Kris Allen previews three new tracks at Miami Dolphins tailgate party: What do you think?

Who knew you needed to keep up on football to feed your American Idol addiction? Yesterday afternoon, season 8 champ Kris Allen debuted three new songs from his forthcoming debut CD at a Miami Dolphins tailgate party. Two of the tracks — “Before We Come Undone” and “Written All Over My Face” — were ones I’d heard back in September, and asked Kris about when I interviewed him at Z100 the day he premiered “Live Like We’re Dying.” The third song, “Can’t Stay Away,” is one of 13 ditties that made the final track list for Kris’ self-titled debut, due Nov. 17 from 19 Recordings/Jive. I know there’s been some chatter among music-industry prognosticators that Kris is too low-key to compete in a post-Idol world, but I suspect those folks haven’t actually listened to any of the man’s music. Here’s their big opportunity — all three songs, plus “Live Like We’re Dying,” are embedded below! Ch-ch-check ‘em out for yourself, then join our informal focus group by way of some exclusive PopWatch polls. (It’s okay to vote “woot!” for all three; I did!)

“Before We Come Undone” (written by Kris Allen, Lindy Robbins, Greg Kurstin):  An angsty pop track that intriguingly pushes the upper range of Kris’ vocals as he sings about fighting to save a relationship on the rocks. I’d say it’s got one of those choruses that wedges in your brain like a popcorn kernel in your teeth, except in the case of this melody, I’m not sure anyone would have any desire to get it unstuck. I’m particularly digging the repetition on “make it before…make it before!” and the way Kris gets all growly on the bridge. Also of interest: It sounds as thought the season 8 Idol has amped up the guitars and given the song a rockier edge than the demo I heard a few weeks ago, a smart move that makes this an obvious contender for a second single.

“Written All Over My Face”: Like debut single, “Live Like We’re Dying,” this one’s a wordy jam written by Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton, and The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue and Mark Sheehan, with Kris taking sides in that age-old “Men Are From Mars” debate between showing emotions and talking ‘em to death: “I’d rather shut my mouth/ Than to spell it out/ There’s no doubt/ That it’s written all over my face.” But far from being a snoozy “relationship ballad,” “WAOMF” has a funky little rhythm to it, and proves that Kris Allen Can Dance — even if season 8’s brutal choreographed numbers indicated otherwise. I defy you to resist a bout of chair-boogying when Kris and his band layer the chorus with the “sometimes love gets lost in translation” bridge. Good stuff.

“Can’t Stay Away” (written by Kris Allen, Lindy Robbins, Mike Elizondo): Another song that’s less acoustic troubadour and more funky pop-rocker than one might have expected, “Can’t Stay Away” possesses a chorus that could be a close cousin to Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be.” In fact, if this one ends up scoring some airplay, maybe those crazy kids from Glee can mash ‘em up, no? “I don’t want to…but I can’t stay away from you.” I expect residuals if this happens!

[ewbrightcove “46208154001”, “46266747001”, “525”, “365”]

Comments (308 total) Add your comment
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  • karen Dahl

    Why didn’t Kris release one of these first? Wow, I am impressed. I didn’t like LLYD at all, but these are nice.
    I have to admit I don’t usually like the way Kris sings, but this sounds like he has learned some things about phrasing. Good for him.

    • Sam

      I think comparisons to Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 are appropriate. Definitely listenable, though not great music by any measure.

      • Sarah

        Why don’t you stop HATING with your blunt sarcastic remarks.

      • LOL

        You did not just compare Kris to Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20..? He’s nowhere NEAR that level of talent are you kidding me lmao.

      • LOL

        sorry, I’m just a Glambert troll looking for a way to cut Kris down lmao.

      • majal1

        You did not like the music or you just simply can’t hear.

      • Mrs. E

        LOL – Are you kidding? Kris kicked ass on Bright Lights on tour singing it better than the original. And I am a huge Rob Thomas fan.

      • JRM

        Kris is no where as creative or talented as Rob and Matchbox. Though, he’s OK.

      • Jess

        JRM, anyone can come on here and make a claim like that… when you do nothing to make a case for why you feel that way, it just appears like a baseless claim (or just a petty comment written purely to insult)…

    • Mia

      How can you really judge his new songs if you can’t hear it? The sound quality on this youtube video makes his voice not too clear. I want a better sounded video before I judge. (New fan, maybe)

    • Nathan

      ANGSTY!!! Michael, you are RIGHT! (btw excellent choice of words.)

      Luv all 3 new songs. I already got Kris’s iTunes pass. Yeeeeaaah!!!

      • Starr

        Don’t forget to get the Wal-Mart album release too! It’s got a bonus track on top of “Heartless”, called “Send Me All Your Angels”.

    • Ellen

      Please check out several fresh from the oven HD videos (search “nuryj”) on Youtube. You’re going to say WOW, I betcha.

  • Melissa

    Definitely better than the first single. I guess they got the guy some vocal coaching, too.

  • Kayla Rowles

    Oh man, these songs are amazing! I cannot wait for November to get here!!!

  • Mary

    I really liked Can’t Stay Away. The other two, even after listening a couple times, were not very interesting imo. Kinda just bland. But CSA has potential.

  • Brandon

    can. not. wait.

  • Kendra

    Every song is AMAZING! I’m so impressed with him, it’s not even funny! I had NO DOUBTS that I would love the music he’ll come out with…and look at that, he didn’t let me down!

    He’s going to make it big…he might start low-key because that’s the way he is, but he’ll hit you with the biggest blow when you least expect it! Talent is Talent, and I have so much faith in him! <3

    And Slezak you rock for once again doing another article about his songs! :D

    PS- There is a better version of "Before We Come Undone" on here: The one you picked, it's hard to understand. :)

  • SarahBeth

    Thanks for this! I loved all 3 songs that he sang yesterday, and Can’t Stay Away is a great “Roll the windows down and blast the radio on a gorgeous day” kind of song! Can’t wait for the full album!

  • Ellie

    I love “Can’t Stay Away,” that song is just so funky and fun. I like them all, so i hate to single only one of them out, but I think that this one will be my favorite. Even though we only have three songs to pick from, I think this would be a perfect second single.

  • vicky

    Did you really watch AI? Kris was the only contestant who was commended most of the time of his phrasing and diction especially by Kara. He does a hell of a good job with phrasing.Infact, Kris is the real deal, just watch him suprise again.

    • Sam

      Yeah, he sure “surprised” us when his first single stalled at #28 on iTunes and then disappeared completely. I can’t wait for the next “surprise” from Kris.

      • Starr

        I think that’s pretty normal, Sam. Alicia Keys’s new song didn’t even make the top 100 during the first few weeks of release, and we’re talking about a Grammy winner here.

      • marie

        Actually Starr that is not normal for the winner of AI. Their first single usually shoots right to #1.

      • Starr

        Marie, “No Boundaries” was technically Kris’s first single, and if I remember correctly it did hit number one. However, I can see what you’re saying, and I don’t mind it at all. I echo Kris sentiments when he says he “makes music to make it, not for them to sell”. That is the kind of mentality I think will get Kris very far in the music industry and give him some longevity. It proves he is not interested in just making money and getting face time as the American Idol, but he wants to put out music he is invested in. I really don’t mind that he hasn’t made it to number one. Would it be cool? Sure. Is it a priority? Nah. But thanks for clarifying. As a new Idol watcher, I wasn’t sure what the track records for previous idols were.

      • GiGi

        I am really glad everyone is so into idol-loonie statistics! (I jest.) I agree with Starr – I don’t care that Kris isn’t GaGa-liciously Number #1 and wearing a crazy hat and wings. (Please do not read this as bashing anyone – many “artists” choose the crazy-hat-wing thing to get attention. I think you know what I’m saying). I prefer the laid back musician Kris is. He is growing as an artist because of the AI opportunity. He makes no bones about taking this opportunity and running with it.

        If you listen to BNS, he has some amazing lyrical moments. Those songs are totally his. That is what I have to look forward to.

      • Tina

        Sam, you know nothing. And who cares about charts and itunes numbers? When Kris releases his Album that is when the truth will be told! Then YOU can start counting then numbers, that is if you can keep up with them when they start rising out of control to the top!

      • trask

        Well, speaking of charts, LLWD is doing great for radio spins. It’s #32 on Mediabase’s HAC chart. And it’s actually the #1 requested song on my local radio station’s Top 5 requests. So that’s not too shabby.

    • Nick

      You live in a dream world, don’t you? Kris did no such thing. He was boring on AI, just ask the head judge who commands the most money and actually knows what he is talking about.

      • kie

        Who needs to ask a head judge? I make up my own mind and I think Kris is awesome. Oh, and in case you don’t know it, that season of AI is now over.

      • Rachel

        Nick: I agree, Simon knows what he’s talking about. But he’s confused and hypocritical… at the finale, he said both deserved the top 2 positions and should be glad of what they accomplished. He was praising both… but then when Kris won, he didn’t even stand up. I don’t think that matters. Randy Travis, Chris Daughtry, and many others have already said how great of musician Kris is.

        These songs are great…

      • Starr

        Rachel, actually that incident in the finale you described has been clarified in many an Idol post in the past. Simon did stand up and applaud Kris, and shook his hand, but he sat back down and the camera did not catch it for all to see, and thus the critics pounced and people made a big deal out of nothing. :) Thought I would clarify.

  • Starr

    I am loving these new songs! “Can’t Stay Away” seems to be the new favorite, but I am really digging “Before We Come Undone” – it’s begging to be featured on one of those TV show soundtracks. Kris looked like he was having a lot of fun with the songs and I am so proud of how far he has come. I think that Mike Elizondo and co. were smart to choose “Live Like You’re Dying” as a first single, actually, instead of other of these songs. LLWD has just the right amount of acoustic sensibility to appeal to Kris’s Idol fanbase, but enough pizazz to appeal to new fans. “Can’t Stay Away” might have been too different of a sound from Idol Kris to make it the first song he premiered for his album, so I understand the choice. I am happy for Kris and this makes me even more excited for his upcoming album!

    • Preston

      Live Like You’re Dying is more commercial sounding a single, but it sounds good. But it’s no contest to when I heard Can’t Stay Away! That song has such a funky rock punch to it! I think he wants to show his louder, rocking side to music listeners first before the laid back ballads he was known for. He’s a lot more versatile when you look at it. Sounds like he worked on his singing and vocal style the past few months–he’s sounding a whole lot better than those grueling weeks on live television this past spring.

  • Dane

    Amazing!!! This is just too much too soon…the release is so long away. I must have more….now.

  • Nancy

    Sorry, not impressed. And what dancing are you referring to? He’s still cute though so maybe he’ll get some mileage out of that.

    • Celeste

      patronize much?

  • J.D.

    I love these!!!!! If Kris can put this together in this ridiculously short time, imagine what he can do with normal album time! Lots of talent here.

  • Mrs. E

    Very impressed with all three. Much funkier than I thought they would be.

    • Mrs. E

      Still absolutely loving “Written All Over My Face”……..I would love for this to be the next single.

  • mel

    All 3 songs are just as good as LLWD! I cannot wait for the album. It looks like it is going to be the best AI winner debut album ever!

    • Sam

      Yep, all three songs “are just as good as” Live Like. Just as good … and will be gone just as soon …

      • Kendra

        How about NO.

      • Jazzhands

        Oh Sam. I see that you don’t have a life. That you choose to comment (multiple times) on an article about an artist you don’t even like. Aww, you have my sympathies… Carry on. One has to fill the void somehow…

      • turnoofthelightv


    • Sakana

      IMO though, these 3 songs are better than LLWD. but that’s just me :)

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