Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Star of David


Update: Yup, I did it. I bought David Cook's spectacular version of Always Be My Baby on iTunes this morning. Next week, by the way -- another entirely new experience: I'm gonna actually vote for this kid. You should too.

I never thought I'd see the day I did this, but here goes.

I've already copped to being inexplicably drawn to the pop culture bonfire that is American Idol, but last night, something happened that made me feel like I could finally come out of the darkness and confess my appreciation for the show without shame.

What happened, was David Cook.

I've been a fan of his all season, admitting silently to myself that he's the first true rock star that's ever been on Idol. Even his sub-par version of Our Lady Peace's Innocent last week was forgivable, simply because he knew who the hell Our Lady Peace was. But last night, his performance of -- of all things -- Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby was nothing short of breathtaking.

What no one mentioned during the show however, so as not to provide an unfair advantage with the voters, was that David Cook was singing the song in tribute to his 36-year-old brother, Adam, who's dying of brain cancer and had traveled from Terre Haute, Indiana to be in the audience and watch his little brother compete.

Which makes it understandable that the younger Cook was in tears onstage after receiving a stunning reception from the judges.

Can't believe I'm saying this about someone who's a current American Idol contestant, but David Cook rules.

The kid's a fucking star.

23 comments:

Jacki Schechner said...

Did you peek at my post last night? Agreed!

Besides blowing the rest of the field out of the water as usual, Cook managed to make a Mariah Carey song sound cool. Who does that?

quantumLCD said...

I don't watch Idol, never have...and never really cared for any of the contestants or singers, until your post.

You piqued my interest and I watched the clip...and I must say, the guy is amazing.

Thanks for pointing this guy out!

Chez said...

What he did with that song is just miraculous.

Amii said...

Figures after I finally give up completely on AI (not that I had faith), they bring us David Cook. I haven't been watching, but not surprised that he can make Mariah's songs sound good after I heard what he did to Billy Jean. He's just amazing.

Thomas said...

I have to first say — I can't believe I'm about to debate Idol for the second time today. My wife has ruined my brain...

So. David Cook did a great job considering what he was given to work with. But I'm still not completely convinced he can be a standalone, original artist of much merit. I just wasn't blown away. Also, do we know that this is his original re-imagining of the song, or did Johnny Cash do it sometime before he died?

That being said, I was really getting sick of Cowell repeatedly mischaracterizing the guy as arrogant all the time and it was high time Cook got some props instead of the typical ego-slam.

PS - I'm totally open to being proven wrong. Dude's going to have to really step it up, though. For a "rock star" I'm not sure he's got the fury... But in light of Daughtry being so successful, the sky's the limit for David Cook.

Chez said...

Amii --

Agreed. The difference though is that the Billie Jean version he did was Chris Cornell's -- which isn't to say he didn't hit it out of the park. To the best of my knowledge, what he did to the Mariah song -- a piece of upbeat pop fluff -- was all his own, and it was just revelatory.

micheal said...

hes funny looking. with bad hair. and dresses like avril lavigne used to.
i can say these things cuz hes from around here.
yeah, home town represent... and stuff

Felis Femina said...

Love love love. I saw him on Access Hollywood (yeah, that's right, I watch that crap sometimes) and he did an impromptu verse of Ain't No Sunshine with David Foster on the piano. It was soft and bluesy and just amazing. Love love love...did I say that already?

VOTAR said...

DAT SEXY BOY....

GONNA BE BIGGER'N VAN HALEN, I TELL YA

Steve Owen said...

There are thousands of talented people out there who never get heard. Idol gives them a chance. And for that reason alone, you have to give the show respect.

Geetch said...

This is the only time since the first season that I've watched past Hollywood week, and it's because of David Cook. He's just magical and I don't care if I sound like a squee-ing fan girl because that totes what I am when it comes to this guy. He has the same talent and presence that Kelly Clarkson did, much more so than effin' Daughtry. Even through all of his "rocker" bullshittery, he's completely awesome. And I love his melon monster head (tm Jacob at TWop).

Anonymous said...

A co-worker roped me into this show a couple years back. My girls in college call me during the show and call me an "Idol Fag". I gotta say Cook is the first I have ever dreamed of voting for. I may start voting to try to beat back the baby teenagers voting for Archuletta (sp?). He has impressed me every week except for Our Lady Peace. I can see paying for his album. I have never bought an Idol alum album before. God it is so sad, my daughteres are right. I am a fifty year old Idol Fag. David Cook is the Bomb Baby.

Stephen said...

When is Styx week?

Boo said...

Fuck me with a Jesus, Chez. I can't believe you are trying to sully my far-from-perfect, insular, pretentious hipster world with American Idol. No longer can I pretend to be aloof and too cool.

Damn you and your gravitational pull.

Yes--he is fantastic. I hope he can write his own stuff, but from the sound of it, he has an amazing handle on making shit sound like rock. I loved how he ended the song, bringing the melody down into this minor phrasing. Not many people would think to do that.

Ahem. Damn you.

jen said...

tee hee hee chez is getting soft. ;) just wait until that baby girl comes along!

Nathan said...

I had somehow made it to this point in my life without hearing this song...from Mariah or anyone else.

So I had to go find the Mariah version on YouTube. Damn, he took a truly execrable song and created something worth listening to.

And I'll admit I watch it every week.

Also, do yourself a favor and read Ken Levine's weekly reviews.

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/

Wen said...

I agree. Haven't watched Idol since season 2 and David Cook is the only reason I'm watching. His version of Lionel Richie's Hello is what got me hooked on him. P.S. I completely and totally agree with you about Gloria Allred!

nancy said...

"There are thousands of talented people out there who never get heard. Idol gives them a chance. And for that reason alone, you have to give the show respect."

That doesn't appear to always be true. I remember some kind of kerfluffle about Carly whatshername already having had a record deal, and flopping.

Alysa hears a who said...

Oh, goddamn you, Chez. Do you know how much I hate AI? Do you know how pissed off I am now, that I'm going to have to follow it to see how Cook does? For crying out loud, for a minute I even considered voting.

Anonymous said...

This has to be a joke, right- or i am so obviously missing something.

if you listen for too long, almost anything starts to sound good in that excerable "idol" bubble, i think you should go listen to some real music because that was truly mediocre.

slouchmonkey said...

He sounds like he should be trying out for Rent. Or Creed?

Nope.

Still not a fan of this show.

Anonymous said...

I think you done drank the kool-aid.

bob said...

Oh man! This is a mystery! As much as I want to make fun of you chez for being an Idol fan, I just can't do it... all I do is read this blog but its enough for me to feel like you're my friend, so I just shake my head and grin, like I do when my friends' foibles present themselves.

Its a lesson that reminds me of the power that respect and honesty really have.

namaste
bob