Friday, October 9, 2009

American Idol winner Kris Allen's first single, Live Like We're Dying, is "catchy"

Kris Allen's first post-"American Idol" single, "Live Like We're Dying," is good. It's surprising, and maybe a little jarring at first, if you expected a ballad or a mellow groove with a spare arrangement, like some of Allen's best performances on "American Idol" that paved the way to his Season 8 win.

But "Live Like We're Dying," is very catchy, a bit inspirational (the lyrics are all about seizing the day, and making the most of life and love). Also it's energetic and danceable, with a really grooving, syncopated chorus -- so what's not to like?

This driving rock tune with some tongue-twisting rap is a cover of a (fairly obscure) number by the Irish band, The Script. It's not blockbuster material, but Allen's version erases any notion that he's some wimpy folkie. It's gotten good reviews from Billboard and a few other reputable outlets.

But where's the fanfare here? The hype? The cool video? The official pop single release day is often a Tuesday, to maximize coverage during the week. But word of "Live Like We're Dying" began dribbling out last week, when a short excerpt of showed up on Web sites and Allen started talking about it in interviews.

It was bunched up in middle of the iTunes Top 100 downloads last we looked. But it deserves better. Yet with little advertising, airplay, or sense of occasion so far from Jive Records -- the recording outfit connected with 19 Entertainment, a company led by "Idol" uber-boss Simon Fuller -- will it break out?

Given all the buzz about whether Allen deserved his win over extremely popular runner-up (and completely different kind of singer) Adam Lambert, you might think Jive would really push "Live Like We're Dying" to give their boy a boost -- especially since it's a marked improvement over what some other Idol winners have put out as their first post-show single.
- From Misha Berson, arts reporter
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