a little story

David Cook shaked the country. Millions of people around the country fell in love with rock belter David Cook while watching him make other people’s songs his own week after week on the seventh season of American Idol. David Cook won the competition handily thanks to viewers connecting with his rich, unfettered voice and passionately intense performances, not to mention his down-to-earth Midwestern charm. Now, with the release of his self-titled major-label debut, this gifted 25-year-old is eager to show those fans what he can do when he’s in the driver’s seat.

David Cook says “I went on Idol with a five-card hand and showed three of my cards, Now it’s time to put down the other two. There’s a lot I haven’t shown the world, just as far as who I am and what I’m about. I have several layers as an artist and those layers are out there on this record. I don’t see myself ever writing an autobiography; I’m just going to let the music speak for itself.” And it does — loud and clear.

David Cook is a statement-making album, filled with bold, keenly felt songs that showcase David Cook’s powerful vocal chops and considerable songwriting talent, as well as the versatility that made him a star on Idol. The first single “Light On,” with its Southern rock vibe, is light years away from the gut-wrenching ballad “Permanent,” which couldn’t be more different than the swaggering shredder “Bar-Ba-Sol.”

David Cook says “I wanted to make an eclectic album that went places, This is my first major-label release and that gave me some room to be a bit of a chameleon and try different things. So there’s a diversity of influences on this record. I wasn’t sure how we were going to tie everything together, when we were going through the process.” That job fell to producer Rob Cavallo, a veteran studio wiz who has helmed hit albums for Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and Kid Rock, among many others. “Rob did a great job of tuning in to who I am as a person,” David Cook says. “He really made the songs fit me, as opposed to tailoring them to fit someone else’s perception of me.”

David Cook also gives props to his songwriting collaborators, an illustrious list that includes former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell, Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik, Nixons singer/guitarist Zac Maloy, and Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida, one of David Cook’s longtime idols. David Cook co-wrote three songs with Maida, including “Heroes,” which he describes as an homage to his supportive family, and “Permanent,” a song addressed to his older brother Adam who is battling brain cancer.

David Cook recalls “We recorded ‘Permanent’ in two takes and everyone in the room was crying, I actually had to leave at one point because it was so emotional. As a musician, any time you can create something where the end result is exactly what’s in your head, well there’s a heaviness to that moment and it overwhelmed me. I’ve been writing songs for ten years and that was the first time I’d felt it. I think there’s an honesty throughout the record that culminates in that song.”

“Permanent” comes near the end of an album that is full of highlights, from the chiming opener “Declaration” (which David Cook likens to “me standing on top of a building and declaring my intentions for this album”) to the arena-friendly sing-along closer “A Daily AntheM,” and everything in between, including the propulsive “Come Back To Me” and the poignant “Lie,” both of which illustrate the album’s recurring theme. “It’s the idea of love amidst separation,” David Cook explains. “‘Come Back To Me’ is about loving someone you can’t be near, whereas ‘Lie’ is about being in a dysfunctional relationship that you don’t want to end because you still see the good in it.”

Then there’s “Life on the Moon” whose lyric “The life that I knew, it’s through…I’m alone in this crowded room…It’s like life on the moon” feels particularly fitting given how much David Cook’s circumstances have changed since he auditioned for American Idol on a whim back in August 2007. “What I like about that song is that it represents the last year of my life without perverting the last year of my life,” he says. “It’s written so that it could be about the whole Idol journey, but it doesn’t have to be.”



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