Aug 12 2009 6:50 AM EDT Kris Allen's Secret Songwriting Weapon? Adam Lambert 'He had some good things to say, some critiques to say as well,' Allen says of fellow 'Idol' finalist.
By James Montgomery, with reporting by Jim Cantiello
Every "American Idol" champ's debut disc is a make-or-break affair. For every David Cook, there's a Taylor Hicks. The stakes are high, and the odds of success are slim, which is why, for his post-"Idol" debut, season-eight champ Kris Allen is hoping to increase his chances by getting a little help from his friend Adam Lambert.
"Adam will get a song, and he'll be like, 'Listen to this,' and I'll tell him what I think about it, whether I like it or not. And we were actually doing that last night. ... He was listening to some things of mine," Allen told MTV News. "He had some good things to say, some critiques to say as well. We do that to each other. ... We're just trying to help each other out."
And Allen has needed the help. By his own admission, he's struggled while balancing writing and recording with all the duties that come with being "Idol" champ. But every day, he's getting a bit better at it.
"The time thing is crazy. When you dream of making your first album, you don't dream of making it on tour. ... It's nuts, but we're finding the time to write, and writing is putting my stamp on [my album], so it's happening," he said. "To be honest, at first it was hard, because they stuck me in these co-writing sessions, and I was like, 'I've never done this before.' It was weird. I'd get in there, and I'd be like 'I don't know what to do. ... I'm sorry.' But I've gotten used to it, and it's good to bounce ideas off each other, and so I've been writing a lot with other people, and writing some stuff on my own too."
Allen has already worked with Fray guitarist Joe King, hip-hop producer Salaam Remi and famed songwriter Claude Kelly on the album, which is due in the fall. And while he's still not sure of just how many of those collaborations will actually end up on the record, he's already made one track-list decision: "No Boundaries" ― the clunky, Kara DioGuardi-penned "Idol" victory single he's already stopped performing live ― won't be on the album. Probably.
"I doubt it'll end up on there," Allen said. "But who knows? Maybe as a Wal-Mart bonus track or something. I love Wal-Mart."
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