The Critics Corner | Albums

Believe Solid if not spectacular album steadies the course for former American Idol winner
Alan HopAlbum name: Digital Vein
Label: Analog Heart Music
Release Date: September 18, 2015
Rating: -- 3.0 out of 5

Review written by: Amaris Rodriguez
It has been seven years since David Cook won the seventh season of the popular talent show American Idol and became one of the most successful artists to have been discovered on that show. Fast forward and Cook is ready to do it all over again. With the release of his fourth album Digital Vein on September 18th 2015, Cook keeps his rocker sound alive and does deliver a decent rock sounding album.

“Heartbeat” is the first song on the album. With lyrics that could pass for verses in a poem, “Heartbeat” is one of the strongest written songs on the album. The music starts off tamed but builds up as the song goes on which adds a nice dynamic as opposed to having a dominating music track throughout the song. This is also one of the reasons why on the list of tracks it makes sense for “Heartbeat” to be before “Criminal”, Cooks first single off of the album.

“Criminal” is a song about two people who are being chased and while they are on the run they are also falling in love. The idea of this song is described by Cook “as a modern day Bonnie and Clyde” which serves as a great way of summarizing it. The sound is very pop rock, which has been oddly missing from the airwaves lately. The lyrics are strong and have listener appeal with repetitive oh’s throughout. This gives the song a catchy part that is easy to remember and will most likely get stuck is a listeners head.

The album, although very lyrically strong, seems to be divided between two types of songs. On one side you have tracks like “Criminal” which includes “Broken Windows,” “Kiss and Tell,” and “Firing Squad.” These songs have the stronger raspy rock sounding vocals and a strong instrumental presence that dominates most of the tracks. On the other side listeners got more of a softer side of Cook. Songs like “From Here to Zero,” “I’m Gonna Love You,” and “But You Won’t” have a more romantic and tender tone to them and actually allow Cooks vocals to showcase more than some of the harder tracks.

While not every track on the album is a hit, one did stand out from the rest. “Laying Me Low” is probably the strongest track on the album and has the potential to be a hit. The song does a great job of embodying the mainstream rocker sound that David Cook is known for while still being radio friendly. The track has a subtle yet refreshing piano background melody that gives it dimension and sets it apart from the other tracks on Digital Vein.

Digital Vein as a whole is a solid album that has the potential to produce a hit for Cook. While some of the songs do tend to get lost among the repetitive sound that is very present during the album, it does have it standout songs. David Cook made a career with his dynamic rocker sound and it is evident throughout Digital Vein. His sound has proven to be able to produce hits before and like it is said; if something is not broken, don’t fix it.
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