Kris Allen Releases 'Kris Allen' the Album
Allen pens almost all of the 12 songs here (the exceptions being “Live Like We’re Dying,” “Written All Over My Face,” “The Truth”), which unifies the album to a degree, although he was already well on his way to being the first American Idol finalist to totally disregard a younger audience, yet still feel somewhat modern (compared to the Billy Joel/Steve Winwood hybrid of Taylor Hicks and Clay Aiken’s Neil Sedaka/Barry Manilow tribute, Kris Allen seems downright dangerous). Unhip it may be by design, at least Kris Allen delivers the goods: it’s tuneful and likeable, melodic enough to merit a close listen, ready to slip into the background at a moment’s notice.
In a break with American Idol tradition, Allen's Idol "coronation song", "No Boundaries", was not included on his major-label debut, becoming only the second Idol winner album to do so after Taylor Hicks' self-titled album. Instead, a newly recorded version of "Heartless", covered by Allen during his run on Idol, was included as a bonus track. There has been speculation that this was because "No Boundaries" was already included on the Walmart exclusive season 8 compilation album, which is the first time the winning single was included on the season's compilation since Kelly Clarkson in 2002 and is the first new compilation since season five. However, it has been included as part of the deluxe album version at iTunes.
This also marks the first time that an Idol winner has been depicted looking off-camera rather than staring back at the listener in their debut album artwork.
Allen previewed three songs from his album "Written All Over My Face", "Can't Stay Away," and "Before We Come Undone" at a Miami Dolphins tailgate-party before their game against the New Orleans Saints on October 25, 2009.
AOL Music began streaming the full album on November 9, 2009.
The album was released in the United Kingdom on November 16, 2009 making its official release before that of the United States.
In general, the album has received mixed reviews, gathering a rating of 52 out of 100 on Metacritic, which assigns a rating for albums based on cumulative reviews.