of Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying” video, a luxe-looking, moodily lit affair that finds the season 8 champ clad in a physique-appropriate black henley* and stalking his way through an abandoned construction site featuring a giant countdown clock, a dramatic sunrise, and copious amounts of recycled plastic sheeting. (Kris = Good for the environment! As if we didn’t already know.)

Things kick off with Kris driving a white pickup truck (with a watch hanging from the keychain) into what looks like an abandoned quarry. Except it can’t really be abandoned, since it’s lit up with an ominously beautiful cerulean floodlight. And it’s not really a quarry, because instead of stumbling across a cache of stones, Kris comes across a half-finished, steel-framed structure that turns out to be a perfect place for having one’s thick, tousled hair blown around by a wind machine, playing the guitar, and singing an insanely catchy debut single. And after Kris flips a big switch, a massive digital clock appears on the face of the frame and begins a countdown to…global chart domination?…the sunrise?…a new day in which to live life to the fullest? (Note, the first full shot of the clock has it set to 15:38, which could be a winking acknowledgment of folks who like to use a certain Andy Warhol quote to predict Kris’ post-Idol shelf-life.) Whichever interpretation you choose, I like the fact that we get to see Kris playing both guitar and piano during the course of the clip. In fact, that wide shot of him at the keyboards, with the countdown clock casting brilliant yellow light in his direction, is perhaps my fave part of the video. Well, that and the full-torso-boogie that’s paired with “throw it all away” at the 1:19 mark. Okay, okay…I’m watching it too carefully. But since I’ve already boarded the Idol Crazy Train, let me just say that I also like to think that Kris’ stand-and-play moment is an homage to fellow season eighter Matt Giraud’s “Hard to Handle” from last summer’s Idols Live Tour. (#signmattgiraud)

And with that, I turn it over to you. Any important images/themes/deets I’ve managed to miss? And how are you feeling about the “LLWD” clip overall? I’m stoked that the folks at 19 gave Kris the proper budget to kick off his video career — at least we finally know what the company did with the savings gleaned from hiring student filmmakers to helm Blake Lewis and Diana DeGarmo’s tragic first clips –and I can certainly see this one making headway at VH1, at least when the station isn’t playing Rock of Spreading Bed Bugs and Simultaneously Destroying the Sanctity of Love…and Humanity marathons. Who’s with me?

* Prayers really can be answered, people!

FYI: For all my Idol-related updates, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak, and if you love music (and what Idoloonie doesn’t?) then get hip to our Music Mix blog @EWMusicMix!

Kris Allen album snippets hit the Web early: Surprise!

Kris Allen’s self-titled debut CD won’t go on sale until Nov. 17, but you can get an early preview right now at Amazon.com’s German branch. As of today, the online retailer is streaming roughly 30-second snippets of every song from the American Idol winner’s album.

This isn’t the first time a foreign Amazon.com site has allowed consumers to hear an album long before its release date. Similar snippets were recently posted for Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart and the New Moon soundtrack.

Head over to Amazon.de to get a taste of Kris Allen’s new tunes, then let us know: How do you like them? Any early favorite tracks?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW’s Music Mix:
‘New Moon’ soundtrack outsells Tim McGraw on the albums chart
Adam Lambert’s outre-space ‘For Your Entertainment’ cover
Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga reissues: Super awesome bonus fun, or money-grubbing ripoffs?
Mom Jonas spills the beans on Nick’s solo album, which is so not rock’n’roll

Kris Allen: We exclusively reveal the track listing for his self-titled debut!

kris-allen_lOn Wednesday, Kris Allen took to Twitter with news that thrilled and delighted fans of the American Idol season 8 champ: “You guys know what I miss…..the show Doug. So good. Oh btw……..done with the album!” Now, EW.com is happy to exclusively report the final track listing for Allen’s upcoming self-titled debut disc, set to drop Nov. 17 via 19 Recordings/Jive, which has been confirmed by a 19 rep. Conspicuously absent from the disc are any tracks co-written with Chris Daughtry and Mat Kearney — two artists with whom Allen had previously discussed having successful writing sessions. The baker’s dozen of titles — with songwriting credits in parentheses — reads as follows:

01 “Live Like We’re Dying” (Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton, Danny O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan) (Produced by: Produced by Andrew Frampton & Steve Kipner)

02 “Before We Come Undone” (Kris Allen, Lindy Robbins, Greg Kurstin) (Produced by: Produced by Greg Kurstin for SK1 Productions)

03 “Can’t Stay Away” (Kris Allen, Lindy Robbins, Mike Elizondo) (Produced by Mike Elizondo)

04 “The Truth” (Pat Monahan, Toby Gad) (Produced by Toby Gad)

05 “Written All Over My Face” (Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton, Danny O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan) (Produced by: Produced by Andrew Frampton & Steve Kipner)

06 “Bring It Back” (Kris Allen, Francis White) (Produced by Eg White for Spilt Milk Management)

07 “Red Guitar” (Kris Allen) (Produced by Mike Flynn & Warren Huart)

08 “Is It Over” (Kris Allen, Cale Mills, Mike Elizondo) (Produced by Mike Elizondo)

09 “Let It Rain” (Kris Allen, Tobias Karlsson) (Produced by Tobias Karlsson)

10 “Alright With Me” (Kris Allen, Joe King) (Produced by Mike Flynn & Joe King)

11 “Lifetime” (Kris Allen, Jon Foreman, Mike Elizondo) (Produced by Mike Elizondo)

12 “I Need To Know” (Kris Allen, Lindy Robbins, Toby Gad) (Produced by Toby Gad)

BONUS TRACK
13 “Heartless” (Malik Yusef El Shabbaz Jones, Scott Mescudi, Kanye West, Ernest Wilson, Jeffrey Bhasker, Benjamin McIldowie) (Produced by SALAAMREMI.COM)

To get instant updates on all my Idol scoop, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!

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?

Kris Allen's self-titled album cover revealed! (And the five things we learned from it.)

kris-allen-album_lSome 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). READ FULL STORY

Kris Allen on songwriting collaborators, video concepts, and nasty rumors about his debut disc

Kris-allen-Idol-photo_lAmerican Idol‘s eighth season may have ended almost five months ago, but the workload hasn’t slowed a bit for reigning champion Kris Allen. With his debut album slated to drop Nov. 17, the Arkansas native spent his “days off” from the Idols Live summer tour logging studio time with a bevvy of A-list songwriters and producers, and the pace of recording has only intensified since the tour concluded in mid-September.

We caught up by phone with Kris yesterday afternoon to talk about his competitive release date (against John Mayer, Shakira, and Leona Lewis), his recent trip to London, and those nasty rumors that his label is concerned about the quality of his material to date.

Let’s talk album scoop: Any new collaborators you haven’t announced or Tweeted about?
I worked with Kevin Rudolf the last couple days. Me and Joe King [from The Fray] are getting back together and working on some stuff we already had written, which will be really cool. And I’m working with his producer [Mike Flynn] on that song, as well as one other track.

There was some buzz in the blogosphere late last month saying that aside from your single, “Live Like We’re Dying,” that the rest of your album was “a mess.” I’ve heard four tracks so far, so I know that’s not true, but would you like to address those rumors yourself?
You know what? READ FULL STORY

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