‘Idol’ Cook gets by with a little help
The 25-year-old, who wrote or co-wrote most of the material with a few of those heroes, does dabble in aggro-riffage on the swaggering “Bar-ba-Sol” and even injects a little country sensibility into “A Daily AntheM.” But most of the record occupies that post-grunge middle ground encapsulated by first single “Light On” – co-authored by Chris Cornell – that sounds good one song at a time on the radio but loses its flavor over the course of an entire disc. (Evidence of Cook’s interest in more contemporary and progressive heavy rockers like Muse is scant.)
There’s reason for hope, however, in the handful of strong songs that display sharp pop instincts.
The most striking are those that Cook wrote with Norwegian songwriting-production duo Espen Lind and Amund Bjorklund, a.k.a. Espionage. The pair has lent a hand to some of the tastiest soul pop confections of recent days, including BeyoncÃƒÆ’ ©’s “Irreplaceable,” Chris Brown’s “With You,” and “Just for the Record,” the best song on 2007 “Idol” Jordin Sparks’s album.
Sound Bite: David Cook’s big-label debut validates ‘Idol’ fans’ voting
Six months after he won the “American Idol” title, David Cook is back with his major-label debut CD, “David Cook,” and it’s the grittiest, most rocking record by an “Idol” winner yet.
Produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day) and co-written by the likes of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Collective Soul’s Ed Roland and new “AI” judge Kara DioGuardi, the 13 songs marry a formidable rock edge with undeniable pop sensibility.
At his worst on “American Idol,” Cook displayed a smug arrogance that often put him at odds with the judges. But at his best, the 25-year-old Missouri singer stood out for his roughhewn, starkly beautiful (and, yes, humble) interpretations of pop hits such as “Billie Jean” and “Hello” Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ as well as for a poignant relationship with his cancer-stricken brother.
‘Idol’ winner’s cookin’ but he’s not exactly hot
If anyone hoped that David Cook, the first ”rocker” to win the title of American Idol, would make good on his promise to release a major label debut album that was truly his own brand of rock music, well the resulting David Cook isn’t it.
Call this catchy set of pop-rock tracks, like the Chris Cornell-written first single, Light On, a compromise. Cook rocks steadily in the Daughtry-like manner we expected, given the mainstream production polish provided by Rob Cavallo (Green Day). He sings well, in most instances better than he did on the show.
David Cook Opens Up About Girlfriend Kimberly Caldwell
Amid all the American Idol craziness, last year’s champ David Cook finds peace and perspective with the help of girlfriend Kimberly Caldwell.
“I think she just gets that this is all nuts,” Cook told PEOPLE at the Do the Wright Thing Gala at the Hard Rock CafÃƒÆ’ © in New York last week. “She’s a nice break from the chaos.”
Caldwell can relate to what he’s going through: She finished in seventh place on season two of Idol and also has a budding singing career of her own, having released two singles earlier this year. Just don’t ask if they like to do duets. “No, we don’t,” says Cook.
Reality judges range from wise to wacko
A tiny little show called “American Idol” affected television in profound ways, but one of its most significant — and pernicious — influences on other competition shows is that its template has been widely copied.
Although more than a few shows have borrowed heavily from its format, what most competition shows steal from “Idol” is the panel of three judges offering critiques to the contestants’ faces.
Far too many shows just think they can sit three people behind a table, call them judges, and then give them a few minutes to make allegedly witty comments. But that rarely works as well as it does on “Idol.”
American Idol Shakes Off The Cobwebs
The downtime for America’s top-rated show is rapidly drawing to a close. The eighth season of American Idol will commence in two months, and while much about the show is familiar formula, there are usually a few new wrinkles to look forward to.
The addition of new judge Kara DioGuardi, the biggest change to the show’s cast since Brian Dunkleman was exiled to Where-Are-They-Now Land after the debut season, was an early sign that the brass takes the two-year ratings decline seriously. And the end of producer Nigel Lythgoe’s day-to-day involvement in Idol could likewise impact the sensibility of the show, given his distaste for the tenor of modern pop music.
Some recent Idol-related news:
PAULA ‘HAUNTED’ BY SUICIDE
PAULA Abdul is so freaked out by the suicide of her stalker in front of her Beverly Hills home last week, a friend of the “American Idol” judge says she won’t go back to the “haunted house” even after hiring “healers” to cleanse the house of ghosts. “[Paula Goodspeed] was a deranged stalker who sent her death threats. Paula instructed guards to keep Goodspeed away from her at all costs,” said a source. “She refuses to stay at home because she fears that the spirit of Goodspeed is haunting her house. She feels like this is the absolute worst omen, a really bad curse . . . Paula is suffering. It is well known that she is emotionally fragile.” A rep for Abdul said, “There’s no validity to this. She’s been home since the incident happened. There’s no issue with spirits. Paula is shocked and saddened by what transpired. Her heart and prayers go out to the Goodspeed family.”
Review: Carrie Underwood show in Oakland falls short of magic
Carrie Underwood’s last six singles all hit No. 1 on the country charts. That’s one reason why it was a no-brainer that she’d win female vocalist of the year at last week’s Country Music Association Awards show.
But the really amazing thing about her recent chart supremacy is that it hasn’t translated yet to a solid songbook. Despite charting 10 singles in the last four years, and two multiplatinum-selling albums, Underwood boasts an astoundingly underwhelming amount of truly memorable songs.
That definitely factored into the 25-year-old country star’s show on Saturday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The 100-minute concert felt too long and didn’t contain nearly enough songs that truly connected with the near-capacity crowd.
Music review: Underwood woos Oracle crowd
In a country that selects pop stars on a television program, Carrie Underwood makes perfect sense.
Her beauty pageant looks, sorority sister smile and glass-shattering voice that could pop out of even the smallest, cheapest speakers make the 25-year-old from Checotah, Okla. (pop: 3,400), an ideal pop star in the waning days of the Bush administration.
On Saturday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, she flaunted that wholesome, harmless, megawatt telegenic appeal before a capacity crowd whose demographics spilled far beyond the conventional confines of country music, something Underwood only nominally plays.
Carrie Underwood is a PeopleÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Choice pick
The people have spoken. Carrie Underwood is a PeopleÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Choice nominee in three categories. The Checotah native, who won Season 4 of Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œAmerican Idol,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ is up for favorite female singer (against Alicia Keys and Rihanna), favorite country song (Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Last NameÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ ) and favorite star 35 and under.
Idol Chartwatch, November 17: New Idol Album on the Charts
David Cook fans are gearing up for the release of his first album this week. His singles have had solid numbers, and with the full force of the Idol machine behind him, he should do well.
Timing is everything, however, and as was the case for David Archuleta, several strong new releases threaten David CookÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s chances for a #1 debut. CookÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s up against BeyonceÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s double album I Am … Sasha Fierce and NickelbackÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Dark Horse, both of which debut the same day. BeyonceÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s last CD sold over 500,000 copies in its first week, and while CD sales are down across the board, a popular artist is still capable of pulling big numbers.
PEACH BUZZ: Pearson shows off Broadway talents
Former Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œAmerican IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Diana DeGarmo showed off her new stylish dark hair when she arrived to sing a few numbers, most notably, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œGood Morning BaltimoreÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ from BroadwayÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œHairspray,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ where she recently portrayed Penny Pingleton.
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œSince I only sang backup on this in this show, IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve had to remind myself to sing the lead vocal this time!Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ she confided to the crowd.
Zac Efron Turned Down Simon Cowell
Zac Efron nearly signed up to sing for Simon Cowell – except the teen heartthrob did not take him seriously.
American Idol judge Cowell was desperate to sign up High School Musical star Zac for a record contract because of his singing voice, boyish good looks and huge fan following.
Zac explains, “Simon Cowell is a great guy. We were backstage at American Idol and he just came up and we talked about an idea – it wasn’t like ‘Hey, sign here. So needless to say I did not do it. I’m not sure it was serious.”
Simon Cowell debunks Terri’s golden parachute rumor
Simon Cowell is talking about his split with Terri Seymour.
In the first and only television interview about their break-up, Simon Cowell and Terri Seymour come to Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œExtraÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ to set the record straight.
When asked why, Cowell replies, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œBecause Terri decided to dump meÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ ¦You sent me a text.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Seymour responds, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œI didnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t dump you…Just time. We had a great six years and weÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re the best of friends.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Simon Cowell to offer Amy Winehouse X Factor job
Simon Cowell could be about to offer Amy Winehouse the biggest gig she has ever had.
The music mogul knows that Amy is a massive star and although he knows she can be unpredictable when she is performing it is thought that he could invite her to perform during the live X Factor final.
A young Cody Linley steps into final four on ‘Dancing With the StarsÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ tonight
When Cody Linley was approached about competing in this seasonÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Dancing With the Stars, his first reaction was, “Why me?” The Lewisville native, best-known for his recurring role as Jake Ryan in HannahMontana, has been appearing on TV and in movies since he was in second grade, but he wasnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t a dancer.
“Then after a while, it was like, ‘This could be a cool thing,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’Å¡” says Linley, who turns 19 on Thursday and is the youngest contestant in DWTS history. “I could learn to dance, and I like to learn new stuff, so why not, letÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s do it. And itÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s been the most fun IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve ever had in my entire life.”
Julianne Hough’s Back in the ‘DWTS’ Competition
Julianne Hough made a surprise return to “Dancing with the Stars” on last week’s results show. Now she is back in the rehearsal studio getting ready for tonight’s competition — and ET is with the two-time champ and her partner Cody Linley.
“I was nervous because I’ve never had surgery. I’ve never really had anything internally wrong with me,” she tells ET.
Julianne’s health crisis was the toughest thing the country singer says she has ever faced, and she explains her decision to have the surgery when she did.
Yes, They All Do Think They Can Dance
Will it be Habby Jacques or Saleem Muslim, the members of a flamboyant duo who are pioneering a genre of street dance called mutation? Or maybe Marisa Paull, a 29-year old freelance ballet dancer and teacher? Or will it be Jonathan Platero, who at 20 is already a seasoned veteran of World Salsa Championship competitions?
The Fox reality-television juggernaut Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œSo You Think You Can DanceÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ is gearing up for its fifth season, and these four dancers are among the 900 hopefuls who answered an open casting call on Thursday morning. The line, blocked off by barricades and yellow caution tape, stretched almost entirely around the large block surrounding the Mark Morris Dance Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where the first of three days of auditions was held. (Subsequent days were at the Brooklyn Academy of MusicÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s nearby Harvey Theater.) Additional auditions will take place in Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami and Seattle.