David Archuleta: The Kid’s Got It

This is a good review of David’s CD from eargazm’s blog although I think the author is reading too much into the Barriers lyric.

Source: www.eargazm.com

The results are in. David Cook might have won Season 7 of American Idol but so far, David Archuleta, who had to settle for the silver, has bested the other David in both the single race and the album race. By now, you have probably heard Archie’s opening salvo, the ubiquitious Top 20 “Crush”, an innocuous little ditty about, well…the perils of puppy love. What did you expect? A cautionary tale about the dangers of meth addiction? The kid IS only 17, after all. However, as history has proven with artists like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Aaliyah, age ain’t nothin’ but a number and it has no correlation with talent.

David Archuleta’s self-titled debut was released on November 11, a week before the actual AI champ’s debut hits stores. So, is it actually any good? Yes and no. The good news first. The album is heavily front-loaded. In fact, the first 5 songs are so perfect that they alone warrant the $9.99 plus tax that I paid for a physical copy. There is the aforementioned first single “Crush” which is followed by second single “Touch My Hand,” which appears to be a paean to all those front-row Archie groupies to “reach out as far as you can.” Thus, the progression starts. First, there is a G-rated crush and then comes the decidedly PG hand-touching and innocent groupie love. Next, little David talks about how “we are lying here, it’s our last final goodnight…just because it feels so good, no use pretending we’re alright…” in the star of the album “Barriers”. Whoa! The kid jumped from PG to R in one song! What happened to 2nd and 3rd base? Lyrical content aside, this song is sublimely produced, with light orchestral flourishes, a big chorus and a few goofy “HEY!’s” and group-chanted echos thrown in for good measure. Oh, and there is that matter of the punishing vocal runs that David tosses off as easily as breathing in this song. In fact, overall, there are times when listening to the album and paying close attention to the vocals that I don’t think I am listening to a human at all but rather a creature that was manufactured to sing. It can be downright frightening at times how precise and mature this kid’s vocals are. Following “Barriers”, we have another song about hands (and another album highlight) – “My Hands”. In this song, little David comes as close to his AmIdol colleague Jordin Sparks’s brooding “No Air” as he talks about how he “accidentally, on purpose, I dropped my watch behind the tire, threw my alarm clock inside the fireplace” in a valiant effort to stop time so that he can hold on to that special someone eternally, no matter how Sisyphean the task may be. While it is odd that there are two songs that concern themselves with hands on the album, they are both disarmingly effective and charming.  “A Little Too Not Over You” follows and it should be noted that David co-wrote this.

The bad news is that the album does lose steam somewhat in the second half, in that the production starts to drag a bit. However, David’s vocals always shine through, no matter what material he is given to work with, which is the sign of true talent. He could probably sing the phone book and make it sound like a compelling novel. Given the fact that this is Archuleta’s first album, there is definitely room for improvement and I would like to see a little more of the soul that he displayed on Idol in his arrangements and a little less pop-rock, but, as someone who was not a believer when little Archie was on AmIdol, I am now officially on Team David (A). That said, despite my official endorsement, I am nowhere as bad as THIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70f0chZVudA

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~ by archuletafanscene on November 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “David Archuleta: The Kid’s Got It”

  1. Good review. Thanks for sharing.

    Have you all read the following review??

    “Archuleta’s debut one to idolize”

    http://badgerherald.com/artsetc/2008/11/14/archuletas_debut_one.php

  2. Thanks Sandra…will read that one next! Loving the positive reviews! 🙂

    And that video of the little girls is priceless.

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