Kris Allen tries to pull off the next to impossible in his video for “The Truth.” No, he doesn’t attempt to wear Adam Lambert’s studded jacket and eyeliner, he tries to blend what is primarily a performance clip with a concept.

Here’s how you do that:

Rule 1: Shoot in the desert. I don’t know why, but there seems to be some unwritten law about that.  Just ask Rihanna or Sade or Gorillaz or [your band's name here].

Rule 2: Sing into a old-fashioned ‘50s mike, even though there’s clearly no electricity or outlets for miles.

Rule 3: incorporate some cool tricks from past videos—in this case, the mirror in the desert from Fleetwood Mac’s “Hold Me” clip.

Rule 4: Throw in one “Hold did they do that?” eye-popping stunt, like Allen falling backwards off his piano.

Rule 5: Shoot sunsets and a girl dressed in flowing gauze in profile to create an air of both mystery and longing.

None of the above rules help "American Idol" winner Allen through the awkward bridge that Train’s Patrick Monahan sings (Monahan co-wrote the song). He’s MIA from the clip, leaving Allen with nothing to do but back away from the mike and shuffle and sing along. UPDATE:  As some of you pointed out, THAT is Monahan!  I watched this so many times, but must have been looking away at that first shot that makes it clear.  Damn those sunglasses and desert lighting. I really do need a new computer... or glasses!

It’s a fine song that sounds like anything you’ve heard over the past 20 years from the Gin Blossoms up to Lifehouse, but that’s Allen’s skill: he creates songs that have mass appeal, but no edges and delivers them in a strong voice (we like his voice quite a lot, actually) that is indistinguishable from many others.