“Come Back to Me” sets a girlfriend free to figure things out, hopeful that she will return. On “Heroes” and “Light On” Cook thanks a woman for giving him strength and direction. Claiming to be a “Permanent” friend and advocate to someone fighting a serious illness, he shows compassion and asks God, “Is there some way for me to take his place?” “Mr. Sensitive” seems to honor a man “who never let the worst get the best of him.” A line on “Declaration” offers to accept either an individual or group of people for who they are. Last season’s American Idol champ is flush with adrenaline and optimism, eager to live the dream and “taste every moment” that success brings (“The Time of My Life”). Feeling lost and alone even in a crowd—perhaps a consequence of sudden fame—the singer leans on a friend (“Life on the Moon”).
A man in denial that a romance is ending pleads for his partner to give him false hope (“Lie”).
Cook burns lots of energy articulating ambiguous emotional turmoil. What’s clear-cut is pretty positive, giving his Idol fans reason to vote for him once again.