I already weighed in last week on the 23-second snippet of Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying.” (Okay, actually, that byline should’ve gone to the 12-year-old schoolgirl who lives inside my iPod.) But in all seriousness, the full version of debut single from the American Idol season 8 champ premiered this morning on Z100, and I’ll just say the additional 181 seconds now available for consumption only make the track sound more like a future smash hit to me. (Side note: I scored a pretty nifty interview with Pocket Idol from the Z100 hallway that will be included in the world premiere of the most important new show on the internet, Réalité, coming Friday to! Cheers, benches!)

As current radio fodder goes, “Live Like We’re Dying” is downright verbose — packing in some sweet, new-age-y sentiments about existing in the moment, living without regret, and saying “I love you” early and often to the people in our lives — but what could’ve come off this side of hokey winds up as winningly inspirational thanks to the conviction in Kris’ vocals. And in an world of top 10 hits like “Birthday Sex” and “Party in the U.S.A.,” it’s kind of refreshing to get a little lyrical nourishment. I’m particularly in love with the way Kris delivers the sing-speak breakdown at 2:30: “You never know a good thing till it’s gone/ You never see a crash till it’s head on/ Or why we think we’re right when we’re dead wrong/ You never know a good thing till it’s gone.” And as I noted last week, the “we’ve only got 86 400 seconds in a day…” chorus is 1-800-Too-Catchy. It’s enough to make you want to go forth, create your own personal bucket list, and schedule an appointment to swim with the dolphins! (Seriously, I need to make that happen.) Or at least it’s enough to make you want to head to iTunes and download this puppy the second it’s available, no?

What do you think of the full-length version of “Live Like We’re Dying”? Do you have any issue with the fact that it’s an obscure cover of a track originally recorded by The Script? Can Kris be the next Daughtry/Underwood/Clarkson-size success from the Idol franchise? Or will he be more David Cook/Jordin Sparks/Fantasia level? Or (gasp, no!) will he get the same tepid commercial response as Diana DeGarmo and Katharine McPhee? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak for all my Idol-related snacks!

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