A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Like many of his American Idol peers that came before (Chris Daughtry, David Cook, David Archuleta), Season 8 winner Kris Allen chose to self-title his debut album. The 13 songs are as clean as Allen's real-life persona, covering typical young adult topics like striving to achieve your dreams, falling head-over-heels in love, and enduring the difficult end of a romantic relationship. However, Allen's take on these common themes isn't mundane; rather, he gives unusually thoughtful consideration to familiar problems that will get kids thinking about things from a different perspective. For example, on "The Truth," he talks about realizing that a relationship is over but having a terrible time ending it in light of how deeply he cares for the person: "Trying to be perfect, trying not to let you down / Honesty is honestly the hardest thing for me right now / I still stand here holding up the roof / 'Cause it's easier than telling the truth."
Is it any good?
In sheer belt-it-out power, Kris Allen's vocals can't compare to other Idol male singer-songwriters like Chris Daughtry and David Cook. That said, Allen's debut album is far more imaginative than albums from either of the other two artists, making it a much more interesting listen. In uptempo songs like "Written All Over My Face" and "Red Guitar," he gets creative with different yet equally cool hooks, and ballads such as "Let It Rain" showcase his dual talent for singing and piano-playing. Allen also deserves enormous props for going way outside his comfort zone with a (great) cover of Kanye West's "Heartless."