Kris Allen and Adam Lambert Team Up with Hitmakers For Post-Idol Debuts

From Billboard.com

Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, currently hard at work on their post-Idol debuts reveal a few of the songwriters/producers they’re working with to Billboard magazine.

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There were sightings of Kris Allen in Virginia Beach last weekend attending a Fray concert with his wife Katy. Turns out he was in town for a songwriting session with Joe King of the Fray. He’s also working with David Hodges, Salaam Remi, and Claude Kelly.

“I’ve been writing a lot with a lot of different people, and it’s going well, ” Allen says. In fact, sources tell Billboard.com that he’s been working with some of the top songwriters and producers, including David Hodges (Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry), Salaam Remi (Nas, Amy Winehouse) and Claude Kelly (Akon, Leona Lewis). Allen also hit Timbaland’s studio in Virginia Beach to work with Joe King of the Fray, whose take on Kanye West’s “Heartless” inspired Allen’s own performance of the song during the competition. Allen attended the group’s show that evening after the writing session.

While Allen has been experimenting with some urban-influenced styles, he’s honing the material for the album in a John Mayer/Jason Mraz direction. “Each writing session has been a learning experience, ” he says. “I think that we are trying to figure it out and that it’s going the right way and I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait.”

It’s already been reported that Adam Lambert is working with Lady Gaga producer, RedOne. He’s also writing with Dave Hodges. (I’m hearing Adam’s also been writing with Idol judge Kara DioGuardi and she couldn’t be happier about it.)

RedOne plans to record about 6 tracks with Adam:

“You can go almost whatever direction with him. People know him from being on ‘American Idol, ‘ singing other people’s songs, but you can take him in a new direction, and this will be the first time you hear Adam Lambert with his signature. My goal is to get his signature out from him to the world.”

Kris, going for that Mraz/Mayer feel, is just what I expected.   With Adam, I’m still trying to figure out what his “signature” is exactly.   I’m guessing it’ll be pop with a rock/dance/electronic twist–perfectly suitable for both CHR and the dance charts.

About mj santilli 33696 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

65 Comments

  1. Dammit Mj, I can’t keep up with you….oh well, self imposed media blackout for me…..will catch up on all of this tomorrow.

  2. I’m glad that the urban/R&B/soul sound from Kris has finally been acknowledged. He picked so many songs out of the R&B/soul catalog (his personal choices in unrestricted points of the competition included Kanye West, Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder). Also, while we’ve known about Claude Kelly and David Hodges, Salaam Remi being name dropped is nice (and it makes me even more excited for Kris’ sound). Confirmation of his VA Beach trip is also nice. It sounds like he’ll be blending quite a few sounds.

    On the Adam side, still not much new. We already knew about RedOne (6 tracks! I know all of them won’t make the final album cut, but that’s quite a few I would think). I’m still very intrigued by Adam’s sound… Where I can pinpoint Kris’ (partially thanks to his pre-Idol stuff), Adam’s fusion of rock and dance is less concrete for me. Equally excited though.

  3. Oh, happy happy joy joy! When I read this earlier today I was so excited. It seems like I’d been waiting forever to get some sort of real news on who Kris was working with. (Except for the David Hodges bit, the rest of the Adam info in this article I had already heard about).

    Kris has hinted that there would be a few surprises in his album. Wonder if that has anything to do with this sentence from this Billboard article:

    “While Allen has been experimenting with some urban-influenced styles…”

    Hmm…interesting…could be seriously cool! Although considering his song choices on Idol and the fact he has talked about growing up listening to r&b, I should have seen this coming…

    Then David Hodges tweeted earlier today:

    #Started a great song this morning with Eman, Jess, and Kris Allen. Can’t wait to finish it next week.#

    So, as I say — happy happy joy joy! (picture me bouncing up and down)

  4. Very interesting mix on Mr. Allen’s colloboration list……..very interesting.

  5. Funny. I just found this Billboard article when I did a search for Kris Allen. I should have known you would already have it. LOL Nice article. I love Kris’s response to Adam’s admission that he had a crush on him. Love Katy’s too. No wonder they found each other. Both are completely adorable and seem to be so nice. Adam is lucky to have found such good friends. Of course they are lucky to have found him, too. It sounds like great people are working with both of them on their debut albums. I can’t wait to hear the results this fall.

  6. So excited and happy for Kris! Can’t wait for his album to come out! It’s gonna be a cool record!

  7. I am excited for Kris’s cd. I am a Kris fan, but I will check out Adam’s also. I don’t know what Adam’s sound is going to be like, but I am sure it is going to be great.

    Kris has defined what type of music he was going to be doing on the show and I love that sound.

    I like Adam’s ballads and loved his Ring of Fire. I hope Adam recreates another Ring of Fire type of song. That was one of my favorites of the season. So different and unique. I never understood how people didn’t like it? It was one of my favs. I am not really a hard rocker type of person, but love his ballads and slower songs.

    Whatever they do. I will support them both.

  8. Yup. This is nothing new. Kris wants to do softer pop/rock like Mraz and Mayer, and Adam is going to do harder pop rock with some dance tunes. lol Still nice they are reporting though.

  9. The best part of the interview was this:

    Meanwhile, Lambert’s recent revelation of the straight boy crush he has on his former “Idol” roommate has left Allen unfazed.

    “He was so funny,” Allen says. “He texted me that day, like, ‘I’m so embarrassed.’ I’m like, ‘No, are you serious? Don’t be embarassed. I think that’s hiliarious.’ My wife, she’s so funny. She was like, ‘Tell Adam I have a crush on HIM.’ “

    That there is cute.

  10. I’m so glad that Kris’ music will have an urban flavor to it, that will make the music more modern, and set him apart from artist like Mraz. Besides, his voice is well suited for music with an r&b/soulful tinge to it. I hope they release the first single in August.

  11. I mentioned this on another thread — and I hope it’s good news. Salaam Remi has worked with everyone from the Fugees to Amy Winehouse to Toni Braxton to NAS.

    What appears to be happening is that all this stuff — neo-soul, old soul, hip-hop, rap — is merging in terms of distinctions. And the same producers are working with a wide range of artists.

    What made me feel somewhat positive is a) TPTB are apparently not stinting on getting him lots of hot people to work with, so that conspiracy theory seems wrong; 2) the John Mayer reference. I just hope Kris won’t let all these very strong and influential pop music makers steer him away from his own best instincts.

    In particular, I just hate the thought of his voice being heavily obscured, or auto-tuned or over-synthed or beat-boxed to death. He has such a melodious instrument, and puts such genuine emotion into his singing. That’s his forte, and he was often at his best with very stripped down arrangements on AI — clean and crisp.

    I know it’s curmudgeonly, and I really do want to ride with the times and keep my ears open, but what Bob Dylan said in 2006 still really resonates with me:

    You listen to these modern records, they’re atrocious, they have sound all over them. There’s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’  static..CDs are small. There’s no stature to it.

  12. Hi, I’m a newbie here. I was just thinking that when Jordan Sparks signed with Jive she said she got to chose anyone from the label to work with. She chose Chris Brown, so if Kris was in Virginia at Timbalands studio, any chance he’ll be working with JT?

  13. Lol, girlygirl, are you sure it wasn’t your commnet? Maybe she was lurking here on mjs! heehee. (That’s assuming you’re the one who posted it here.)

    I’m looking forward to the interview.

  14. Not sure where to put this. I think Lyndsey Parker, whoà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s doing the AI video interviews for Yahoo Music, has gotten lots of tweets about how she didnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t like Kris during the season.

    I follow Lyndsey. Its so sad about some of the twitters. Most are positive though. But seriously, she has the right to like Adam the best. Its not a crime! lol

  15. You listen to these modern records, theyà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re atrocious, they have sound all over them. Thereà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’  static..CDs are small. Thereà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s no stature to it.

    Very very true. Thats why I don’t really get all excited when I hear who these producers have worked with. To be honest, I don’t like most of the people who they have made stars. lol Popular is not always good. This is a concern for all of them.

  16. Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m so glad that Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ music will have an urban flavor to it,

    Kris never says he wants to go urban. He always says most definitely pop rock. I dunno…..

  17. The album having an urban/soul or r&b feel to it doesn’t mean that it won’t be a rock album or that it will fall into the urban category. A lot of Kris’ songs on the show had a soulful or r&b sound, some of it just came naturally to Kris based on how his voice sounds, so changing that would change what people fell in love with during his time on the show. Taking away Kris’ soulful style would lead to creating a generic album, but leaving it while also having a soft rock or rock edge would be unique, and in Kris’ wheelhouse.

    And the word pop means nothing, since anything can be pop today. Pop just means popular, it’s not a particular sound.

  18. I want to see Kris working with a producer like Mark Ronson (his album ‘Version’ featured artists like Lilly Allen, Daniel Merriweather and Amy Winehouse), also collaborating with people from the Hip Hop scene and even including some of the singer/songwriting stylings of artists like Hansard (‘Falling Slowly’) or Damien Rice (‘The Blower’s daughter’).
    He show on AI that he has the range to do all this while staying true to himself and adding his personal touch.

    Maybe is just wishful thinking from my part, but hey a girl can dream!

  19. The album having an urban/soul or r&b feel to it doesnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t mean that it wonà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be a rock album or that it will fall into the urban category. A lot of Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ songs on the show had a soulful or r&b sound, some of it just came naturally to Kris based on how his voice sounds, so changing that would change what people fell in love with during his time on the show. Taking away Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ soulful style would lead to creating a generic album, but leaving it while also having a soft rock or rock edge would be unique, and in Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ wheelhouse.

    urban/soul and r&B is are definitely favorites of mine. I just don’t see Kris when its mentioned. In fact, Danny to me is more soul/r&b. BUT, I will hold judgment until his album comes out and I actually hear it. Even though these guys are working with specific producers, we don’t really know what direction they will take them in. Although it seems certain Kris wants the Martz/Mayor career path, which I think suits him.

  20. Wow. This is the first time I’ve ever been impressed and happy with a songwriter working on an Idol album. Salaam Remi? Very cool! I’m not a big Fray fan, but Joe King is a very good songwriter. I’m feeling more and more confident about Kris’ album.

    Kris should totally hit up Hansard. He’s a very spiritual and open guy. He might be even interested. I usually think that kind of thing is pie in the sky, but in this case, if he has the time, I think it’s worth a shot! He’s not anti-pop either. I like this version more than the original.

    ETA: Found the Britney cover! (For a no talent hack that girl has some amazing songwriters.)

    I hope RedOne does some good work with Adam too! Not a fan of Hodges or DioGuardi.

  21. urban/soul and r&B is are definitely favorites of mine. I just donà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t see Kris when its mentioned.

    While Kris is certainly not going to be putting out a hip hop or R&B album in it anytime soon, his voice (and even arrangements) is very much so tinged with soul/R&B. It’s a little hard to see because his look is so very “white guy with guitar” and his laid-back personality is often interpreted as “coffee house”, but it’s definitely there. I mentioned this somewhere else recently, but just take a look at what Kris sang on the show:

    Donny Hathaway (audition), Stevie Wonder (Hollywood), Jackson 5 (Hollywood), Michael Jackson (semis), Michael Jackson (13), Marvin Gaye (10), Bill Withers (9), Kanye West (3), Bill Withers (2), and Marvin Gaye (2).

    Kris’ R&B stylings on top of his folk/rock vibe are what really make him stand out, IMO.

  22. This is great news! Althought some of it was already known, but still these names presented in this Billboard article are real “hit makers” in modern day music. I’ve grown extremely anxious after hearing these songwriters and collaboraters that are working with Kris.

    Also, I don’t think we really have to worry about Kris’ sound too much, Kris has said in countless articles that his album is going to all “Kris.” The EW article said Kris will not be doing anything that he doesn’t feel is right, according to his own music style. Also he always emphasizes that he wants to stick to stuff with he did on the show, “with surprises” here and there, like how he surprised us with “Heartless.”

  23. I think Urban is a good fit for Kris. Now I see why he went with Jive (or it makes more sense to me now). Worked well for Jordin.

    I think they both have some good people working with them (except I don’t like Hodges either who is working with both and Eman = typical Idol stuff). I hope Redone does most of Adam’s producing. I prefer an album produced mainly by one person. I don’t want too many people involved. Sounds promising as one of Adam’s friends whose been writing with Ferras was at a recording studio with Redone and Adam today….. so hopefully RedOne will be involved a lot and produce most of it.

  24. All of these “revelations” make Kris’ album even more exciting! I’m really looking forward to how his music will sound working with a few of the best songwriters. His pre-idol album is already very good in terms of music and lyrics, except for the quality of the recording and back-up musicians. It’s also a welcome news that he’s with Joe King and The Fray for the songwriting.

    I hope they don’t obscure his music with special “sound effects” because we know Kris for reaching his audience with his music and lyrics.

    To quote Bob Dylan (as collete did):

    You listen to these modern records, theyà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re atrocious, they have sound all over them. Thereà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’  static. CDs are small. Thereà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s no stature to it.

  25. Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ R&B stylings on top of his folk/rock vibe are what really make him stand out, IMO.

    Very well put. I totally agree! I would also add his Donna Summer cover to your list.

    I think Kris is an example of white boy soul that we haven’t seen much of before.

  26. Yay, Kris! I wonder if 19 leaked this information because Slezak wrote about how there seem to be some favoritism. hehe.. That or I think too much about all these conspiracy theories. If what we’re reading/assuming is correct, the soft rock with the r&b tinge would be really cool for Kris, especially since he kinda already showed that on AI. That, and I keep thinking that a Jamie Foxx thing can really happen if they find a good song and that would fit into the album really well. Also, even if the songs that are presented to him are too “urban”, I have confidence in Kris’s musicality to make it fit his style more.

    I’m also surprised (somewhat) that they really are having Kris and Adam work on the material with different songwriters. I give credit to Barry Weiss cuz you know Clive Davis would not be having that.

  27. The album having an urban/soul or r&b feel to it doesnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t mean that it wonà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be a rock album or that it will fall into the urban category.

    That’s easy to say for people who like urban/soul/r&b. For people like me who hate that sound, it’s revolting. This is what I feared Jive will do with Kris and Allison. And I hate it.

    Today’s r&b sound is over-produced, has no melody, is full of vocal gymnastics, and has a sound I totally hate. I could vomit when I hear songs like Leona Lewis’s Bleeding Love; I’ve managed to avoid all songs by Kanye, or Neyo, or any of those people because I absolutely abhor that sound. When commercials come on with rap or hip hop I change the channel in disgust. They push that sound on us everywhere you turn, and try to further push rock into a corner.

    I’m with Bob Dylan. It is atrocious what they are doing with music today. Stop trying to blend r&b with rock. They are different sounds, leave them that way. I want the rock sound. People need to stop saying it’s not a big deal if they make rock have an “r&b twinge.” Of course it’s not a big deal if you like r&b! But everyone does not!

    They can’t create all music in a studio with their machines. I want real people singing real songs with real melodies and real instruments. I don’t think that’s going to die out, no matter how hard they try to get rid of it.
    I love the Fray. So maybe that’s one good development.

    Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m glad that the urban/R&B/soul sound from Kris has finally been acknowledged.

    I’m going to throw up. And I guess nobody cares if they are pressuring Kris to go in a direction he didn’t profess to want to go. I’ll be watching to see how much he stays true to himself and how much he caves to the pressure. It will be very sad if he gives in to the urban music pushers, because mellow singer/songwriter rock will have lost a potentially great singer. THIS IS THE KIND OF MUSIC JIVE DOES. I KNEW IT. Now what are they going to do to Allison???

    I think Urban is a good fit for Kris. Now I see why he went with Jive (or it makes more sense to me now). Worked well for Jordin.

    Urban a good fit for Kris? In what parallell universe? And what part of “Jordin was always an r&b styled singer” do people not understand? Jordin does not equal Kris, except in some greedy record executives’ minds who don’t give a flying fig about rock.

  28. oceana, do you like Kris’ performances from Idol? That’s what we mean by rock with an R&B feel. Did you like his version of “Heartless”? That’s what we mean by urban/R&B.

    I mean, do you really think Kris’ album is going to sound like Leona Lewis singing “Bleeding Love”? You think Kris will be singing songs like “No Air” and “Battlefield”? Vocal gymnastics and Kris? Really?

    He’s the guy who was able to re-arrange freakin’ Donna Summer to suit his own sensibility. You give him little credit if you’re dismissing his musical instincts so easily and think he’ll be such a pushover.

  29. A lot of Kris songs had a soul/r&b quality to them, and not just because the originals were r&b or recorded by r&b artists. You can hear that quality in “Remember the Time”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and “To Be Loved By You” to name just a few of the songs. It’s that quality that gives his voice so much emotion, and that will set him apart from other singers in his field. It was part of who he was on the show, so why change it, especially since people responded to it.

    Just because some current r&b songs are over produced, that doesn’t mean that Kris’ will be, especially since that’s not his style. There are plenty of accoustic soul r&b artist, who share a lot in common with Kris’ style of music, now we take that style and marry it with Kris’ rock ellements and we may have a winner.

  30. I disagree all of today’s R&B is over produced and has no melody. There are tons of different R&B artists and Leona Lewis, Kanye and Neyo do not represent all of them. Just like one rock artist does not represent all rock artists. I wouldn’t even consider Leona or Kanye as R&B artists.

  31. I trust that Kris will keep his signature sound and connection to whatever ends up on his album and maintain his musical integrity. He strikes me as being an eclectic and quite intelligent musician, songwriter, and singer.

    I think it’s premature and presumptuous to look at a list of writers/producers and come to the conclusion that he’ll sound like Britney Spears or Leona Lewis or whoever just because they worked with some of these people.

    Then there is rock, which has its roots in R&B and soul. It manifests in many forms today. I’m not fond of all the directions it can and does go. The same can be said of Urban. It’s all ‘Root’ music.

    Where I have concerns is with the musicians used and the hopes that we don’t get overly produced poor quality music. I want the instrumentals to have the Kris signature and for him to BE there and not singing to a backing track like AI did for all the Idols on their iTunes studio recordings.

    I liked the Dylan quote above. Kris reminds me of him in many ways.

  32. oceana, I think you can probably relax. After all, the release said:

    While Allen has been experimenting with some urban-influenced styles, heà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s honing the material for the album in a John Mayer/Jason Mraz direction.

    This sounds a lot like what he did on the show. It may not be – who knows? – but it sounds roughly similar. Kris has to do what he feels, and he definitely likes r&b and has had a lot of r&b influences. I was actually glad to hear he’s been “experimenting with some urban-influenced styles,” and I was also happy he was “honing the material in a Mraz-Mayer direction.” His usual thing includes experimenting with combining r&b with a singer-songwriter style, or so it seems to me. So, I’m glad he’s doing that, not just doing a generic pop rock CD. I think this is pretty good news.

  33. I was reacting to the people who say that it’s no big deal if his songs have an r&b “tinge” or “sound” as if it doesn’t matter when you try to turn rock into r&b or mix them, as if nothing is lost or changed when that happens, as if nobody minds.

    I don’t appreciate being told to relax. :(

    I think ità ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s premature and presumptuous to look at a list of writers/producers and come to the conclusion that heà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll sound like Britney Spears or Leona Lewis or whoever just because they worked with some of these people.

    And I wasn’t the one who did that. Several people before me made that assumption and said that he would fit fine with urban etc. I was responding to them, not to the press release.

    By the way no, I didn’t like Heartless, it still sounded a bit r&b to me. It’s an r&b song as reflected in the structure of the lyrics and doesn’t appeal to me.

    Excuse me for wanting rock to stay rock and not wanting it mixed with r&b. By the way, I’m not a John Mayer fan either, he’s too r&b leaning and also his lyrics are too repetitive (say what you need to say ad nauseum) but do love Jason Mraz.

  34. Sorry, I was trying to make you feel better oceana. Guess I should have shut up. You have a right to your feelings.

  35. There are plenty of accoustic soul r&b artist, who share a lot in common with Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ style of music, now we take that style and marry it with Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ rock ellements and we may have a winner.

    Can you name a few?

    A winner? Yeah r&b worked so well for Kat McPhee. We’ll see. I’m only one person, if I don’t care about his music, oh well, just one lost customer.

  36. Thanks Ross. Appreciate it. Don’t ever shut up. Especially not for my sake.

  37. Then there is rock, which has its roots in R&B and soul. It manifests in many forms today. Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m not fond of all the directions it can and does go. The same can be said of Urban. Ità ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s all à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Rootà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ music.

    Old-style soul and r&b sound nothing like today’s so-called urban and r&b. I was a big motown fan in my youth. Those songs are not like today’s “r&b”.

    Rock may have had its roots in r&b but they have diverged greatly. Are you going to compare, say, Tom Petty or the Rolling Stones to Leona Lewis or Beyonce? Rock is still rock. There are many forms of it, but r&b-tinged is not one of them.

    Of course I will judge Kris’s music on its own merits when it comes out. But I do not celebrate that his music might have an “r&b sound” no thanks.

  38. The perfect examples of rock with R&B/Soul influences are 2 of the most successful female pop stars today: Kelly Clarkson and Pink. Kelly sang mostly R&B style on Idol before turning to Pop/Rock genre. Pink’s first album was a R&B album.

    Since Kris doesn’t want to go country, he has to go rock to succeed and avoid boy-band pop. He doesn’t have a typical Rocker voice so he needs something else to make it interesting. He is smart and i am sure he knows how to succeed (he just won the damn thing).

    I think his vocal style will be the same as what we heard on idol. But I am very interested in what kind of “rock” sound he comes up with on his new album. Most of his idol recordings are more pop than rock.

  39. I think it’s great that Adam and Kris are working with these people, I can’t wait to hear their CD’s.

  40. Some examples of acoustic soul artitists:

    Robin Thicke
    Tracey Chapman
    India Arie
    Lauryn Hill
    Leela James
    Corrine Bailey Rae
    Jill Scott
    Musiq
    Sunshine Anderson
    Erykah Badu
    Macy Gray
    John Legend

    And there are those who dabble in it like Alicia Keys.

    For me, Kris’ r&b/soul style is something that is innate to him, changing that would be doing exactly what Dylan said he hated in the qoute that keeps being posted. Taking away that quality would take away something about him that’s special, and just make his sound generic. Nobody has to force a soul sound onto Kris, he already has it. Considering that he merged rock/soul/r&b on the show, and people liked it, I really don’t see what the problem is.

  41. I think Kris is an example of white boy soul that we havenà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t seen much of before.

    Remember Elliott Yamin?

  42. I think Kris is an example of white boy soul that we havenà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t seen much of before.

    I like how you put this, RemusL. This is going to show my age, but the term “white boy soul” makes me think of Hall and Oates from the ’70’s-80’s. Not that I think Kris is an ’80’s retread, not at all; it’s more that I can see him combining rock and soul the way Hall and Oates did with songs like “Everytime You Go Away,” “Rich Girl,” “She’s Gone,” and “Out of Touch.” At the same time, I could see Kris doing some of their more upbeat songs, too, like “Kiss on My List” and “You Make My Dreams Come True.” (Okay, “Private Eyes” and “Maneater” don’t quite work!) Darn, now I wish Kris could have done some Hall and Oates for Year You Were Born Week. . . .

  43. No disrespect to Elliott Yamin and I think he is a great artist and person. But White boy R&B is not easy to succeed, Urban radios won’t play you unless you have “street” credibility, Rock radios won’t play you so you left with pop and AC radios. The only really successful white boy R&B artist is JT. Kris is nothing like him. I think Kris is right by going Pop/Rock sound with some vocals injected with Soul.

  44. babybelle, I agree with your comment entirely!

    Kris to me is nowhere close to Jason Mraz except for being a white guy who can play the guitar. I mean it’s really impossible to watch his performance of Yesterday with Mike Huckabee and say that there wasn’t a hint of R&B/Soul in his delivery of it. Or Ain’t No Sunshine. Or the Jackson 5 song he did hollywood week (in a group called White Chocolate of all things!).

    I don’t think he is being forced into experimenting with urban styles, Kris seems to actually know and enjoy that music, so it’s not surprising that it might find its way into a pop/rock record.

    Oh and oceana, Gavin DeGraw is a perfect example of a pop/rock artist who has soul. Not surprisingly he was namedropped along with the Fray as the kind of sound that Kris is going for. Well at least in the last billboard article about the album.

  45. I grew up with close friends who played in a band in and around Texas, Oklahoma, and other areas of the midwest. Their writing sessions seemed to spring up organically – either one person had written some really personal lyrics and needed to find a good melody or beat, or another person would be playing around on the guitar and suddenly find a sound that everyone jumped on. That whole process was about experimentation – trying things on until they fit.

    I’ve got to think that much of the joy in getting to put out a record is about having the freedom to be creative – using the writing sessions and professional advice as a time to explore and hone skills, and to flirt with various genres. I think that, fundamentally, Kris is like most musicians (and most people, for that matter), in that his musical influences cover a broad spectrum of genres – jazz, r&B, rock, pop, indie, etc. I trust that in experimenting with different styles of music, he will ultimately find a sound that is uniquely him. Yeah, that probably means that his favorite influences will bleed over into his sound a bit, but I don’t mind that. It’s the nuances that set one musician/band apart from another.

    As for Dylan’s quote, I don’t really fear that Kris will be obscured by noise or static. Again and again, Kris has indicated that he loves finding the melody of a song and making sure the lyrics stand out. I don’t think he’d blanket the melody or his voice with heavy instrumentation.

  46. The perfect examples of rock with R&B/Soul influences are 2 of the most successful female pop stars today: Kelly Clarkson and Pink. Kelly sang mostly R&B style on Idol before turning to Pop/Rock genre. Pinkà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s first album was a R&B album.

    Kelly sang old r&b type songs like Natural Woman on season 1, but like I said, old r&b and new r&b are two different animals. Natural Woman is a beautiful song, it has a melody too. Stuff Like That There was a really cool big-band song. Kelly said all along she was into rock, and she sang great songs but never did she sound like today’s r&b. And what she’s selling and what she’s famous for are not r&b songs. Anyway, Kelly’s selling pop, not rock. Pop is more r&b influenced, rock isn’t.

    I don’t know about Pink’s first cd but all the Pink I’ve ever heard has been rock. I don’t know why Pink made an r&b record, if she did, but it’s beside the point, she’s known as a rocker and that’s what she sells. Are you saying that Kris should make an r&b cd first and then later do rock? I’m confused about the point you’re making.

    Whatever, I’m not even a big Kris fan, but I thought he might do some music I would like. Time will tell what he ends up with. Jive just better not try to make Allison into an r&b “tinged” artist. I think she’s pretty solid in knowing who she is musically.

  47. Robin Thicke
    Tracey Chapman
    India Arie
    Lauryn Hill
    Leela James
    Corrine Bailey Rae
    Jill Scott
    Musiq
    Sunshine Anderson
    Erykah Badu
    Macy Gray
    John Legend
    And there are those who dabble in it like Alicia Keys.

    Thanks. The only one I listen to there is Tracy Chapman, and she doesn’t sound r&b to me, not the sound I associate with today’s r&b. She’s a soulful songwriter/singer, with a sound all her own. The others, of the ones I’ve heard, are too r&b for me. I haven’t heard all of these. I like one Corrine Bailey Rae song that she sang on a John Lennon tribute cd.

    Here are some singer/songerwriters who don’t sound like r&b:

    Dar Williams
    Indigo Girls
    Jakob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Tom Petty
    Bruce Springsteen
    The Fray
    David Cook
    Joni Mitchell
    Leonard Cohen
    Van Morrison
    Ray LaMantagne
    Melissa Etheridge
    Fleet Foxes
    Keane, ColdPlay, Green Day, etc.

    I’m into rock, alt rock, folk rock. Sure things sometimes overlap but there is a clear difference between rock and r&b, to me. Each of these artists have their own unique sound without adding that r&b “flavor”.

    Whatever, again, we’ll see when Kris’s cd comes out what he comes up with. But I disagree that “there’s no harm in making rock sound like r&b” when there is a real difference and many people like rock and its derivatives and not today’s so-called r&b.

  48. [Comment From zmitchell]
    Hey Kris, huge fan here! what kind of album do you think you will put out? acoustic? or more upbeat?
    4:08
    Kris Allen: It’s going to be more of a… I think it’s going to have that acoustic feel, but not too much. It’s going to have probably a little more rock feel than people think it’s going to, which is cool. But also good stuff that people will want to listen to. More along the lines of pop rock.

    I just thought I’d throw this into the discussion mix. This was Kris’s answer on his comcast interview. (Or whatever it’s called.) :)

  49. Oceana, it’s how you sing a song that makes it a certain style. One person can sing “Natural Woman” in a country style, thus it will become a country song, while another person can sing it in a jazz style. Just as there are different variations of rock there are also different styles of r&b, different styles of country, etc. Most artists today have a combination of at least two or more styles that appear in their music. It’s hard to listen to a country station without hearing songs that have elements of rock and vice versa.

    Kris’ style on the show was never straight r&b, or r&b that didn’t take into account the lyrics and melody, so why would that change with his album?

  50. I’m very excited about the direction Kris appears to be going in. I’m a huge fan of singer-songwriters (of all stripes, from Bluegrass to Soul). Here are three whom I adore, whose vibe I can see Kris replicating:

    Tyrone Wells
    Amos Lee
    Ben Harper

  51. Remember Elliott Yamin?

    Sure I do. When it comes to Elliott, I do feel a little like oceana worrying that Kris will sound too much like contemporary R&B. I had hopes during season 5 that he would bring back some of the more classic R&B stylings since his signature song was Leon Russell’s “A Song For You” (which, btw, Kris sang during his audition but it wasn’t shown till after the finale, on AI Extra). However, I found I only really liked a few tracks on his first album. His second album is much better, imo, but he’s one of those artists that unfortunately does dabble in vocal gymnastics. He certainly has the ability to do so but that doesn’t mean he should. I seriously doubt we have to worry about vocal gymnastics from Kris.

    I feel Kris defined his sound much better on Idol than Elliott ever did. That’s why I’m confident we won’t see some drastic departure from the singing style we’ve seen so far. In fact, as cookcricket pointed out, Kris himself has stated his new album will likely have even more of a rock vibe than his performances on Idol did.

  52. That qoute from the chat made me afraid that Jive would try to push Kris into a David Cook type of sound, which he may be able to pull off, but it’s just not his style. I have no doubt that the base for the album will be rock, but that the songs and the way that Kris sings them will have elements of other types of music including soul/urban/r&b.

  53. He’s been saying pop/rock forever (with shades of alternative) now, and I don’t expect anything different from that. However, he said there might be some twists, turns, and surprises and I think that’s where the urban experimentation comes in. Some people might be surprised and I think it’ll be the people who compare him to Jason Mraz, and they’ll go “WTF?”

    But he claims that once people hear it’ll make perfect sense and that they’ll like it. So I guess we’ll have to see. I would have never guessed that given the chance to sing any song he wanted, he would have picked Kayne West, but he did and it was great, imo.

  54. No disrespect to Elliott Yamin and I think he is a great artist and person. But White boy R&B is not easy to succeed, Urban radios wonà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t play you unless you have à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“streetà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  credibility, Rock radios wonà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t play you so you left with pop and AC radios. The only really successful white boy R&B artist is JT. Kris is nothing like him. I think Kris is right by going Pop/Rock sound with some vocals injected with Soul.

    Exactly. That was my point. It’s not that we haven’t heard this before — it’s because you have a darned hard time selling this. That’s a big reason why they didn’t sign Elliott back in his season. They judged it would be way too difficult to sell and promote him, even though they saw his talent.

    Kris, don’t try to be white-boy R&B. No point to it. You can throw a little R&Bish vibe into some things if you want to, but if you stick to rock/singer-songwriter (with faintly southern or R&B flair here and there …), you’ll do much better commercially. I’m sure that they and he know this.

    As someone wrote above, of singer/songwriters: “Here are three whom I adore, whose vibe I can see Kris replicating:

    Tyrone Wells
    Amos Lee
    Ben Harper”

    And, yeah. Sounds write to me. Ben Harper especially. The test is going to be whether Idol, idol fans, the media, and the public consider singer/songwriter levels of commercial success to be enough for an Idol, or whether he could get those levels of success and be dismissed as a failure the way all of these guys owuld be. Ben Harper, by far the most commercially successful of these three guys, so far as I know, has three gold albums, but gold isn’t enough for an Idol. Elliott has a gold album here and one in Japan, but he’s not widely considered a success by the Idol crowd, even though he only came in third.

    They’ve certainly switched some of their focus to more niche players, in both Kris and Adam, potentially, and I hope the definition of “success” follows along with that. If you’re not lowest-common-denominator multi-plat is hard to come by.

  55. I think the main thing is that he will be going pop/rock but because he has a very soulful voice (remember what Jamie Foxx said about all the top 5?) that will help him in trying to bring a little different than the average singer/songwriter type. He is not going to be singing only r&b only because he has never said he wanted to do that, unlike Elliott who said that was his style. (By the way, I love Elliott, hate straight R&B, so I’m a little mixed on his album haha)

    To me, hearing all this news on who he’s working with is a good thing for me because I thought that they were going to stick him with some bland writers but so far, the mix all seems really cool. Though Claude Kelly seems more pop/hip-hop or whatever, on his myspace page he has talked about wanting to do some more rock since styles should not be limited because of one’s skin color. The Fray thing sounds really good too since Kris has talked about that being one of his influences.

  56. @efm, please, please, please Nooooo! I was a tween/teen in the ’80s and thought Hall and Oates were cheesier than fondue back then. Kris will create an authentic sound all his own.

    I love the comment upthread from someone who cited all the R&B-influenced songs Kris did throughout the season. You’re totally right!! He’s constantly compared to Mraz and Mayer (and REALLY does sound like The Fray in some recordings) but he performed Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer, Kanye, Marvin Gaye, etc. etc. and did a fabulous job of making these epic recordings his own. Kris rocks.

  57. @efm, please, please, please Nooooo! I was a tween/teen in the à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢80s and thought Hall and Oates were cheesier than fondue back then. Kris will create an authentic sound all his own.

    Hee! I know, their videos don’t hold up well now. And I don’t think Kris should mimic them completely but more update that idea of blending rock and soul to fit his style. No worries–I don’t want him singing “Maneater” ever!

  58. I agree that Kris will do a singer/ songwriter, pop/rock, R&B/ soul infused record that will probably have some catchy tunes you may, or may not, be able to dance to…

    Seriously, he really did define himself pretty well on the show. Listen to both the live and recorded versions of his songs – including Come Together – and I think you can see where he’ll go. So far all the songwriters they’ve listed fit into what we already know.

    Oh, and Hall & Oates rule. Try Abandoned Luncheonette or Private Eyes – one great one for each era. That is all.

  59. Help, I’m confused!

    The one thing that strikes me about both the Kris and Adam statements is that no matter what direction they say they want to try, or experiment with, it always seems to come down to: it will mainly be rock. With something or other thrown into the mix. But apparently TPTB aren’t going to let them deviate all that far from something that will appeal to the broadest audience.

  60. Leon Russellà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“A Song For Youà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ 

    Did Kris sing that during his audition? That’s a great song. (I hear that as a rock song as Leon sang it, not r&b). LR was a rock artist, never r&b. I loved his singing. Kris has some good taste in music … Jamie C. for instance.

    Elliott was always about r&b, that’s always the kind of music he wanted to make, so his cds were not a surprise to me.

    Kris himself has stated his new album will likely have even more of a rock vibe than his performances on Idol did.

    I find that encouraging :)

    I have no doubt that the base for the album will be rock, but that the songs and the way that Kris sings them will have elements of other types of music including soul/urban/r&b.

    And I disagree. I don’t expect that and will be disappointed if it happens. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  61. but because he has a very soulful voice

    What is a soulful voice? I wonder if that means different things to different people. And does having a soulful voice equate to singing r&b type songs? I don’t think so. I think of a soulful voice as a full, rich voice, which a lot of rock singers have too and it has nothing to do with r&b in my mind.

    Krisà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ style on the show was never straight r&b, or r&b that didnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t take into account the lyrics and melody, so why would that change with his album?

    Hopefully it won’t, but if he’s working with r&b songwriters, if he’s on Jive which traditionally has put out r&b cds, and if so many people who watch Idol apparently want him to sound like r&b, it seems like he’s under a lot of pressure to go in that direction. Top 40 today is heavily weighted towards r&b and there’s a lot of pressure to go there. I root for the rockers and the singer/songwriters (non r&b) and hate seeing singers pushed to be what they are not innately. Like on the show when the judges pushed Matt into the r&b corner when he really didn’t want to go there, and now that he’s off the show, he says he’s going to sing the kind of music that moves him, THANK GOODNESS. I think music should come from within, not be something forced on musicians because it’s what tptb have decided is the kind of music they want to promote.

    It’s an issue with me because for years r&b (and hip hop and rap) have taken over pop music and for a long time they basically took over the grammys (when I think a lot of people quit watching) and they took over the radio stations, from my perspective rock has been pushed into a corner (and is coming back more now but not without a struggle).

    Even on my cellphone, when I want to download ringtones, r&b (and hiphop and rap) are pushed as the ones to download, and I really have to go searching to find any kind of rock. It’s bothered me for a long time.

    If Kris says he wants to sing rock, he should sing rock and not be pressured to “experiment” with r&b. They really do pressure these kids. I’m sick of the pushing of r&b. I don’t hear anyone saying that Lil or Megan or whoever really need to sing some rock.

  62. Oh gosh, I was hoping someone else would post so it wouldn’t look like I was you-know-what. Well, I wanted to post this.

    According to wiki:

    Rock music is a loosely defined genre of popular music that entered the mainstream in the mid 1950s. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rhythm and blues, country music and also drew on folk music, jazz, and classical music.

    Country music (or country and western) is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. It has roots in traditional folk music, Celtic music, gospel music, and old-time music and evolved rapidly in the 1920s.

    Rhythm and Blues (also known as R&B, R’n’B or RnB) is the name given to a wide-ranging genre of popular music created by African Americans in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The term was originally used by record companies to refer to recordings marketed predominantly to African Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.
    The term has subsequently had a number of shifts in meaning. Starting in the 1960s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term R&B became used – particularly by white groups à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’  to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. By the 1970s, the term rhythm and blues was being used as a blanket term to describe soul and funk. Since the 1990s, the term Contemporary R&B is now mainly used to refer to a modern version of soul and funk-influenced pop music.

    Pop music is a music genre that features a noticeable rhythmic element, melodies and hooks, a mainstream style and a conventional structure.
    The term “pop music” was first used in 1926 in the sense of “having popular appeal” (see popular music), but since the 1950s it has often been used colloquially to designate an ostensibly separate musical genre, sometimes perceived as a “lighter” alternative to other forms of popular music, such as rock and roll.

    Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is “music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying.” The genre occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls and auxiliary sounds. Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature. Other characteristics are a call and response between the soloist and the chorus, and an especially tense vocal sound.

    Folk music can have a number of different meanings, but most commonly refers to Traditional music. The original meaning of the term “folk music” was synonymous with the term “Traditional music”, also often including World Music and Roots music; the term “Traditional music” was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the other definitions that “Folk music” is now considered to encompass.
    Folk music can also describe a particular kind of popular music which is based on traditional music. In contemporary times, this kind of folk music is often performed by professional musicians. Related genres include folk rock, electric folk and progressive folk music.
    In American culture, folk music refers to the American folk music revival, music exemplified by such musicians as Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and Joan Baez, who popularized and encouraged the lyrical style in the 1950s and 1960s. This has its counterpart in the English Folk Revival of the 1960s, exemplified by artists and groups such as Martin Carthy, Donovan, Ralph McTell, Magna Carta, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.

    So I thought that, in a nutshell, might shed a little light on what the various american music styles are in a brief explanation. Wiki has lots more beyond these initial paragraphs for each style.

  63. I have no doubt that the base for the album will be rock, but that the songs and the way that Kris sings them will have elements of other types of music including soul/urban/r&b.

    And I disagree. I donà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t expect that and will be disappointed if it happens. I guess weà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll have to wait and see.

    why is that disappoiting? Think Tracy Chapman, Her music is mostly rock but her voice has a lot of soul in it. Same with Eric Clapton when he did his “upplugged” album.

    The point is that Kris’ voice is not a rocker’s voice (David Cook, Chris Daughtry have rocker voices). but his voice is more soulful than DC or Daughtry.

    His album has to rock but I think he is trying to figure out how it should sound like. I will be very happy with a male version of Tracy Chapman, with some modern touches to make it current.

  64. Oceana, those definitions of types of music show that there is no set reference for what constitutes any one style, and as others have been saying, most of the styles bleed over into one another. There are so many different styles of pop, rock, r&b, and country. I think Jamie Foxx gave Kris incredible advice when he said there is no such thing as pop music, and that he should do what he likes and what comes naturally to him, and if people like it then it will be popular.

    Nobody is saying that they want Kris to make r&b music, we are saying that his voice and style have elements of soul/r&b, and that that shouldn’t be covered up when his album comes out. In fact, looking at his Man in the Mirror performance, it’s clear to me that the soulful quality of his voice comes naturally, and there is pretty much no way that it can be masked. And since he is putting out a pop/rock record, it makes more sense to include his soul side. That is what will set him apart from other pop/rock performers.

  65. Oceana, I think it’s kind of a testament to the power and emotional connection that the rock genre has – since it appears as though every other style of music sort of hijacks and wants to include it’s components. Pop/rock, r&b/rock, country/rock etc.

    But I also see your point about wanting to preserve a pure rock style as opposed to it otherwise being diluted and perhaps becoming extinct.

    It’s funny for me, though, as I read your comments. Because I’m a huge Adam fan, and my fear is that is album will be too rock for me! I am not a rocker, but I definitely like a rock tinged song. I love the Prince and Michael Jackson style pop rock. And that’s where I hope Adam goes and not the Led Zepelin or Kiss route which is too hard rock for me (and which Adam seemed to enjoy most). Although it’s really hard to know exactly where Adam is headed… so many possibilities.

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