From the moment she walked onto the stage of American Idol, Kristy Lee Cook was considered the ‘country girl’ for season seven of the musical reality show. Detractors called her a ‘plant’ due to her previously signed to a recording contract with major label Arista Nashville. But, according to American Idol rules, artists can have been part of prior label deals and both of the two most popular idols, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, both had recording contracts of various types prior to appearing on the show. Recorded in between breaks while on tour, “Why Wait” is Kristy Lee Cook’s debut country album for 19/Arista Records.
With only 10 tracks, “Why Wait” is a brief introduction but over the course of the 10 tracks, Kristy Lee manages to call out an old boyfriend on the playful, Lorrie Morgan-like “15 Minutes of Shame” and goes all hallmark on us with “Like My Mother Does” and then goes patriotic on her AI touchstone, “God Bless The USA,” a song nobody should record anymore. The title track is an interesting song in that the lyric (written by Victoria Banks, Rachel Proctor and Jesse Lee) proclaims “something this good doesn’t come along every day, why wait?”
Kristy Lee Cook then takes on songs that recall Colbie Calliat-like adult pop with “Hoping To Find” and then takes a turn into diva territory with “Not Tonight,” a song co-written by AI touchstone Underwood (with Hillary Lindsey and Brett James), and the Jamie O’Neal-penned “Baby Believe.” With a mix of what is currently working on contemporary country, Kristy Lee Cook has showcased herself as an up and coming vocalist who has the ability, much like fellow American Idol alumnus Kellie Pickler, to interject personality into her songs, even if she didn’t write them.