FEW things in the world would inspire frantic album sales, with emotion being at the top of this scant list. Perhaps, American Idol (AI) winner David Cook uses emotion fact to its full extent in his 10-track solo album, Analog Heart.

Before shooting to AI stardom, Cook had a fledgling career as an underground artist. It was during this time when the Oklahoma native released his independent album, Analog Heart, recently made available online and now a favorite among AI fans.

As he has shown in AI, Cook has a knack for singing would-be chartbusters, and Analog Heart does not disappoint. The first cut is “Straight Ahead,” which sets the radio-friendly vibe of the entire work. “Don’t Say a Word” is a throwback to American alternative bands of the late ‘90’s. In fact, the entire album sounds like a tribute to the artist’s influences, namely Our Lady Peace and Pearl Jam.

Less pop is the gritty “Let Go,” a tirade on relationships gone sour. The lyrics are as catchy as the rest of Analog Heart’s other songs, but Cook delivers with the vocal punches needed to match the instrumental parts.

What might be the album’s most memorable song, “Makeover,” does not have long guitar riffs or hammering bass lines. This song leans toward pop, into the distinct sound Cook has cultivated in AI.

Moreover, the artist’s lyrics seem to just retell stories most people already know. A lot of people can relate to his lyrics, which are acknowledged to be very important for a singer-songwriter such as Cook, but may also be his Achilles’ heel. So many songs have been written about goodbyes which are the subject in most of Cook’s songs.

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No particular song stands apart; they all talk about loss. In addition, some tracks sound similar, particularly “Porcelain” and “Stitches.” It is a solid effort though, which is a success in itself. But another album like Analog Heart may have fans and critics wondering whether Cook can follow through after all.

Cook himself says it perfectly in one of the lines from “Straight Ahead”: “Could you play me something new?”


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