Speak Out

EW: “…In the just-released video for “The Vision of Love,” the first single off the eighth American Idol winner’s sophomore album, Allen pleads with youth to “stand for the vision of love” as clips are shown of an abused young man and an introverted teen girl. The video suggests, optimistically, that “standing up” doesn’t need to be a dramatic, difficult action – one student puts a hand up and stops his friends from harassing another, while our lonely girl learns how to overcome her self-doubt simply by taking off her headphones and introducing herself…” – Grady Smith (READ MORE)

Hitfix: “…The song, the debut single from the “American Idol’ winner’s second album, “Thank You Camellia,” out May 22, is about standing up for those less fortunate, even when fear takes over. That theme plays itself out in two scenario’s in the video. In the first, a high schooler is bullied and one of the cool kids looks on doing nothing (both the kid being bullied and the onlooker have on hoodies with the hood up… probably shot too early to be a Trayvon Martin statement, but maybe not). In the second case, a girl, with a black eye, who yearns to be told she’s beautiful (in cliched, typical fashion, the addition of eye glasses signify her “homeliness.” Please…), but feels too scared to join a group of girls talking…” – Melinda Newman (READ MORE)

Musically Inclined Fool: “…Kris Allen does his part to speak out against bullying in this incredibly touching Lenny Bass-directed video, which tells the story of two teenagers – one insecure and lonely, the other tormented by bullying. I like how the message of the video is subtle yet clear, without being too schmaltzy and over dramatic. The video serves as THE perfect complement to this soaring and inspirational pop anthem. (I will warn you, there were tears after I watched this video. Granted, I cry while watching TV commercials, so who knows what this REALLY means.) After winning his season of American Idol, Kris Allen enjoyed moderate success with the release of his debut album back in 2009. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #11 and featured the hit single, “Live Like We’re Dying,” which has a combined digital sales of over 1.7 million to date. While that single peaked at a respectable #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, none of Allen’s subsequent single releases would see the same success. Follow up single, “The Truth,” featuring Train front man Pat Monahan came in in at #17 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart, missing the Hot 100 altogether, while Allen’s final single, “Alright With Me” failed to chart anywhere. I’m cautiously optimistic that after some proper exposure (American Idol performance, perhaps?) Allen can make some big moves prior to the release of his new album. Here’s hoping!…” – Jamie Sward (READ MORE)

Kristopher Neil “Kris” Allen (born June 21, 1985) is an American musician and singer-songwriter from Conway, Arkansas, and the winner of the eighth season of American Idol. Prior to Idol, he self-released a 2007 album entitled Brand New Shoes. Allen’s Idol coronation song, “No Boundaries” and his version of “Heartless” both charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Allen’s post-Idol self-titled album was released on November 17, 2009, through 19 Recordings and Jive Records. The album debuted at number eleven on the U.S. Billboard 200. The album’s lead single, “Live Like We’re Dying”, was released on September 21, 2009, and peaked at number eighteen in the U.S. with combined sales of over 1.7 million. Allen’s second major-label album Thank You Camellia is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2012, and the lead single “The Vision of Love” was released March 26, 2012…Allen’s humanitarian work has inspired his fans to organize charitable efforts in his honor. To celebrate Allen’s 25th birthday, his fans donated over $25,000 to Heifer International, enough to pay for 50 cows to feed families in need. Inspired by Allen’s support of music education, his fans also organized a donation of over $28,000 to Music Empowers in December 2010. In honor of Allen’s 26th birthday, his fans banded together once again to donate more than $26,000 to Direct Relief International toward disaster relief…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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