THE ALBUM MEDIA REVIEWS THREAD (Everything in one place, updates as reviews appear.)

THE ALBUM MEDIA REVIEWS THREAD (Everything in one place, updates as reviews appear.)

Things are bound to get chaotic around here soon as the reviews begin to pour in. I thought we should have one thread to put everything in.

So post the url below, include an excerpt from the review if you like, and I'll try my best to update this post so we have a sort of masterlist for easy reference. Note that we're talking about media reviews, so fan reviews are not included. Thanks!

Metacritic gathers together reviews and calculates an overall score (very much like Rotten Tomatoes does for movies). If you check out the page for David Cook you'll see how it compares to other albums, say with Beyonce's and Nickelback's. The score changes as reviews come in. As of this writing, current score is 67 (Generally Favorable Reviews).

ladymadonna gave this guideline at the Billboards thread:

Universal Acclaim (Green): 81-100
Generally Favorable Reviews (Green): 61-80
Mixed or Average Reviews (Yellow): 40-60
Generally Unfavorable Reviews (Red): 20-39
Overwhelming Dislike (Red): 0-19

ABC News 11/11/08 (undated; found 11/24/08) (undated, ca. 1st week)
Always Acoustic 11/11/08
Associated Content 04/10/09
AZ Central 11/19/08
The Badger Herald 11/20/08
Baltimore Sun 11/18/08
Billboard 11/22/08
Boston Globe 11/17/08
Boston 11/14/08
Buffalo News 11/16/08
Business Mirror (Philippines) 2/03/09
The Celebrity Cafe 11/19/08
The Charlatan (undated; ca. 1st week)
Chicago Sun Times 11/18/08
Common Sense Media 12/04/08
The Cornell Daily Sun 11/20/08
The Current 1/20/09
Detroit Free Press 11/16/08 11/14/08
Entertainment Weekly 11/12/08
Express Night Out / The Washington Post 11/17/08
The Feather 1/28/09
The Hawk (St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia) 11/19/08 11/13/08 11/17/08
Holland Sentinel 11/26/08
IGN 11/24/08 11/17/08
Metromix 11/17/08
Miami Herald 11/14/08
Music Mp3 12/05/08
Musiqtone 11/22/08, 1 11/13/08 /, 2 11/22/08
New York Post 11/19/08
The New York Times 11/23/08:
NPR (audio) 11/18/08
NY Daily News 11/16/08
Philippine Star 1/07/08 11/16/08
Rolling Stone (ca. 1st week)
Sacramento Bee 11/17/08
Scripss News 11/14/08
Star Magazine (excerpt read at a Philippine radio station) 12/04/08
The Straits Times (Singapore) (ca. 11/20/08)
St. Louis Dispatch 11/18/08
Sturgis Journal 12/04/08
Tulsa World 11/18/08
Tune Lab Music 1/14/08
USA Today 11/17/08
Us Magazine (undated, ca. 1st week)
The Vanguard (Univ of South Alabama) 1/12/08
Washington Post 11/18/08

Now before you start clicking, it might be helpful to read through kaydeecee's Fanifesto: A David Cook Review Rapid Response Kit. Remember that people WILL have differing opinions about the album, and we CAN'T stop it. Clear your head, don't be rash. We're not compiling this list so we can see whose blood will boil the fastest. We're doing this because it's always interesting to see what everyone else (who is not necessarily a fan) is saying about the album. If you're the type who can't take less than positive reviews, be warned and read at your own risk, but please, remember that each time you make a comment or respond out there, like it or not, you are representing the Cook fandom.

Comments (269)

Bumping this up for yet another anniversary.

Happy 5th birdthday, DCTR! You are still much-loved Smiling

Came across this belated review. It's generally positive, complimenting some lyrics and Dave's voice, and concluding that DCTR is a solid effort. What it says about Analog Heart is kinda WTF.

Helium DCTR Review
Pinoy fans represent!
Ang Cookistang Miron for DeTour goodies.

Bumping this up for the anniversary.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DCTR!!! We had so much faith in you, and you did not disappoint. *mighty proud*

Pinoy fans represent!

Here's a new one from Associated Content, read the whole review, it's pretty good: fair and balanced. The reviewer draws comparisons between David and Daughtry, and David comes out on top.

In general, this is a very good debut album. The songs are creative, Cook can sing and doe it well, and there's an overall cohesive feeling to the collection that makes the listeners feel that Cook probably did deserve to win American Idol 7. While fans of the more pop rock genre will find this a bit more on the heavy side than they're used to, it isn't all harsh and should appeal to a fairly wide audience. It's the type of album that you might want to listen to when you're in a good mood and want a touch of the "down and dirty" without getting into nasty, since it definitely isn't a "chill out" album. It's more the kind of thing you might listen to in the car when you need something to keep you alert but not slap you too much in the face doing so, with enough interesting going on that might make you allow it to stay playing in a loop. In a word, David Cook's album is "solid" and does give us a taste for more, worthy of four out of five stars and certainly recommended.
Pinoy fans represent!

Is this pinned? I just ran into it through a Google search... Just in case it's not.. BUMP!

Sengels | WN# 1203

Thanks for that review, mujerfeliz, I think it's a blog though.

Here's one from the Philippines' Business Mirror:

As any American Idol fanatic would attest, David Cook is known for his amazing ability to personalize any song and turn it into something new, original and unique. Although I may not be a certifiable rock aficionado, I came away regarding Cook as truly in a level of his own. What differentiates him from the other American Idol winners is his wide knowledge on musicality and style. It is easy to hear how his creative juices were tapped extensively and intelligently, as he effortlessly gives his personal stamp on these anthemic rock songs. Obviously, his music influences come from listening to different styles of singing and performing rock, and this has made listening to the album quite an exciting ride.


As a music lover of wide interests, the eponymous album of Cook, I believe, is a good investment and would be an excellent part of any music collection. Even though the songs may not be the typical ballads that most Filipinos are known to favor, the music here does evoke a sense of adventure and excitement that not a few Pinoys equally adore.
Pinoy fans represent!

Bill´s Music Forum:


Cavallo and mixer Chris Lord-Alge give the record a highly polished and thundering sound, but balance things well so that Cook's remarkable voice is not six feet under in the mix. And that is a good thing since some of these songs would only be so-so if sung be anyone else.

Consequently, there is a strong 90s alternative rock vibe permeating this record.

The lyrics are certainly a step up from the typical sap that oozes from the nozzle of American Idol. On "David Cook", there are hooks aplenty, huge guitars, and an exceptionally talented dude who sings his lungs out - what more could you want?

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12 (actually two songs that you'll have to crop with MP3 DIRECT CUT or equivalent)

The Feather comes out with a mixed review:

Naturally for an American Idol winner, a lot of the songs purposely showcase Cook’s vocals, which fit the complex of a wolf, carrying both the rough brutishness and smooth agility of such a powerful animal. These two characteristics and a wide range give Cook a very appealing sound.

Unfortunately, the focus on Cook’s voice seemed to distract from the rest of the musical aspect in certain areas of the CD. Wavering a bit at “Mr. Sensitive” and then crashing down at track eight, “Lie,” the formulaic build of the songs start to get old.

The songs themselves are not bad, but their unwillingness to venture out from the shelter of comfortable music recipes create them to fall short of their potential.


Despite a flimsy end, Cook rocks past the tight borders of the typical American Idol album. Overall, he shows a grand potential with his majestic voice, noteworthy instrumentals and rhythmic songs.

Pinoy fans represent!

Adding a new one from The Current:

Last November, David Cook released his self-titled album, receiving mixed reviews. Is it possible that those who gave Cook negative reviews did not like him, his type of music or were just plain mad that David Archuleta came finished in second place? Considering the enormous popularity of the album, it must be a combination of all three.
The songs on this self-titled album truly reflect the genre of music he is meant to be playing. All tracks on the album were either written or co-written by Cook.

The album is an outstanding collaboration of his pre-"American Idol" band days and songwriting experiences.
This exceptional album offers listeners a little bit of love with a whole lot of rock. Cook has definitely set the standards high for "American Idol" and its future winners. The young rocker can only get better.
Pinoy fans represent!


Fanatic Cookhead

My Album Review Rebuttal

It's all a bunch of jabberwocky. They have no idea what they are dealing with.

David's album may not be like Axium or Led Zepplin for that matter.
But, it is UNIQUE. That to me sets it apart from anything
Era doesn't matter. Type of music doesn't matter.
It is it's own class act.
I don't categorize it.
It is David Cook.

It is his life, his blood, his baby, his pride and joy.
He tells his story. He sings his song.

His voice is beyond compare. His vocal range is amazing.
What that man can do with his voice transcends anything that I have ever heard.

And when David and the David Cook band take these songs and put them on stage they spell bind us with pure Rock Star magic.

I have never seen David in finer form than when he performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Pontiac Garage. He was so animated and in communication with the audience declaring his love and appreciation more than ever before. He commanded the stage. A Rock Star pro but with the unparalleled David Cook spin. And the band was so tight and awesome. Just very fine musicians.

David is mesmerizing and gorgeous and hot when he is on stage. He loves those songs and he orchestrates them to the nth degree.

That is all.
Resistance is futile.

Fanatic Cookhead

I've gotten to the point where I read all reviews just to see what they have to say about Life on the Moon. I read through that first paragraph on the Tune Lab review and saw NO mention of it, and was like: Crap...he hated LOTM.

And then I got to the second paragraph and was thrilled silly....

Rolling Out Across the Desert Word Hero #293
"If I could have a super power, I'd like the ability I can, you know?...soar...with...the birds."

Thanks to queenjaclyn who posted the Tune Lab Music review at the BB thread. I love this part:

The Good: David Cook won American Idol for a reason-the brotha can sing. And it’s his pipes that make this album a pile of goodness. The opener “Declaration” sets a solid vibe for the record, a perky and pulsating anthem that gets you involved. However David Cook waits until track two, the Mark Tremonti-inspired “Heroes” arrives before he starts proving the worth of his prize-winning vocals. He has an interestingly unique voice indeed, blending friendly and inviting melodic sensibilities with bold, masculine overtones; and directly because of said gift, “Heroes” could come out of nowhere to be a huge hit. Lead single “Light On”, written alongside Brian Howes is sultry and impassioned, with David Cook’s sips from the Chris Cornell fountain adding strokes of color. “Come Back to Me” is breezy and angelic. The drastic chord change/arrival of the orchestra on the downbeat heading into the bridge of “Come Back to Me” is absolute money. Cook borrows the surging “Bar-Ba-Sol” from the book of former Island/Def Jam artist Injected. Originally intended to appear on Injected’s never released sophomore album ‘The Truth About You’, “Bar-Ba-Sol” is rehashed flawlessly by David Cook and company, carefully preserving the intent of its original authors; this gritty 6/8 number gradually blossoms from a quirky shoe-gazer into an explosive rocker. Atmospheric and, well, sensitive is “Mr. Sensitive”, whose especially delicate verses animate its nametag nicely. “Lie” is a fluid balance of doleful and hopeful moods, with David Cook’s humility and a radiant chorus the real showstoppers. Cook’s delivery is also king on the consistent “I Did It For You”, exalting the chorus in the way DC wraps his lyrics so snugly around the beat. One of the most organic songs on ‘David Cook‘ is the sincere and whimsical “Avalanche”, which glistens with purity, freedom, and pinpoint dynamics. The final stand on the album is realized with a pair of songs, “A Daily AntheM” and “Kiss on the Neck” condensed into one quarter-hour filibuster. “A Daily AntheM” is lighthearted, fresh, and buoyed by a booming chorus. Zip forward 12:21 deep to ignite “Kiss on the Neck”, the blasting back-end of the doubleheader. David Cook turns up the heat and the caffeine as he torpedoes through one last stand, which will brand its lip prints into your senses rather than gently graze your neck.

David Cook’s finest moments are realized in two songs not yet mentioned, “Life on the Moon” and “Permanent”. Cook, as well as songwriting titans Espionage and Zac Maloy contributed ink to “Life on the Moon”, the craftiest and most well-written tune on the record. Davey C soaks it with conviction, lifting the storybook poetics off the page and into your mind. The chorus is huge and instantly addictive and some of the guitar work reminds me of “Sunny Came Home” by Shawn Colvin, a cool song and an even cooler allusion. What really separates “Life on the Moon” from the pack is the way the guitars hop, taking command of the rhythm and pumping heaps of vigor into the track in the process. The other diamond is “Permanent”, a fierce piano ballad. Written as his response to his older brother Adam’s arduous fight with brain cancer, a cathartic and spiritual David Cook opens up, offering listeners a touching and inspirational glimpse into his most vulnerable side. “Permanent” is simply put, special.

Read the whole review, there are negative points written there as well.

Pinoy fans represent!

I've said it before, I don't even pay attention to reviews because the critics never seem to know what they are talking about! What's important is how David's fans are perceiving the album...not anyone else.


That, er, "review" in Urban Tulsa Weekly amounts to sacrilege. Why do these music snobs just not get it?

Three cheers for our Pinoy friends. They understand David and what his music is all about. I think I wanna move there!
Rest your head...I'm permanent

From The Vanguard (Univ of South Alabama):

During his time on American Idol, Cook was praised by judges and music critics alike for his take on the songs "Always Be My Baby" and "Hello." Some fans said that Cook's winning the competition would make up for Chris Daughtry not winning in season five.

This debut album, however, does not show the innovation that Cook was praised for. Here, Cook sticks to the 90s rock ballads that had become his signature sound on American Idol.

Cook's first single "Light On" does not serve him justice due to the forgettable melody and lyrics. There are times on his album when Cook resorts to yelling the chorus such as in tracks "Mr. Sensitive" and "A Daily Anthem."

However, at the 12 minute mark, a hidden track called "Kiss on the Neck" displays Cook at his best where he bluntly describes his dislike for the stereotypical Hollywood woman. This honesty is also showcased in "Life on the Moon" and "Permanent."

David Cook is probably going to have a successful career. Hopefully, his next album will, as Simon Cowell would put it, "… have more originality."

Standouts - "Declaration," "Come Back to Me," Life On the Moon," "Lie," "I Did It For You," "Permanent," and "Kiss on the Neck."

Pinoy fans represent!

closeyoureyes, re Urban Tulsa Weekly review. Oh! It's a reader? It didn't strike me as that. Will remove it if so. Thanks.

Pinoy fans represent!

This article from the Philippine Star talks about AI and the 2 Davids, but the writer also sort of does a review on DCTR:

David Cook by David Cook is a well-made rock album. Surprise! The guy also writes songs and he composed or co-wrote most of the songs in the CD. The music is pretty much formulaic for rock radio consumption. But what makes it a joy to listen to is David’s singing. He really feels the songs and you cannot help but get caught up with his emotions. These are at their barest and I must say rawest in the metal tinged Bar-ba-sol and in the heart-rending ballad Permanent.

David Cook does not have one bad cut. It is one of those albums wherein the songs just flow from one to the other in smooth transition. There are also lots of potential singles from among Declaration, Heroes, Light On, Come Back to Me, Life On the Moon, Mr. Sensitive, Lie, I Did It For You, Avalanche and A Daily Anthem.

Pinoy fans represent!

Just wanted to point out that the Urban Tulsa Weekly review probably shouldn't even be in the OP, since it's a 'reader's review'. In other words, a bloggers rant. Feel free to ignore it.

Link is working now. I don't know why that happens sometimes. Enjoy, a happy year end read indeed.

follia, your link isn't working Sad

Rolling Out Across the Desert Word Hero #293
"If I could have a super power, I'd like the ability I can, you know?...soar...with...the birds."

I got this on a google alert last night. we've seen some of this before, but I think there are some new coolie crumbs. I posted this on the analytic threads and it got no comments which surprises me given the use of our pretty armporn pic at the top. Maybe everyone else has seen all this before.

Taking a Big Step
Written by Ann Powers / Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 17:59

edited to fix link

This one's nasty, I'm not even quoting it. Read if you dare: Urban Tulsa Weekly. Thanks to annie702 for the link.

I wonder what climbed up that guy's arse.
Pinoy fans represent!

You're very welcome!

Self Conscious To A Fault....I'm Not Wearing Any Underwear - Life On The Moon 2.0

*sigh* Metacritic still hasn't added any reviews to its line-up. Oh well. Bringing this back up.

Pinoy fans represent!

Xavier, thanks for that one. I added it to our list above. Your link doesn't bring me directly to the review though, so I used this one:

Pinoy fans represent!

Here's another good review. It's from Music Mp3.

"The new work by David Cook, which will definitely make him famous over the world (if he is not yet), can be best described as a solid rock record."

Self Conscious To A Fault....I'm Not Wearing Any Underwear - Life On The Moon 2.0

I liked the Common Sense Media review. Very nice Smiling

Rolling Out Across the Desert Word Hero #293
"If I could have a super power, I'd like the ability I can, you know?...soar...with...the birds."

kitkat, thanks for bringing that over, I will add it to the list.

Scott, we do already have that one. I added it yesterday - it's from the Sturgis Journal.

Pinoy fans represent!

Here's another nice review.. critic looked at both Davids and liked both Davids. He seems to be a bit of an Idol fan and definitely a Cook fan. He gets into the piece with a David vs. David but it's very palatable and fair.

This newspaper is from Brockton, MA.

I know this is kind of obscure, but I found this neat review on a site called Common Sense Media which I go to for input to see whether various media are age-appropriate for my son. It was short but very well-written and complimentary. They also solicit separate feedback from parents and children. I have left the one and only user review. Anyone want to join me?

ETA: the review:
What's the story?
Reviewed by Kathi Goldmark

Produced by Grammy-winning Rob Cavallo, who’s also worked with Green Day and Kid Rock, and featuring nine of the artist’s original songs, DAVID COOK showcases the Idol star's talents to great appeal. This collection addresses the themes of love, loss, and loneliness with heartfelt -- but harmless -- lyrics and rhythms.
Is it any good?4 stars out of 5
Powerful rock-anthem musicianship supports Cook’s husky, polished vocals. One highlight, “Lie,” explores the bittersweet expectation of a lover’s departure with charming poetry and understated guitar drifting over a powerful rhythm section (“You're hiding regret in your smile / there's a story in your eyes I've seen coming for a while / hang on to the past tense tonight"). Literary metaphors? Impressive.

With song-writing cred, guitar-playing ability, and solid vocals, David Cook is an artist with staying power.

Look out world, here he comes! Δ

As part of the Philippines' RX93.1's DA vs. DC face-off (which ran from Dec. 1-4; go to this thread for details) last night, DJ Rico read excerpts from Star Magazine's review of both Davids' albums. Listen to it or download here.

Pinoy fans represent!

From Sturgis Journal's The Farr Side:

I’m glad Cook put out a rock album instead of something commercially manufactured as can be the case with some talent show winners. He stayed true to himself.

The 12-song set also includes the bonus track “The Time Of My Life,” which was a nice addition.

The first single, “Light On,” finds Cook’s raspy, melodic voice right at home. He almost pleads for help in finding his way back in the lyrics “Try to leave a light on when I’m gone/something I rely on to get home.” The song is not overdone, overproduced or over-the-top. It’s just right, which is why the public gravitated toward him so much on the show.

To pick, or try to pick, the most noteworthy tracks seems silly. They’re all equally as good, but I do especially like “Permanent,” “I Did It For You,” and “Heroes.”
Pinoy fans represent!

I know my limits.
Heeding sage advice, I didn't look at the links for the reviews. I've read a few on my own. The good ones were great, the stupid ones made me gnash my teeth.

I know, logically, NO ONE is going to like EVERYONE. There HAS to be some bad reviews out there, [oh, don't ask me WHY, statistics I guess *shrugs*]
The only thing I wish is that everyone keep an open mind about his music and not filter it through their perceptions of what it should/shouldn't be.
Is that SO much to ask???????


Will Metacritic ever add any more reviews? They still have only 5 on there. But the user reviews score is now 8.5. Very nice.

Pinoy fans represent!

This review by a "staunch supporter" from the AI days appears to be disappointed.

...I am left wondering at which point did Mr. Cook lose his ability to choose the best vehicle for his impressive vocal delivery? The songs here serve as nothing more than vague attempts to get his voice heard, and unfortunately — and all too frequently — serve as more of a means of vocal suppression.

Pinoy fans represent!

70 for the NYT review is what I'm guessing Metacritic will assign although I'm hoping for better than that. At least it shouldn't pull his overall score down.

I suspect that the LAT is not going to do a review, but instead, just stick with the piece that Ann Powers did. I'd have loved a positive review from there, but that piece was excellent. I've also been watching to see when metacritic was going to assign a value to the NYT review. They've put up other new reviews for artists, e.g., GnR, but have not done anything with that review....

ETA: I've been guessing a 70---the same as the allmusic one. It has the same spirit to me. "Man, I hate post-grunge. Hate it. And this record has some of the things about it that I hate about post-grunge. Which I hate. But dammit, this guy and his voice and his essentially good nature pouring out of the songs has beat me down. 3.5 stars out of 5, and I have this feeling I'll like his future stuff even more whether I want to or not."

FolkFan: I think, ∴, I read the TWoP DCO thread.

amystruth, I checked earlier today to see if Metacritic had assigned scores to the other releases featured in that NYT piece. So far, nothing.

I'd suggest a mini-contest to guess the eventual NYT Metacritic score, but I'm not sure if it's too off-topic for this thread.

I was wondering about Blender too Bamabunny. Maybe it's better to just get good press there anyway. The reviewers would probably feel obligated to dog him to save their "cred" and all that nonsense.

We haven't gotten a review from the LA Times either which I find weird. I'm also wondering when Metacritic will assign a score to the NYT review. I'm curious to see what their take is on that one. It kind of made me go cross-eyed but I think it was positive over-all.

Yeah I think Blender is not going to review him.

It's Tuesday, and Blender has reviews up for Ludacris, The Killers, Scott Weiland, Gn'R...and no Cook. But I also noticed they didn't review David Archuletta, either. I don't think we'll get a review from them (though their coverage as of late is bordering on EW-ish!).

Namaste and DC=42,
~aka Librarybunny @ TWoP
silverbunny @

Thanks for putting these all in one place!

Rock LA: Watch LO on KYSR! - Stream CD on KYSR!
**TIF & # 4

Bringing this back up.

Pinoy fans represent!

You're welcome! I had just read that review a few minutes earlier, and when I saw you post the cruddy one, I thought to myself: We need to get the one in here ASAP! lol

Rolling Across the Desert Word Hero #293
"If I could have a super power, I'd like the ability I can, you know?...soar...with...the birds."

THANK YOU, coolshades! I was out trying to find something to wash IGN off with. I love how Bill Lamb starts:

Rock solid is probably the best way to describe the major label debut from American Idol champion David Cook. The technical precision of his stellar voice sets him apart from a number of other post-grunge competitors. In addition, the album David Cook is a well selected and well programmed set of songs that range across sensitive ballads, towering anthems, and gutsy rockers. Cook's American Idol fans will be pleased, and he is likely to gather a significant number of new followers among previously skeptical rock fans.

and ends

Chris Daughtry, with his band Daughtry, broke down the door for American Idol rock performers to find a place on pop radio and in the hearts of pop music consumers. David Cook charges through that opening in search of being an even bigger star. He has already been successful in being the first rock performer to win American Idol. With the quality of this album, he has the potential to become one of the most successful of all Idol champions with the music-buying public.
Pinoy fans represent!

Who pissed in that guy's Cheerios? Hahaha

I don't think this one has been posted yet. It's a good one to offset the really cruddy one imogen just posted.

Rolling Across the Desert Word Hero #293
"If I could have a super power, I'd like the ability I can, you know?...soar...with...the birds."

IGN has a review up. Warning: it borders on nasty. I think this is the first one of that kind that I've seen, and mind you, I've read all in the list. Rating is 3.9. According to their ratings guide:

3.0 to 3.9
Now we're getting into the "this album sucks" range. Unless you're Super Fan #1, and so deluded that you will defend your band no matter what, stay away from this bunk.

Pinoy fans represent!

RE:The New York Times writer,
Im wondering if anyone ever told him that in the 11 minute silence was a hidden song "Kiss on the Neck"???

United States