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Review: Kris Allen’s latest ‘vision of love’ comes up short with ‘Thank You Camellia’

In his second studio album, “Thank You Camellia,” Kris Allen delivers the pop tracks you’d expect from an “American Idol” winner’s summer project. The album comes two-and-a-half years after his last release, and three years after Allen took the top prize in season eight of “American Idol.”

Allen’s voice shines through with that same smooth tone that earned him America’s votes, but the album, ultimately, lacks depth and originality.

Staying true to his title of America’s favorite superstar, Allen’s album almost sounds like a replica of those by previous male singer-songwriters. Fans of Jason Mraz and John Mayer are sure to find similar enjoyment in “Thank You Camellia.”

Contrary to many recent hit albums, such as Adele’s “21,” Allen’s album stays an arm’s length from heartbreak and instead focuses on the brighter side of love. While younger listeners might relate to the album’s puppy-love themes, more mature audiences will see through its shallow, optimistic lyrics.

In “The Vision of Love,” Allen sings, “Wake up if you believe / Love is not a fading dream / Tell me I’m not the only one / Who feels this way right now.” While the song shines with Allen’s “Idol”-winning vocals, there is no real-life depth in his adolescent love lyrics. In the song, he asks “Will we stand for the vision of love?” but provides little evidence that anything exists to stand up against.

Those looking to escape a bad mood will enjoy anecdotes in songs such as “Better With You” and “You Got A Way.” Such tracks completely ignore conflict and bad feelings, instead focusing entirely on the positive aspects of life and relationships.

As a whole, the album lacks any real emotion, and seems more like the background track to a summer romantic comedy than a relation to real life. The only thing saving the album from complete rom-com failure is Allen’s enchanting voice.

While most won’t be thanking Allen for his sing-song words on love, “Thank You Camellia” is sure to be a hit with true pop-music fans.

Grade: C+

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