Remember Kris Allen? He's the guy who won American Idol this year. No, not Adam Lambert. Allen's the one who sounds like he listens to the Fray and Matchbox Twenty for fun. And on his self-titled debut, he stays within his comfort zone, delivering 13 soft-rocking songs that offer platitudes like "Live Like We're Dying." Allen knows his audience and he plays to them here, mixing the record with a blend of heart-tugging ballads and inspirational Mom Rock. He's a bit more contemporary than most Idol alum (where have you been lately, Taylor Hicks?), but that won't make these glossy, wimpy songs last into the next decade. So enjoy them now. We're only a couple months away from the next season of American Idol. — Michael Gallucci
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