Monday, July 11, 2011

Forget the "Singles," This is an ALBUM!

"American Idol" season 7 winner David Cook is back with a standout sophomore album.

In this age of singles, singles, singles, and the ability on itunes to download tracks a la carte, David Cook has given music lovers a reason to go for the whole enchilada. Cook hesitates to call This Loud Morning a “concept album” because he wants listeners to interpret its theme and songs their own way; but the theme is so strong, and the flow so carefully layed out, it really is best to listen to the album in order - start to finish - in one sitting. This is the closest I’ve seen anything come to a classic 70s/80s-style concept album in two decades. Don’t let that scare you. No single track relies on another for a great listening experience. Play any one of them and you’ll have a winner for 3 to 4 minutes in your head. It’s just that played in order, as a whole, the experience is enahanced 10-fold. The musical connection between first track Circadian with last (non-bonus) track Rapid Eye Movement is a stroke of genius. They are bookends that tie the whole album together. It truly is like falling asleep and into a melodious and intense dream… before you go under for that deep sleep.

Lyrically, This Loud Morning shows great progression on the part of Cook. Musically, it further establishes his style and voice, but it is far superior to anything he has created in the past. Producer Matt Serletic (Ryan Star, Matchbox 20) took these great songs and worked magic on them. The instrumentation and arrangements are brilliant, but best of all, Serletic did what he’s known for: he let the singer’s voice remain front and center. With Cook’s last album, my only (minor) complaint was that too many of the tracks had a wall of sound that didn’t let his amazing voice shine through. This time, David’s voice is the star, and the instrumentation and effects are superb supporting players.

Standout tracks for me are Circadian; Right Here, With You; Take Me As I am; Paper Heart; Goodbye to the Girl; Rapid Eye Movement and bonus track Let Me Fall For You. I’m just waiting for NBC to use “We Believe” for the Olympics (the way they’ve used Cook’s “Heroes” on NBC Sports for the last two seasons).

If you order through Cook's online store at his website, you can get a fanpack that includes the deluxe 14 track edition of the album, a t-shirt, a poster, and an acoustic EP called "This Quiet Night." It contains five tracks (The Last Goodbye, Right Here With You, Take Me As I Am, Goodbye To the Girl and Paper Heart), recorded unplugged by David and his band with just piano, acoustic guitars and soft drums. It's a gem.If you just want the music, I highly recommend the deluxe version which includes the two killer bonus tracks and a "making of the album" DVD (it's included on iTunes as a video download).

If I had to rate This Loud Morning, I would give it ★ out of

Here is the lead single from the album, "The Last Goodbye"


lvmyHBYnDC said...

Finally - someone that recognizes true talent in this auto-tuned, industry manufactured world. I love this album, it is like you have fallen into a deep sleep during Circadian and are awoken at the end of a dream by Rapid Eye Movement. I hope some in the music industry feel the same as you. I would love to see this album get the credit it deserves. Thank you.

Kelly B. said...

This is a great review! I totally agree with you about it being worth buying the album as opposed to just a single here or there. This album tells a story...a damn good one, with David's amazing vocals and great instrumentation. There isn't one song on it that I don't like. David's voice and the lyrics really make you FEEL. And even though a couple of the songs are sad, they're not depressing, and are followed by songs that talk about the hopeful side of loss. I agree with you...I give it 5 stars out of 5!

Jane said...

I love the song you posted. Wish I could get the whole album and go on a long road trip, listening to it over and over. Sometimes I wonder if American Idol might have been the worst thing for David Cook. He is truly talented, I hope rock fans are not put off by his association with the Fox show.

sheriaz627 said...

Loved your review Scott. Only thing I would change is to add We Believe to the list of outstanding tracks and I also just love This Is Not The Last Time, but there isn't a bad song on this CD. Just brilliant IMO.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great review by someone who still recognizes good music. I love that it's a concept album. Most of the music on the radio isn't worth listening to. David has an amazing voice I never tire of hearing, and TLM was well worth the wait.

gmarn17 said...

As A long time David Cook fan,This review really excites me, I also hope this record gets the recognition it truly deserves! I know no matter what...I will always appreciate David's Work,so refreshing in this music world full of ''Pop''...''Dime a Dozen'' Sounds...Long Live David Cook....Go listen to this AMAZING record if you haven't yet,your really missing out on something worth listening to! Thank you, Gina P.S. Can't wait for the tour!!!