David Cook Gets Stretched And Acid-Washed

Oct 16th, 2008 // 16 Comments



American Idol winner David Cook’s post-coronation album drops on Nov. 18, so there’s still plenty of time to change this “Make The Pretty Boy Look Tough” album cover. First off, it’s pretty clear that they’ve stretched David, Paula Abdul-style, here–no human being has a head that narrow. Maybe Cook (a pretty good-looking guy!) was packing on the pounds in the offseason, but this picture looks like the photographer forgot to set his camera to widescreen–and that fauxhawk is doing him no favors. Can you say “reservoir tip”?

The final touch was adding some grit with a Photoshop filter that I think is called “Acid Wash,” so as to make Cook look as “tough” as some dude hanging out on Panama City Beach in 1988! I’m hoping that Photoshop launches a whole series of similarly themed expansion packs, like “New Jersey 1989,” which features EZ Hairspray, or “Miami Beach 1985,” where you can remove subjects’ socks with just one click!

David Cook Album Cover And Track List [MJ's Big Blog]

  1. Chris Molanphy

    Just as I never would have guessed that Cook would defeat Archuleta so soundly in the Idol finale last May, I also wouldn’t have guessed that his handlers would screw up his debut record as badly as they appear to have done (cf. the performance of “Light On” thus far vs. Archie’s single).

    I’m calling it now: this is going to be a repeat, only slightly less embarrassing, of the Taylor Hicks fiasco. The lesson: adults watch Idol fervently and vote heavily in the finale, and then they don’t show up six months later to buy the record they claimed they wanted.

    Meanwhile, Jordin Sparks–a seemingly underwhelming winner pooh-poohed by adult viewers (including me) and even by the judges in interviews after her season was over–has scored multiple radio hits, real ones, and her album is near-platinum (932,000 at last count). That’s not Kelly/Carrie impressive, but it’s better than Hicks! And it means she’s connected with the teenagers who identify with the show’s winners. It’s not a result my 30something ass prefers, but it’s the cold, hard truth.

  2. brasstax

    Who was Jordin up against? Oh yeah, the beatbox dude. I think America and the world got the better end of that bargain.

    David Cook will be a solo artist for one album, two tops. Then he’ll form a popular band in which he’s the recognizable singer without the burden of having his name on the cover.

  3. Thierry

    “Conehead…The name is Conehead!”

  4. bcapirigi

    what does that album cover remind me of so much? it’s somebody’s best-of from 1997 or so, i think…. damn, it’s on the tip of my tongue.

  5. Anonymous

    On a semi-related note, I wonder if Kelly can ever get back to chart relevancy after “her December.”

  6. Anonymous

    I know what you mean, Chris—those jerks at RCA got him a highly favorable article in Rolling Stone and scheduled as the musical guest on the Saturday Night Live (the show with the most current buzz) on the weekend before the election (the SNL likely to have the largest audience and rumored to be visited by Obama and/or McCain).

    All kidding aside, it kind of looks like RCA is aiming for big album sales with Cook, rather than big single sales. I don’t fully understand why RCA put the single up on itunes so soon after it was released to radio and before adds—it didn’t have much airplay at the time and only now is really starting to build much of an audience impression. But the press push did not start until after the single was issued and is heating up at the end of October/early November–which seems to indicate that RCA is hoping that buzz about the new album will peak in time for the record release. I hope RCA is right on that, as I like him and think he could put out some really good music.

    But I definitely think it’s too early to say that he’s the next Taylor Hicks, just because a guy in the rock genre (which is more of a record-seller than a single-seller) isn’t outselling a guy in the teeny-pop genre (which is a single-seller type genre).

  7. Chris Molanphy

    @Jenn01: Your theory would work if Cook’s single was scoring airplay at the radio formats that juice album sales, namely Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock. It’s nonexistent at those formats, too. Being an “album-oriented” act only works if someone is playing your record, somewhere.

  8. Anonymous

    Not sure where you’re getting your data, but Light On has started to get airplay at rock stations. Can’t say that it’s burning up the charts there—that would be inaccurate—but saying that Light On is “nonexistent” is inaccurate.

    I’m not sure where your sense of certainty is coming from, a month from the CD being released, shortly after the adds date, at the very outset of the press push. Ultimately, I think that there is evidence both ways of reasons to believe that the CD will not be a hit (Light On “only” selling 109,000 copies in the first week and then sliding in sales after that, Light On being slower to grow in airplay than, say, that new Nickelback single), and evidence that it will be a hit (he sold well over 900,000 copies of a song that includes the term “magic rainbow,” increased growth in airplay for Light On in last 10 days on multiple formats, the start of positive press about the record, some good television appearance opportunities in the run up to the record release, etc.).

  9. Chris Molanphy

    @Jenn01: Not sure where you’re getting your data

    I’m getting it here — Album Rock radio, no airplay for Cook:
    [www.radioandrecords.com]

    …and here — Alternative/Modern Rock radio, no airplay for Cook:
    [www.radioandrecords.com]

    …and here — Triple-A radio, no airplay for Cook:
    [www.radioandrecords.com]

    …and here — A/C radio, Cook still charting (and leading) with five-month-old Idol victory song:
    [www.radioandrecords.com]

    These are all new radio charts since I posted my first comment above, with its “sense of certainty.” I’m only feeling more certain since then.

    Hey, good for him on the A/C thing — which I mentioned in my column a few weeks ago as a positive point in his favor (“both Davids have outperformed expectations at radio this year,” I wrote), before “Light On” dropped and flopped. If the “magic rainbow” song somehow gets hundreds of thousands of avid A/C listeners (do such things exist?) to buy his album in November, I will willingly eat my words. But something tells me months of airplay at the drugstore-checkout-line format with “Time of My Life” (which has been on-sale at iTunes all that time) won’t translate into major scans.

    If you have access to better data than I do, please share it. Which is entirely possible, since I see you have only ever commented three times here, to clarify points about Mr. Cook, which suggests that you are on his management/promotional/label team and trying to defend his honor or something. If you’re just doing your job, that’s fine, but you could at least disclose if you’ve got better information than I do.

    I’m just calling it like I see it, and after rooting (half-heartedly) for Cook in the final month of this year’s Idol lest the dreaded Archuleta take the prize, I look at the data thus far and come to the inescapable conclusion that, to my great surprise, Archie’s album and career have been set up far better than Cook’s thus far.

  10. Anonymous

    No, Chris, I don’t work for 19, RCA, or anything like that. (You know, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t actually mean that they’re paid to do so. That person might actually simply disagree with you.) I’ve been looking at info from mediabase, which seems to pull from different stations than does radioandrecords.

    I can’t believe that number of sarcastic lines that I just deleted about your second-to-last paragraph. Damn, my sense of restraint must be better than I thought….

  11. Chris Molanphy

    @Jenn01: I didn’t accuse you of disagreeing with me. (In your first comment, months ago, you were neither agreeing nor disagreeing, just offering a helpful explanation.)

    I’m rather calling you out about your need to comment only on stuff related to David Cook, which makes your level of participation ’round these parts a bit suspect, that’s all. It would be easier for us to judge your interest in contributing to the dialogue here if you seemed interested in the wide range of what we discuss.

    You have to admit, three comments (now four) over a few months directed only at me, only when I discuss David Cook, is a bit “off.”

    And I’d love to see that Mediabase data.

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  15. Michael

    I’m not sure where your sense of certainty is coming from, a month from the CD being released, shortly after the adds date, at the very outset of the press push. Ultimately, I think that there is evidence both ways of reasons to believe that the CD will not be a hit (Light On “only” selling 109,000 copies in the first week and then sliding in sales after that, Light On being slower to grow in airplay than, say, that new Nickelback single), and evidence that it will be a hit (he sold well over 900,000 copies of a song that includes the term “magic rainbow,” increased growth in airplay for Light On in last 10 days on multiple formats, the start of positive press about the record, some good television appearance opportunities in the run up to the record release, etc.). http://www.checkshinglessymptoms.com

  16. Michael

    I’m rather calling you out about your need to comment only on stuff related to David Cook, which makes your level of participation ’round these parts a bit suspect, that’s all. It would be easier for us to judge your interest in contributing to the dialogue here if you seemed interested in the wide range of what we discuss

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