"Idol" David Cook says CD comes out "guns blazing"

Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:33pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A year ago David Cook was a struggling musician with just $30 in the bank, competing for a spot on top-rated television talent show "American Idol."

On November 18, "Idol" winner Cook debuts his self-titled album that he said was made by his own rules and "comes out of the gates with all guns blazing."

"The record is different from what people saw on 'American Idol.' I was able to make a rock record that to me is eclectic. But I don't think I have completely alienated the people who supported me," said Cook.

On the program, Cooked rocked audiences with alternative versions of other singers' hits, such as Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Lionel Ritchie's "Hello."

"I wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 12 songs on the album. I was involved with everything -- the music, lyrics and I helped design the art on the CD. I wanted it to be a very accurate definition of who I am," the 25 year-old told Reuters.

Cook joins alumni from America's most watched television show -- "Idol" averaged nearly 30 million viewers weekly last season -- whose fortunes as stand-alone music stars have varied from stellar (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson) to sluggish (Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard).

"Light On," Cook's first single off his album, fell in the middle, debuting at No.17 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in September but slipping to No. 80 four weeks later.

But Cook, who formed his first band at age 15 and auditioned for "American Idol" on a whim, has a different way of measuring success than just selling records.   Continued...