U2 vs. Kris Allen – Song Parallels
A quarter-century after its release, U2‘s ‘The Joshua Tree’ remains arguably the band’s best-loved album — and one whose sonic template of brooding vocals, soaring melodies, and atmospheric, widescreen guitars was copied by countless bands during the ’80s. And actually, judging from Kris Allen‘s ‘Out Alive,’ maybe it’s still being copied today.
‘Out Alive,’ credited to Allen and two co-writers (producer Tim Pagnotta, and Isaac Slade of the Fray), was included on Allen’s most recent album, ‘Thank You Camellia,’ released in May 2012. But no matter what the liner notes say, ‘Alive’ owes a fairly obvious debt to one of the biggest hits from ‘The Joshua Tree’: ‘With or Without You.’ From its moody opening notes to its larger-than-life chorus, ‘Out Alive’ traces the same outline as ‘Without You’ — all that’s missing is the Edge on guitar and a few sepia-toned photos from the California desert.
Neither Allen nor the members of U2 have commented on the similarities between ‘Out Alive’ and ‘With or Without You’ — but Allen’s song has only been out for a couple of months, and anyway, if U2 bothered to grouse about everyone who took a page from their ‘Joshua Tree’ sound, they’d never have time to record any new music. Have a listen to the clips below and let us know what you think.
Listen to U2, ‘With or Without You’
Listen to Kris Allen, ‘Out Alive’