Idol CD Spotlight: Kristy Lee Cook

Kristy Lee Cook Why WaitKristy Lee Cook

“Why Wait”

1. 15 Minutes of Shame

2. Why Wait

3. Like My Mother Does

4. Hoping To Find

5. Baby Believe

6. Not Tonight

7. Plant the Seed

8. I Think Too Much

9. Homesick

10. God Bless the USA

Before we’re deluged by a new batch of Idol CD releases, I figured we’d catch up with Kristy Lee Cook, who beat all the other season seven contestants to the punch by releasing “Why Wait” in September.

Oh, Kristy Lee, Kristy Lee. I can hear Simon right now. “It’s like musical wallpaper in that you notice it, but you don’t remember it.”

Unfortunately, that pretty much sums up Kristy’s first post-Idol album. At a time when the country music charts are peppered with pretty young blondes — Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler, Julianne Hough and, of course, Carrie Underwood — there’s just nothing very distinctive about Kristy Lee’s voice or “Why Wait.”

Kristy Lee CookIt doesn’t help that the first single she released, “15 Minutes of Shame,” comes off as a poor man’s version of Carrie’s “Before He Cheats.” And performing “God Bless the USA” might have saved her from elimination for a week on Idol last season, but the song can’t save this album.

Not that there aren’t high points. “I Think Too Much” is catchy; it sticks with you. “Not Tonight” is probably the best song on the CD. Add “Hoping To Find” and you’ve got a nice trio of upbeat, country pop tunes worth downloading.

You can check out full-length versions of all the songs on the album by checking out Kristy Lee’s MySpace site. There’s also a snippet of another song called “Cowgirls,” a bonus track available through Itunes. Kristy Lee doesn’t have a writing credit for any of the 10 tunes on the album. Surprising, Carrie does, as co-writer of “Not Tonight.”

As it turned out, “15 Minutes” was the only single released from the album, and failed to crack the top 20 on the country singles chart. The album peaked at 49 on Billboard’s Hot 200. And, by December, Kristy Lee and her record label, Arista Nashville had already parted ways.

But Kristy Lee isn’t ready to give up on her musical career. Earlier this month, she told USA Today she’s looking for a new record deal. And she’ll be opening for Little Big Town for at least one of their shows this summer.

In the meantime, Ms. Cook has started the Krsity Lee Horse Heaven Foundation, which specializes in rescuing horses in need. You can find out more about the organization at this Web site.

Here are two reviews of Kristy Lee’s CD, followed by the video for “15 Minutes of Shame.” Below the video, you’ll find a list of upcoming Idol CD releases.

All Music gives Kristy Lee 3 stars out of 5

Country Universe gives Kristy Lee 2 stars out of 5

UPCOMING IDOL CD RELEASES

March 10: Kelly Clarkson: “All I Ever Wanted”

March 10: Taylor Hicks: “The Distance”

April 7: George Huff, self-titled

May 5: Elliott Yamin, “Fight for Love”

May 19: Ruben Studdard, “Love Is”

June 2: Brooke White: “High Hopes and Heartbreaks.”

Note: Michael Johns announced on last week’s Idol results show that he plans to release his first CD in mid-May.

RECENT RELEASES

Feb. 3: Melinda Doolittle, self-titled

Melinda’s Reviews:

Miami Herald

Boston Herald

Jan. 20: ”Don’t Look Down,” an independent soundtrack with music written by former Idol contestant Michael Johns, Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth. Michael does most of the vocals (except on “View from Up Here”.) The soundtrack features “Life is Okay,” a duet featuring Michael with Brooke White.

Jan. 20: Sanjaya Malakar: “Dancing to the Music in My Head,” a five-track EP, released the same day the book “Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People’s Idol” came out.

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