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Album Review: “Why Wait” by Kristy Lee Cook

October 2, 2008

Why Wait

While in the “American Idol” state of mind, why not take a look at the debut project from the latest American Idol alumni to explore the country music scene, 2008’s Kristy Lee Cook. Cook ended her reign as a result of her label and “miss bottom 3 2008” on the show and immediately joined the ranks of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood when she joined Arista Nashville, a rather large and risky label for someone who didn’t actually win the competition or even hit the top 4. Nevertheless Kristy choose to chase a career in country music after the show, big surprise there, and thus we have her poorly advertised and little pushed debut album “Why Wait”.

Starting from the beginning, the album takes off with Kristy’s debut song “15 Minutes Of Shame“, a revenge song obviously hoping to catapult off of the success of songs like “Before He Cheats” and “Kerosene”. It’s a nice opening to the project, for it establishes recognition of Kristy and allows her to show off her vocals and personality a little bit. Surprisingly enough this album falls upon two basic features, one flaw and one achievement. After the opening track this album does not slow down, it keeps you into the whole thing pretty much the entire time in one way or another. The flaw…every track has been heard before. Most, if not all of the songs on this album have been presented in one way or another in a different way sometime in the past few years.

Where the songs lack in creativity, they actually add a lot to Kristy’s abilities as a vocalist. She shined only once or twice to many in AI, when she performed “God Bless The USA” (which she covered for the closing of this album and possibly “Anyway” pending on who you talk to. As her opening track did, some songs even show off an entertainment quality in her performance. The title track, “Why Wait“, is a perfect example as Cook sings to her boyfriend or lover with impatience for the rest of their life.

the remainder of the album is actually pretty much chock full of inspirational and uplifting tunes. Some are more based around family, like “Like My Mother Does” and “Homesick” which help show a personal connection between Cook and her own family, while other like “Plant The Seed” and “Hoping To Find” act as attempts to implore Kristy’s audience to follow their dreams and do what their heart desires. It’s interesting because it is here that the listener gets a glimpse of most of the sincerity and vocal range behind Kristy’s talent. On the flip side it is also at this point that we get the most repetition of cliche messages and classic modern country morals and song subject.

Thrown in for spice are some romance tunes, “Baby Believe” and “Not Tonight“. While these are decent songs in their own right and Kristy takes them on strong, they fail to stand out. These are the lowest points in the project, acting as nothing more than decent album fillers in a relatively personal introductory project for Cook.

So what we have here is a decent introductory project from Cook, but not very creative. The biggest mistake anyone can make is determining the quality of this album before buying it based only off of her performances on American Idol. This album shows of more power and grace, and more country quality, in Kristy’s voice than American Idol ever did. What it fails to show is why Kristy is a worth while talent in the industry. Many of the songs, although personal and pulled off nicely, are packaged for her and make her too similar to other artists. It will be hard for her to stand out at radio with the material on this album. So Kristy gets credit for proving to American Idol and the country audience that she certainly does have a voice and fits the bill for country, but she does not prove why she is different from everyone else. If you like country and or Kristy separately this is perfect, but if you’re looking for a 5 star quality and unique project…not the most impressive.

 

3 Stars

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