Coming as something of a surprise to many, Kris Allen has a new album out. But if you were paying attention back in early November, the Arkansas "Idol" winner dropped a big hint via Instagram with what looked like an odd Christmas album cover. And now he's delivered on that Instagram promise.
Captioned, "This will be coming soon. Be on the lookout," Allen appeared to have posted a cover for an upcoming Christmas album depicting the singer and a Santa that looked suspiciously like Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) standing alongside the rode in the middle of nowhere. Santa has a sack, Kris has his guitar case. Both seem to be looking for something (perhaps a ride?). Big block letters spell out the title "Waiting For Christmas." It's all very John Hughes-esque.
But it was Allen giving notice. On Dec. 10, he dropped a new album of Christmas tunes.
Unfortunately, it is an EP, but what matters to Kris Allen fans is that it is new Kris Allen music. Besides, it's only been a couple months since RCA dropped him from their roster. The 27-year-old singer probably needed a little pick-me-up as well, since 2012 hasn't been that kind to him. Thank You Camellia was a disappointing flop and his record label, RCA, dropped him from its roster in mid-September. So what better way to find a little joy and hope for the future than by spreading a positive message through the spirit of Christmas?
Waiting For Christmas has five tracks, all classic holiday numbers: "O Holy Night," "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "The Christmas Song" [a.k.a. "Chestnuts Roasting Over An Open Fire"], and "White Christmas." The songs are done in stripped-down acoustic, Kris Allen style.
There are literally hundreds of "American Idol" recordings and there are over a hundred albums by the various finalists and contestants that have appeared on the show over eleven seasons. Despite this, there is not a great deal of holiday music. But Season 8 winner Kris Allen adds his name to former "Idol" finalists like Kimberly Locke, Michael Sarver, Katharine McPhee, Clay Aiken (who still has the best-selling holiday album of all the alums), David Archuleta, and Mandisa who have dropped holiday albums. Former contestant William Hung also has holiday album in circulation, Hung For The Holidays.
Allen's addition to the list comes after Season 7's Mandisa re-released her 2008 It's Christmas album and Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery became the first "American Idol" winner (and first country singer "Idol" alum) to release an album of Christmas/holiday songs.
Incidentally, the three best-selling "Idol" graduates -- Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Daughtry -- have yet to release a holiday album.
"American Idol" returns for its twelfth season on January 16 on Fox Television.
Take Home Message: If you take a little time to listen to most success stories, they are populated with various substories and incidents of failures and disappointments along that road to success. It is often not a lucky break or a bit of whimsical fate that makes people in all walks of life the successes that they are, but rather hard work and perseverance through the tough times and taking advantage of the good that get them into position to become the sudden success that most will know them as.
(photo credit: My T Mouse, Fair Use)