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Thursday, November 13, 2008

David Cook CD Review: No Catchy Pop Here

The first time I hear a song, I know it’s good when it hits that first chorus and I uncontrollably break into a smile. And if I really think it’s good, my head bops along to the beat.

But as I was listening to “David Cook,” neither my lips nor my head even budged.

I don’t know what it was that was bothering me. Maybe I was expecting something different. Maybe it was too rock for me. Maybe it was because so many of the songs featured high screams followed immediately by hushed singing in his lower register, making them sound terribly alike.

Whatever it was, I just couldn’t get into the CD. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Then somewhere in the middle of the chorus of “Lie,” the eighth track on the CD, I felt the smile. One track later came the head bob. And then everything was fine. In fact, when I gave the CD a second listen, I enjoyed it a lot more.

So what was my problem in the beginning? Maybe I just had too much David Archuleta stuck in my head…

The CD starts out with “Declaration,” the song Cook sang on “SNL.” It sounds much better recorded, but I think it could still use a little less soaring of a chorus…

“Heroes” has a great chorus with some pretty good lyrics…

Then it’s the first single, “Light On,” which I still think rocks, even if Top 40 radio doesn’t…

“Come Back To Me” has a Lifehouse sound to it—and I mean that as a compliment…

“Life On the Moon” has some interesting lyrics and a pretty catchy chorus. It’s the moody rocker song.

The real rocker on the CD is “Bar-ba-sol.” And even though I’m not a big rock song fan, this one actually kind of works for me…

“Mr. Sensitive,” however, is a tad too much on the rock side for me. I think it’s the way David sings the word “sensitive”…

I’ve already told you about “Lie,” which is one of the best tracks on the CD…

“I Did It For You” is a great song with a great chorus…

“Avalanche” seemed to be continuing the CD’s momentum, but then it lost me…

But then Cook whips out a GORGEOUS ballad, “Permanent,” and I was back…

Cook then goes feel good—or as feel good as a rock anthem can get—with “A Daily Anthem.” It has a good chorus, but it goes a little too long.

And then, at the 12:04 mark of “Anthem” after several minutes of silence, there’s a hidden track possibly called “Kiss On the Neck.” I’m not sure why Cook kept this one hidden because it’s one of the best songs on the CD…

The CD closes with the bonus track, “The Time of My Life.” I was concerned that this song wouldn’t fit in, but after the hard rocking “Neck,” it works nicely…

“David Cook” tries really hard to strike the balance between rock and radio-friendly and for the most part it does with both solid rock songs and solid radio singles. But if you’re looking for catchy pop, you’re not going to get it here…

However, if you’re looking for some music with substance from an outstanding vocalist, this CD is for you.

It might just take an extra listen or two to get there…

“David Cook” hits stores Tuesday, November 18th…

Please note this review was written based on an Internet stream and not the actual CD...