Late Monday night, a group of hawkeyed [artist id="3188062"]Kris Allen[/artist] fans noticed that the Barnes & Noble Web site posted a link to album artwork that shows the "American Idol" winner sitting in a theater looking longingly back at the empty seats behind him. A rep for 19 Entertainment confirmed to MTV News that the image is, in fact, the official cover for Kris' major-label debut. And that cover seems to confirm that Allen's album is self-titled after all.
Fans immediately picked up that the green-hued cover has a retro-pulp quality, with Kris Allen's giant name showing some creases and weathering. In the photo, Allen has ditched the college-dude-down-the-hall plaid uniform, opting instead for a more mature, old-school matinee idol look: leather jacket, tank top and necklaces. In typical Kris fashion, his wedding band is prominently featured on the cover, a move that flies in the face of Simon Cowell, who famously told the singer to downplay his marriage on "Idol."
In an interesting artistic choice, Kris is the first "Idol" winner to be looking off-camera for his debut disc artwork. Every other champ stares back at the listener — except for Ruben Studdard, who keeps his closed eyes obscured with a cap on the cover of 2003's Soulful album.
Allen trekked to Staten Island for the photo shoot, which took place at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on September 21, shortly after Kris debuted his single "Live Like We're Dying" on New York's Z100.
"I don't actually know what [the photo] is going to look like," Allen told MTV News at the time, joking that he wasn't sure whether he would be smiling or using his "sexy face," a term coined by "American Idol" photographers during the show.
Last week, Allen spoke to EW.com about his album's progress, assuring fans that "everything is going great" in the studio and denying rumors that it was a "mess," just weeks before its November 17 release date.
"We're still writing some more songs for the album and just putting some finishing touches on other tracks, going back to do some minor vocal takes, and that's kind of it," he explained. "We have a lot of songs that are almost done, and with a little bit of work we'll have them completely done."