Since skyrocketing to stardom as the winner of the 2009 season of American Idol, Kris Allen has enjoyed five singles on the Billboard charts. His self-titled debut album featured his hit single “Live Like We’re Dying” which has a combined digital sales of over 1.7 million. Since the release of his album he has toured with Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies, Lifehouse as well as headlining his own club tour.
On his new album Thank You Camellia, Kris delivers on everything his fans love him for and more. The album is a showcase for the easy, lived-in richness of Kris’ voice as well as his knack for crafting hook-filled pop melodies and writing heartfelt lyrics that explore the ups and downs of love. These talents were very much on display on Kris’ 2009 self-titled debut album, which featured the 1.7 million-selling hit single “Live Like We’re Dying” and was released a few months after the Arkansas native won the eighth season of American Idol. For Thank You Camellia, Kris has cranked everything up a notch by co-writing every song and being heavily involved throughout each stage of the writing, recording, and production process.
With the subject of love as his starting point, Kris dug deep to traverse the emotional terrain of his relationships and emerged with a batch of songs that felt true to his experience. “Out Alive,” “My Weakness,” and “Better With You” celebrate the spirit of fighting for what is good, while “Teach Me How Love Goes” and “Leave You Alone” find him sorting through the wreckage when it’s not.
On the face of it, the album’s first single, “The Vision of Love,” sounds like a straightforward love song, but it’s actually an inspirational tune about helping others that Kris says is a powerful reflection of how he feels about giving back. “If we see someone going through something terrible, whether it’s a friend or a kid in another country with no food, do we do something? Are we going to do help our neighbor who can’t put food on the table? We can’t just sit around and do nothing,” says Kris, who visited Rwanda last year with TOMS to deliver shoes to those in need and has also done work for such non-profits as Music Empowers and The Trevor Project.
As an artist who is constantly on the road (he toured for a year and a half behind his debut album, playing headlining shows as well as opening for Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies, and Lifehouse), Kris put a lot of thought into how the songs would go over onstage. “I wanted them to really pop live, whether I’m performing acoustically or with a full band,” he says. “I always want people to walk away impressed. I want them to hear a song and freak out every time, not just think, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’ I like the idea of people’s reaction going from ‘Who is this guy’ to ‘I love this guy!’”