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Singer/Songwriter David Shawn Cook Releases New Music

David Shawn Cook has released a new single entitled “In the Spirit” and his individualistic brand of Christian music should find appeal extending far past the believer set. This three minutes and change tune has ready-made appeal for Christian radio and its attendant audience, but it likewise has the necessary attributes to reach outside of its target audience. The pop strengths of the song are obvious at the outset in the way Cook structures the verses and segues into the inevitable rewards of the chorus. He eschews any musical flash and instead focuses his attention, and thereby the listeners, on fundamentals rather than useless pomp.  

Listeners will relish the steady and sparkling tempo of the verses. They have a considered sweep that wooshes you at an inexorable pace toward the song’s refrain. Gradual escalation benefits this song in a big way and Cook deserves ample kudos for never rushing the final result. The small demands it makes on our patience are richly rewarded, however, when we reach the aforementioned refrain. It puts an emphatic exclamation point on the single without ever overreaching or sounding gaudy.   The plain-spoken lyrics are another highlight of the single. Cook depicts God/Jesus’ power in matter of fact terms with a strong Scriptural basis and his implied gratitude rings loudly throughout. The chorus emphasizes this to an even greater degree. Repetition is one of the keys to the song’s lyrics, but Cook never leans too much on them, but rather just enough to underline the song’s message.

It has a bit of a throwback sound without ever sounding like a song out of time. The music for “In the Spirit” recalls arrangements from Cook’s salad days as a musician and performer. 80’s sounding material such as this has experienced a resurgence in popularity over recent years, what’s old is often new again, and its sonic signature will likely garner “In the Spirit” admirers it would have otherwise missed out on.   His vocals are the strongest aspect of the song. He does lean on some background vocals for additional emphasis but Cook wins the day with his impassioned yet artful treatment of the verses and chorus. He has an emotive and muscular voice that doesn’t overshadow the instrumentation. Moreover, he communicates his respect for God’s power and yearning to walk in the same spirit as his Creator.  

You can’t help but admire songs such as this. David Shawn Cook’s “In the Spirit” comes from a man who has seen life’s underbelly and come back to tell us about a better dawn that each of us can enjoy. He’s found that better dawn serving Jesus Christ, but there’s an underlying message of hope in this song that defies easy labels and, instead, speaks to the universal human experience. Give this song a chance and you won’t be disappointed. David Shawn Cook is in full command of his powers as a songwriter, singer, and musician, and “In the Spirit” vividly reflects that. It’s a winner in every sense of the word. 

Mindy McCall  



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