OK, before you bring out the pitchforks, light fire to my front lawn and launch Molotov cocktails into my front windows, PLEASE hear me out. This is NO way shape or form an indictment on the newly crowned Idol, Kris Allen. The dude is a great talent and will have immense success in the future, but the future may come a lot later than you think.
First off, in the major label world, a guy like Kris has to have the ability to stand out in the sea of sensitive singer-songwriters that dot the Is and crosses the Ts across the Big Four of major label music groups. I just cannot see how he can achieve MAINSTREAM success while the Jason Mrazs, Jon McLaughlins, John Mayers and Gavin DeGraws litter the landscape. I just don’t think there’s room for another guy like that in the major label music world. Once again, its not an indictment on Allen’s talent, it’s more of an indictment on the powers-that-be that have created such a homogenized and cluttered landscape for acoustic pop/rock, whether it be piano or guitar driven. In that regard Kris Allen fans, prepare to be disappointed by that cold hard reality.
Second off, look at who voted for Kris. Another cold hard reality is that he garnered a lot of the teen pop-loving young girl vote, ages 12 to 19. That section of the music fandom has always proven to be the most fickle and most unwilling to see what the indie music world has to offer. If it’s not on the radio or heard on TV, they won’t bother. And the majority of them will certainly not follow Kris’s inevitable journey into the indie music world, where acoustic pop/rock singer-songwriters have found much better success. Look at Taylor Hicks now. He is achieving the level of success he couldn’t reach at RCA. Ditto for Elliott Yamin. Then you see the overarching success of singer-songwriters like Josh Hoge, Ernie Halter, Todd Carey, Curtis Peoples, Tony Lucca on the male end and on the female side, Sarah VonderHaar and Arden Kaywin.
Like previously discussed, for those Kris Allen fans who are truly with him because of his actual talent and not because he’s good looking and doesn’t “scare them”, you are going to have to wait for him to reach his true potential as a singer-songwriter. Expect his debut to be good, not great and replete with at best co-songwriting credits and a whole lot of marketable lyrics designed to make girls swoon. And like I said, there’s plenty of them that already do that so what makes Kris different from them? And because Kris comes in with a lot of high expectations and hype, if he doesn’t sell enough albums, you can watch RCA/19 cast him out the same way they did to Taylor Hicks. Once again, his true success will be when he joins Todd, Josh, Curtis, Tony and Ernie on the indie singer-songwriter circuit. Heck, if Kris needs inspiration, he can sit down with probable contemporary Justin Nozuka and ask him how he achieved mainstream success without the benefit of major label resources. Seriously.
So simply put, more than likely Kris Allen’s fans and not Kris Allen need to prepare for the probable cold hard reality that he will settle in the indie circuit and with far less fans in his fanbase than he has right now. And for the record, it’s not about whether or not I support Adam or Kris and yes I am more partial to Adam due to the fact I like the fact he has a golden opportunity with his personality and talent to truly bring back a dead subgenre of rock to the 21st century. It’s the brutal cold hard reality for acoustic pop/rock singer-songwriters.