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Kam 2

What’s YOUR Vision of Love?

Help create an (Unofficial) Official Video and/or Cover Art for Kris’s new single!

 

A new era in Kris Allen’s career has dawned, and we want to see what it inspires in YOU, his biggest fans. Create a video, or design your own single artwork; it’s up to you!

 

Be creative!

 

You can feature pictures or videos of Kris (with the photographer’s permission) or anything else that the song inspires.

 

And why should you take part in this contest?

 

      One, it’s a great way to help Kris’s single go viral. You never know, you might just create the next Party “Rock” anthem video.

 

      Two, we’re going to hook the winner up with a gift card to the official Kris Allen Merch store, to let you pick up some of the new schwag that should be rolling out there soon (we hope)!

 

All submissions will be voted on by fans!

 

To be clear, yes, we know that Kris and his people are hard at work creating what will no doubt be a SIZZLING album/single cover, and who knows what he’s got up his sleeve for a video (we hope it’s not another desert). Why not have some ~uninhibited fun while we wait?

Find out more information here.  http://the-dirty-minds.com/profiles/blogs/what-s-your-vision-of-love

Kam 2

 

I don’t know about you, but I love it when Kris gets his funk on!  This song, written with Lindy Robbins and Mike Elizondo, is the funkiest one on the album, and has a sass to it that really brings out that side of Kris’s personality.  The underlying musical theme is perfectly clear in the introduction.  Listen to it a few times up until the point when Kris starts to sing, and get that theme in the back of your mind.  The percussion with the little stutter of the drums sets the tone for the catchy rhythm of the piece, and gets you hooked from the very beginning.
 

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Kris Allen The Truth: An Analysis

Kam 2

The next song to analyze in Kris's debut CD is The Truth.  We're taking them in the order on the CD. This one is very rich with musical depth and complexity, so this is a long post. I will not comment on the lyrics except where seemingly related to what's occurring in the music, since Kris didn't write this song.  In fact, he mentioned he was worried that he wouldn't be able to do it justice. We know, however, that he brought the usual level of Kris Allen musicality and emotion to the work.  In fact, I believe he expressed it eloquently and more beautifully than would have a lesser artist.
 

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Kam 2

I’m really excited for us to take on our first song written by Kris, along with Lindy Robbins and Greg Kurstin.  While we don’t know how much of the final product was decided by Kris, we will assume that he had a significant amount of input into the end result.   Kris has stated in an interview with Michael Slezak that the background track was brought in by Greg Kurstin and he and Lindy just started writing and singing over it, so we have some information that the melody and lyrics were at least in large part Kris’s work.  In his interview with Lyndsey Parker, Kris said that he and Lindy wrote the lyrics together, so we have some insight there.  There are interesting production sounds on this tract that contribute to the overall effect of the final product.  After you have listened to the song several times, noticing some of the things I will point out, please let me know what else you notice as you listen, and how this song affects you.
 

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Dec. 22nd, 2010

Kam 2
Since we are a Kris Allen Music community, I'd like to encourage you to list here the song that you are most grateful for this year, and tell me why.  If I get the kind of beautiful responses I expect, I'll print them out on special paper and mail them to Kris.  Let's let him know how much his music means to us.

I'll start.  My favorite song off the album is The Truth.  I know this is a controversial choice, but it is a gut one.  I had that song on repeat for almost a month, listening to every nuance.  Don't get me wrong; the songs that Kris wrote on the album I also love for different reasons.  But the words, "trying to be perfect, trying not to let you down, honestly is honestly the hardest thing for me right now, while the floors underneath our feet are crumbling, the walls we built together tumbling, I just stand here holding up the roof, cause it's easier than telling the truth" rocked me to my core.  We have all had relationships that we knew were over, that needed to end, but we were just holding on despite the futility of it all.  And Kris's beautiful voice just pulls the emotions out of these phrases and makes me feel that pain and loss all over again.  It is a bittersweet experience, and one that made me feel in a more raw and powerful way than I have in a long time.  I know Pat Monahan wrote it.  But Kris chose it, and I believe he did at least partially because he knew that lyrically and musically, he could do it justice and bring a touching musical experience to each of us.

Let me know your favorite song of this year by Kris and why.  I know you each have had personal experiences with many of them.  I hope to generate a beautiful tribute to the music which has made us laugh, cry, love, remember, and hope; the music Kris has gifted us with this year.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

Sherrie

LLWD continued...

Kam 2

LLWD continued

OK, we discussed the instrumental portion of Live Like We’re Dying.  Let’s talk about what makes this version so uniquely Kris; his vocals.

 

 

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Thank you Kris Allen

Kam 2

Thank You Kris Allen!

Kris Allen recently ended an amazing tour and grew exponentially in all our minds as a performing artist.  He lent his enormous talent for arranging his own versions of covers, brought new variations of his original work to make it new and fresh for his audience at every  venue, and continually demonstrated his unique way of connecting with the audience and expressing the emotion of a song.  He brought together a band of talented, beautiful, funny young men and made a band and a family out of them.  He took the time to raise money for music education for underprivileged children as well as several other charities which are near and dear to his heart. 

All of these things Kris Allen managed to achieve, yet he retained his quiet, loving, yet snarky gentle spirit.  He hasn’t succumbed to the trappings of fame and press exposure, and has continued to make friends of the media and his fellow artists.  He was never afraid to open for another artist, and has expressed his ongoing desire to learn and grow, despite his incredible talent.  This is a young man of whom I’m very proud, and I look forward to the great things he will undoubtedly do in the future. 

Thank you, Kris Allen, from the bottom of my heart for sharing your talent and gorgeous spirit with us.  We will support you forever. 

With much love and respect,

Sherrie Richey, your Artistsupporter

A few more notes...

Kam 3
When listening to Live Like We're Dying, notice after the introduction there is a beat where there is silence.  This does something to the listener's ear.  It makes us want more and sets us up for the first verse.  Go back and listen.  It is profound.

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Live Like We're Dying, a little analysis

Kam 2

In some ways, it will be difficult to start an analysis of Kris’s music with Live Like We’re Dying, because it was not written by Kris or even significantly altered in its composition from the original, a B-side track by The Script.  But I will hopefully make the case that the choice of this song by Kris, or at least his agreement to make it his first single, reveals something about the route that his music took in the time since Idol.  I am embedding both Kris’s version of LLWD and the original by The Script so that you can listen carefully to the arrangements of the tracts.

 


 


As you can tell, there is very little difference in the arrangement between the two, but a great difference in the vocals.  Before we get to that, let’s take a look at the music. 

 

If you could separate the layers of this song, the most overwhelming and repetitive motif introduces the piece.  It is a little 5 note theme that you will hear repeated throughout the song, particularly the chorus, and therefore acts as a hook for continuity throughout the piece.  Listen to the song and with the exception of the verses when the second layer comes in, you’ll hear it throughout.  Here is a link to the portion with the five note motif.
 

www.youtube.com/watch


The second layer is a little 4 chord synthesized keyboard progression that repeats itself over and over again on the verses.  The chords chosen work extremely well and set up the climax of the piece by the chord choices.  Listen to it carefully behind the words in the first verse.

 

www.youtube.com/watch

 

The use of percussion is very interesting in this song, with the usual cymbal crashes to mark the beginning or the climax of a phrase.  But perhaps the most interesting use of percussion is the crescendo of the cymbal roll in the first phrase of the second verse.  Also in this verse, there is an introduction of the strings as a simple A,B,C background over the top of the other layers, giving the song a progressive fullness and depth.  Listen to these things in the second verse.

 
www.youtube.com/watch



The last little hook we will discuss is best heard at the end but starts in the verses after the second chorus.  It is a little C,G,D note played over the rest of the layers.  Listen to it at the end, and then you can go back through the song and identify it earlier.

 

www.youtube.com/watch


The last thing that we will discuss is the bridge.  Frankly, although the bridge does have some lyrics, melody and rhythm changes that provide variety, I’m not a big fan of it.  It adds no other motifs that hook me in, and I think it’s the weakest part of the song.  I would love for you to disagree with me and convince me to like it more.

 

www.youtube.com/watch


Now that we've broken the music down to its component parts, we can better see the difference the wonderful vocals of Kris make to the enjoyment and uniqueness of this piece, and we can discuss why we think he might have chosen this song, and what he brings to it.  That will be in our next discussion

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Music Discussion Introductory Post

Kam 3

I'd like to use this community as a chance to discuss Kris's music from a more analytical perspective.  Although there will be discussions of his music that are more organic and fan based, this first discussion will be for the brave.  Before I start this process, I'd like to explain to you the reasoning behind beginning a discussion of his music in this way.   It is also important to let you know why I might be at least marginally qualified to do this type of analysis.  It doesn't matter if you are a musician or not, I think you might find this kind of a discussion interesting and enlightening.  Please feel free to tell me I've lost my mind in the comments sections. 

Kris emerged victorious from arguably the most talented season of American Idol.  Although there are probably many reasons for this, a significant one is the that he is a perfect storm of musicality, musicianship, inner and outer beauty, emotion-evoking vocals, and creativity.  In a very short period of time and in a pressure cooker, he came up with amazingly interesting and innovative covers of popular songs.  In honor of that, I want to celebrate the musicianship of Kris by analyzing his music before we discuss what may work or not work for us personally.  To my knowledge, this will be a unique way of approaching a fan discussion of Kris's music.

Although my profession is medicine, I am a musician.  My father is a professional musician and taught music for over 40 years.  All of my father's side of the family are musicians, and my father, uncles, and brother are or have been professional symphony conductors.  I started formal music training on the violin at age 2 and the piano at age 4.  I took music theory for12 years and lived music theory with my family.  I played in youth symphonies, contests, and played the piano, organ, violin, and viola for my churches for 8 years.  I taught violin and piano to supplement my college income.  My brother taught me guitar when I was bored on one of my many hospital admissions so I wouldn't be bored.  I loved it.  My father spent the better part of his life convincing us not to go into music because he didn't want us to struggle financially like he did, or otherwise at least 2 of us would have been professional musicians.  As a family, we often spent many hours around the dinner table debating enjoyably about music; the process, theory, and result.  It helped me to appreciate good music and talented composers and performers even more.

I plan on starting the analysis with Live Like We're Dying and moving through the whole album.  I will try to update this community on a regular basis, but I won't promise an exact day.  My real job is just too demanding and I don't want to promise you something that I can't deliver.  I will try to alternate these more analytical posts with fun and thought-provoking ones.  I hope that you will find this community interesting and fun.

 

With much love and respect,

Sherrie