ET went into the studio with "American Idol" winner David Cook, who gives us a preview of what to expect from his much anticipated upcoming album.
Cook -- who followed up his win on "American Idol" in 2008 with a global concert tour -- says he immediately went to work writing the new album after going off the road in 2009. He says the writing process involves narrowing 80 songs down to about 12 and is hard work: "This record was the most difficult, but I think the most gratifying record I've made to date," he says, adding that: "nothing good is ever easy."
The 28-year-old crooner says the new album reflects the ups and downs of his own life and admits some parts came from "a bit of a darker place." "I just wrote about life - and life's not always easy, it's not always fun. But I think those real moments are hopefully what's going to shine through. I want my fans to feel like when they listen to this record that I'm being honest with them."
When asked about what he does to relax and unwind after long studio sessions, Cook confesses: "I'm really boring. I'm a homebody, I don't go out much. In fact, if I were really hard pressed to think about it I don't think I remember the last time
I went out." He says fans are more likely to see him at the grocery store than at clubs around Los Angeles, where he's based.
Cook says he still gets a chance to watch "American Idol" and likes what the new judges are doing on the show. "I love what they bring to the table. I think Steven Tyler's a riot. So hopefully I get to come on the show this year and meet them." And does he miss Simon Cowell's sharp tongue? "I miss turning on the TV and seeing Simon. I don't miss having Simon critique me, however, which is a big difference."
Cook will be returning to the show that made him famous. Cook has recorded the farewell song for the current season. The song is a remake of Simple Minds 1985 smash "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and will air each week as contestants are eliminated.
Watch the video to hear Cook during one of his recording sessions!