David Cook: 'Idol' Busy With New Album

Every fall, the latest winner of the American Idol competition arrives with an album. This year it's David Cook, who won by the largest margin in the show's seven-year history.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This past May, David Cook earned the highest honor in reality television. He was voted the winner of "American Idol." And today, his first album was released since that televised victory. Tom Moon has this review.

TOM MOON: There are those of us who held out a bit of hope that David Cook would be different.

(Soundbite of song "Come Back to Me")

Mr. DAVID COOK (Winner, "American Idol"): (Singing) You say you gotta go and find yourself...

MOON: He certainly looks scruffier than most would-be American Idols, and he had that weathered smoky voice, the kind you only get from performing in bars. Besides that, he seemed to know what he could do. He had a vision for his music, something rare among contestants on the program.

(Soundbite of song "Come Back to Me")

Mr. COOK: (Singing) So I'll let you go. I'll set you free. And when you see what you need to see. When you find, you'll come back to me...

MOON: But for all that keeping-it-real act, David Cook turned in a rock record of the most calculated salable sort with big pummeling production and a touch of the histrionic singing associated with hard rock bands like Nickelback.

(Soundbite of song "BAR-BA-SOL")

Mr. COOK: (Singing) When I woke up, I could see the daylight had already passed me. It was such a fight to fade away asleep. It's a fugue. Come on. Found to chase down the dawn. Well, I fell every night as it turns into light with my eyes just shut tight. Sailing all alone. I thought I made it home. But I threw it all away...

MOON: That was one of several quote, unquote "hard rock" songs on David Cook's self-titled record. Here's another. It's the first single and one of the few he didn't have a hand in writing. This one was written by former Soundgarden and Audio Slave front man, Chris Cornell.

(Soundbite of song "Light On")

Mr. COOK: (Singing) Never really said too much. Afraid it wouldn't be enough. Just try to keep my spirits up when there's no point in grieving. Doesn't matter anyway. Words could never make me stay. Words will never take my place when you know I'm leaving. Try to leave a light on when I'm gone. Something I rely on to get home...

MOON: Quite a skill David Cook's got. He sings like he's in this thing with both feet, which is great until you start to examine just what kind of a thing it is. After hearing the album a few times, you realize all that luster is serving songs that are woefully slight.

It turns out, David Cook suffers from the same syndrome that has doomed most "American Idol" stars from the start, much ado about nothing.

(Soundbite of song "Light On")

Mr. COOK: (Singing) You know we've been down that road...

SIEGEL: That's critic Tom Moon reviewing the new album from "American Idol"-winner David Cook. It's called David Cook.

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