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Why Wait

Kristy Lee Cook

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Album Review

Somehow it seems fitting that the first AmIdol out of the gates in 2008 is Kristy Lee Cook, the savvy, purported country singer who sold her horse to get on TV, and then once she was there proceeded to sell out any way she could to stay on the show. Cook quickly sussed out that in order to stick around she needed to exude a blend of faith, family, and country — meaning both patriotism and the music — and sold herself with a tenacity that brought a smile to Simon Cowell's face. Kristy Lee may not have gone the distance on Idol but she presented a full, easy-to-package identity to rival David Cook, and her debut Why Wait follows through on every promise she made on the show, right down to a horse popping up again on the front cover. Like Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler before her, Kristy Lee heads straight into modern country, landing somewhere between her two Idol predecessors, as she sings a crossover country-pop similar to Carrie with just a bit of down-home spunk from Kellie. She's not half the diva of Underwood or the cornball of Pickler, coming across more like the girl next door made good, and that's pretty endearing on record, especially as she has songs as clever as "15 Minutes of Shame," and as quietly insistent as the AAA-pop of "Hoping to Find" and "Not Tonight," which feel a bit like Faith Hill at her crossover peak. She also has plenty of songs that pander as boldly as she did on Idol when she sang "God Bless the USA," including a new version of that cheesy chestnut. Defying all expectations, that's not the most shameless thing here, as it's topped by the maternal love letter "Like My Mother Does," a salute so syrupy it borders on camp. But if this and the Lee Greenwood cover, along with a couple other things here, are what it takes to shore up Kristy Lee Cook's bona fides as a country singer, so be it: when Why Wait clicks — which it does about half the time — it's really solid, endearing country-pop.

Customer Reviews

Cook could have spent more time on 'Why Wait'

‘American Idol’ seventh-place finalist and avid horse lover Kristy Lee Cook surprises more than a few critics with her major label debut offering ‘Why Wait.’ On the show her savvy song choice and ability to flirt with judge Simon Cowell were enough to carry her almost halfway through the competition, but her vocals often came under fire. Fortunately for Cook, Brett James sits in the producer’s chair on the album. On ‘Wait,’ Cook tries to silence most criticism leveled against her as a “Carrie Underwood clone” thanks to catchy country tunes that fit her range extremely well, but there are still plenty of reservations. Leading off the album with debut single “15 Minutes of Shame,” Cook combines a catchy hook with a play on words of a famed saying. Another uptempo that Cook shines on is “Not Tonight,” which has a pop feel and was partially written by Underwood, intended to be on her album ‘Carnival Ride.’ Another track that sounds eerily like an Underwood one is “Why Wait,” which is a second-rate “Flat On the Floor.” In addition to the lively tracks, Cook is able to connect on some of the more contemporary country-sounding songs like “Like My Mother Does” and “Plant the Seed,” both of which feature meaningful lyrics that many country fans can identify with. But just as there are plenty of tracks country listeners will be satisfied with, there are also a few less than stellar songs on ’Wait.’ “Hoping to Find” is a nice sugary sweet piece of cotton ear candy but is bland lyrically, while her vocals on “Baby Believe” border on whiny and over the top. Still, there are plenty of comedic spots on ‘Wait’ especially in the Kellie Pickler-esque “I Think to Much” and the nitty gritty country sound is well represented by “Homesick.” Cook caps the album off with her rendition of Lee Greenwood’s "God Bless the USA," which was one of her shining moments on ‘Idol.’ This is definitely no ‘Some Hearts’ or even a ‘Kellie Pickler,’ but Kristy Lee Cook proves that she can be a viable country artist on ‘Why Wait.’ Still, the fact that she spent one week recording the album is clearly evident, and a few improvements could have been made had more effort been put into the process.

Why Wait

Very imressive, her rendition of God Bless the USA is as good as any I've heard. Songs are tight, well written and she should have gone further in the Idol season. I think we have another Carrie here.

A song for everyone

Kristy Lee Cook's album, Why Wait, is one of the best albums I have heard in a very long time. There isn't a song on the album I don't like. Like My Mother Does is a very powerful and emotional song for child and mother and is worth the CD in itself. Kristy's vocals in this song shows just what her range is. Very beautiful. Hoping to Find is a perfect match for Kristy both vocally and melody throughout the song. Very well written and sung song about finding that love in your life. Plant the Seed is a wonderful song about discovering what our place in this world is all about and blossoming from where we are. I Think Too Much is a fun song, both melody and lyrics, that I think most people can get a kick out of...I think we all think too much. :) Homesick is a "roots" song that I like to think talks about Kristy's journey to get to where she is and remembering where she came from. Her remake of God Bless the USA is very beautiful and powerful with the use of violins in the background. I like her version better than the original. Overall, this album is awesome and will get many many listens from me. I give an A and highly recommend it...

Biography

Born: January 18, 1984 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although country vocalist Kristy Lee Cook enjoyed some degree of success as a teenager, she didn't receive her big break until 2007, when the 23-year-old Oregon native auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol. Her patriotic performances and country gal appeal helped push Cook to a seventh-place finish, despite frequent criticisms from the show's judging panel. Born in Seattle and raised in rural southwestern Oregon, Cook initially split her time between horseback riding and singing. At...
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Why Wait, Kristy Lee Cook
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