Pop Rock, 2012
Poor Kris Allen. He’s easily one of the cutest guys to emerge from American Idol, but to date, he remains that guy who somehow manages to get a record deal without anyone really knowing why. He exudes very little rock star or sex appeal; he’s just this nice bloke who likes to sing and play the guitar.
It’s probably a shame that Thank You Camellia won’t find the audience it deserves, because it’s a superior and more cohesive album than his average self-titled debut. Here, he explores various sounds, from light blues (You Got a Way) to light reggae (My Weakness) to… well, everything else light.
All that “lightness” does come back to bite Mr Allen in his rear end, because, ultimately, there’s nothing here that marks him as a musician with his own distinct stamp and sound. He’s already suffering from a lightweight personality submerged by other more extroverted personalities in the music industry that happen to play tunes similar to his, and his music isn’t helping him stand out.
True, songs like Better Than You and The Vision of Love are perfect for casual listening – they are pleasant and inoffensive on the ears, and Mr Allen’s vocals are definitely more than adequate to carry these songs. Nothing here really stands out as something that would get me on my feet and pay attention, except perhaps the melodramatic Out Alive with its fantastic chorus. These songs are fine when they are on, but when I shut off the CD player, I have a hard time remembering what I’ve just heard.
And that’s the problem. It’s hard to remember Kris Allen, both his name and his music.