Kris Allen recorded and released this small collection of Christmas songs well into the Christmas season last year. After parting ways with his record label, and only weeks before his near-fatal car accident that caused a series of surgeries so he could retain his guitar-playing abilities, Kris showed fans that he wasn’t going anywhere.
1. Oh Holy Night – A soft intro into the EP, Kris stuck to a traditional sound for this holiday classic. Showing off the pipes that got him into the limelight to begin with, Kris delivers a beautiful rendition. It’s a shame he didn’t have a major label behind him (or even a full-length Christmas album) to perform this song on major networks so the rest of the nation could see just how great this performance is.
2. Holly Jolly Christmas – A pop/folk guitar strum drives this song as Kris sings about celebrating the Christmas time with as much cheer as possible. The track breaks down in the bridge as Kris sings along with the guitar going, “Ra ta ta ta da da…” It won’t be long before you’re joining Kris and singing along to this feel-good track.
3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – By the sound of the first chorus, you’d think Kris was recording in a makeshift recording studio in his garage, as if he were a Youtuber posting a cover. He very well could have been recording in his own garage, but as the song moves on and Kris repeats the chorus, the production level jumps up and soon Kris’s vocals are soaring over one of the best Christmas tracks on the EP. Simply beautiful.
4. The Christmas Song – Whenever an artist tackles this song, they have huge shoes to fill. There are also two directions an artist can go: traditional, trying to mimic the perfection that is Nat “King” Cole’s version, or adding their own twist to it. Kris fell somewhere in the middle here. The backing music is a little more upbeat, but Kris’s voice sticks pretty close to Nat’s vocals.
5. White Christmas – Kris closes out the EP with a soft rendition of “White Christmas.” Similar to a lullaby, Kris holds back his range and delivers an incredible performance of Irving Berlin’s holiday classic.
This collection is so short and yet so perfect that for only $4.95 on iTunes, why wouldn’t you download it? Chances are you voted for him on American Idol, so give him a shot while he transitions between major-label artist to independent artist. You’ll be glad you did, because this collection really is a great tease for how good a full album would sound if Kris ever decided to do one.