Not entirely a debut album for Kristy Lee Cook, WHY WAIT bursts out of the gate with some terrific pop/country performances here. However, the chief problem with pop/country music is that, as a genre, it tries very hard to sound like pop/country music. As a result, there's a dangerous element of 'sameness' to it which I think many reviewers pick up on. Performers tend to sound alike, but Cook -- in her spirited youth -- does add some nice touches to distinguish herself from other similarly talented singers here; let's hope she keeps pushing that envelope in the future!
15 MINUTES OF SHAME (5 out ot 5): Every guy's great fear ... set to music! Quite possibly the most fun a woman has had publicly dissing a man ("Jason!") in a country song this year. Playful. Gotta luv it!
WHY WAIT (5 out of 5) Sly, sexy, and seductive. "I'd rather be in a long slow kiss than to be holdin' my breath like this." Throwing caution to the wind brings out the best in Kristy Lee. Reminds me a bit of Jo Dee Messina. Wonderfully big refrain. Has the jazziness of a big radio hit.
LIKE MY MOTHER DOES (4 out of 5) To be honest, the song doesn't mean a whole lot to me personally, but I think Kristy's vocals are absolutely terrific on the track. Reminds me of early Martina McBride's work.
Hoping to Find (2.5 OUT OF 5) Not a bad song, just a song. Filler track. Any country singer could do this, so there's much better stuff here to explore here.
BABY BELIEVE (3 out of 5) Feels like an obligatory performance of the obligatory tear-jerker. Not a performance big enough to elevate the song to something more than what it is: just another song.
Not Tonight (2.5 out of 5) Settles into a sense of sameness to the last track, though it's a bit more up tempo.
Plant the Seed (4 out of 5) A wonderful mix of music and message. This is the type of song country performers do, and Cook puts a lot of herself into this performance. One of my personal favorite tracks here.
I Think Too Much (4 out of 5) I don't doubt that there are women who think like this out there. Fun track poking fun at the decidedly female to stay in your head too much.
Homesick (2.5 OUT OF 5) Nothing here to really lift itself out from any other track on any other pop/country album. Not a bad track, just nothing fresh, new, or different. Filler. That's about it.
God Bless the USA (4 out of 5) Covering the Lee Greenwood hit, Kristy puts a proud woman stamp on the project, rockified a bit too much for my tastes, but the vocals are spot on if not a bit too predictable. I gave her major props for her patriotism, though, b/c I've always loved this song.
I think some of these songs could've sounded better if they had been stripped back a bit -- lose some of the instrumentation -- with the vocals a bit more prominent (with the only exception here being "God Bless the USA"). It seems that sometimes record producers -- especially with younger performers with great range -- there's a tendency to over-modulate the music; when this happens, the voice blends in a bit too much with the music, for my tastes, and you lose an element of rawness that can add greater character to vocal range. It's an acquired taste, and it'll come in time ... but WHY WAIT?