Release Date: Nov 17, 2009
Record label: Jive
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
On his post-Idol debut, the season 8 champion sniffs around a musical identity but never quite curls up in one. Despite scoring writing credits on an impressive nine of these 13 tracks, Kris Allen gets himself stylistically lost somewhere between Fly White Guy Avenue (”Can’t Stay Away”) and Bleeding Heart Boulevard (”The Truth”), while rarely visiting original territory. He’s also got a tendency to overstuff the lyrics; even his most interesting tune, the handclappy ”Alright With Me,” beats the word centers of the brain into submission.
If you didn’t pay close attention to American Idol Season 8, you can be forgiven for thinking that Kris Allen came in second to Adam Lambert. After all, Lambert is the one who grabbed all the headlines and magazine covers, while Allen plugged along as the cute, safe alternative to the self-styled glamazon, which was enough for him to take the crown, if not enough to create much excitement. Then again, Kris Allen isn’t about excitement, he’s about comfort, something that’s plainly evident on his immaculate, eponymous debut, an album every bit as unexpected as his name.
RIHANNA“Rated R”(Def Jam) Rihanna glares from the cover of “Rated R,” concealing one eye with a hand. “Rated R,” her fourth album, arrives nine months after Chris Brown, her boyfriend at the time, blackened her eye in a beating as they were driving back from a pre-Grammy party. The aftermath — his sentence to community service and a restraining order, her condemnation of domestic violence — has filled the airwaves and Internet.