Album Review: Kris Allen Tears Down His Walls On Vapid 'Letting You In' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Kris Allen Tears Down His Walls On Vapid 'Letting You In'

While 'American Idol' has played a key role in the birth of many of today's artists including platinum-selling superstars Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, not every winner has been able to duplicate even a fraction of their success.

Take Kris Allen, for example. With his boy next door good looks and his unmatched ability to break your heart and make you smile through his interpretation of song, the winner of the show's eighth season seemed to be on the right path, but unfortunately, that has not been the case.

TIME magazine doesn't rank him among the show's 20 Most Successful Alumni (he comes in at No.21) and his album sales since winning the competition have failed to pass the half a million mark. A tally that runner-up Adam Lambert has more than tripled.

Instead, Allen has remained content with a healthy touring schedule and a small, but extremely dedicated fan base that remain as loyal today as they were when they propelled him to what many consider to be an upset victory in 2009. With his fourth post-Idol album, 'Letting You In', the 30-year-old offers up very little that will take him from the background into the main spotlight.

On the opening track, “Love Will Find You”, he sings about the unpredictability of love and how little control we actually have on how and when we experience it.

While the track itself falls into the forgettable category, it does serve its purpose and set up the album’s rampant theme of love and its different stages. In fact, as you breeze through the ten tracks, it begins to feel like a musical love letter to his wife Katy, who will welcome the couple’s second child later this year, and while that is lovely in theory, the results are rarely as rewarding as the first single and title track, “Waves” and “Letting You In”.

On the former, his voice is more confident than it has ever been and it results in a perfectly crafted tune that is reflective of its title and moves you in more ways than one, while the latter sees him at his most vulnerable. Honestly, it is a side that you wish shined through more and even here, you don’t feel like he is completely laying all of his cards on the table.

He is far more comfortable and in the zone on the album’s best track “Faster Shoes”, the airy “Way Up High” and the infectious “Move”, but it is his struggle to completely let go and allow his audience to fully embrace his insecurities and fears that keep ‘Letting You In’ from reaching its full potential.

He makes admirable strides on “If We Keep Doing Nothing”, which was inspired by the 2015 high school shooting in Roseburg, Oregon that resulted in the death of eight students and an assistant professor at Umpqua Community College, and the closer “I Remember You”, but both of those feel anticlimactic, which can also be said about the album as a whole.

Final Verdict

With ‘Letting You In’, Kris Allen delivers what feels like his most personal release to date, but you often wish it was darker, more revealing and frankly, more honest. Instead, it feels like Allen is only presenting you with half-truths and the album’s most glaring deficit is that you don’t feel like you know anything more about him than when you started.

Still, despite failing to reach the heights of his best album, 2012’s near-perfect ‘Thank You Camellia’, there are some enjoyable tracks here and his core fan base will probably levitate towards the album as a whole, but for the masses, it only suggests that his “Time Will Come” at a later date and with a better album.

3 OUT OF 5

Celebrity Bug’s Key Tracks
“Waves”, “Faster Shoes”, “Way Up High” and “Letting You In”

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