Does "The Vision of Love" sound like it could essentially be a sequel to Kris Allen's post-American Idol inspiropop song "Live Like We're Dying"? It absolutely does, and the song itself more or less bears it out. Listen below.

As we just stated: "The Vision of Love" is an inspirational song, which means if we critique the song at all, we'll probably get accused of criticizing inspiration, or the vision of love itself, or puppies and sweetness and joy. Please do not do this. And with that, we back off from the lyrics entirely (well, except to point out that "makeup hides her face" and "lonely needs a friend, ask him where he's been" ignore a lot of social complications.)

Instead, let's focus on the music. There's a reason Allen performed his cover of Kanye West's "Heartless" toward the end of Idol and why it essentially won him the competition. Yes, it was yet another guy with a guitar covering a hip-hop song, but to Allen's credit, he didn't seem jokey. He seemed like he might have a decent, if Mrazzy, album in him. The uplift-by-template, too-dutiful piano and tinny percussion of "The Vision of Love" accomplish absolutely nothing a printout of the lyrics wouldn't do better. It's particularly bland compared to the earlier leaked remix, which wasn't groundbreaking but at least betrayed some attention paid to the music. And that can and does happen; if the past two years' wave of It Gets Better songs proved anything, it's that you can be inspirational and have a good track. Kris Allen probably knows this, but by "The Vision of Love," you'd hardly guess.