'Idol' winner put lots of time into new album

NEW YORK — Kris Allen, the winner of the eighth season of American Idol, didn’t stay in a fancy hotel or rent an apartment in Los Angeles when he recorded his second album. Instead, he crashed on his friends’ couch.

“It’s a better feeling to come from the studio where I’ve been working and diving into music all day to get away from that and just be myself,” Allen said in a recent interview.

To thank his friends for their hospitality, the album is titled, Thank You Camellia, the name of the avenue where they live.

He believes Came­llia is a better representation of the person he is compared with the first album he released after winning Idol. A big reason is that he had more time to work on it.

“I think I had four months to make the last record. I’ve had 2 ½ years to make this one. I was able to make the record that I wanted to make. … This one is a little bit more fun. You can roll the windows down and jam to it. It feels like a summer record.”

Allen, 26, who wrote or co-wrote much of the album, says he writes so much music that he has more songs than he knows what to do with.

“I’m already thinking ahead to the third (album),” he said. “I’m thinking, ‘Man, I have these other songs. ... How can I work them in?’”

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