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David Archuleta - David Archuleta

It's All in the Voice

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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David Archuleta

David Archuleta

Courtesy Jive Records

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From when we all first heard his audition, it was obvious that 17-year-old David Archuleta had standout pipes. After emerging from American Idol as runner-up, the primary question was whether that voice could be appropriately applied to contemporary pop music. In this first album, the answer is yes. The songwriting here is too often bland and uninspiring, but Archuleta's vocals are always stellar and sometimes truly soar. That is a good start on a promising career.

When Archuleta's Voice Takes Flight

As with much of contemporary pop music, the production here often seems a bit cluttered and overdone. The focus here should always be David Archuleta's voice. On a song like "Running," when his voice is given the opportunity to truly glide above the production, Archuleta's gifts are abundantly evident. The slightly fussy piano and percussion backing becomes irrelevant. "Desperate" stretches for currency with opening electronic effects, but ultimately his voice carries the song even when the drama of the production threatens to swamp him. The American Idol performance by David Archuleta that truly created goosebumps was his minimalist take on John Lennon's "Imagine." Unfortunately, too often here Archuleta's voice is crowded by other sounds instead of left alone to its simple beauty.

A Few Misguided Moments

Late in the album, as if to make sure we are still paying attention, some experimentation seems to begin, and it sounds like one of those American Idol mismatches of a country singer on disco night. "Don't Let Go" channels Coldplay but let's just say David Archuleta is not Chris Martin. "Your Eyes Don't Lie" uses whistling and strumming that made me imagine Archuleta strolling out in chaps and a cowboy hat. This track is best left forgotten. Soaring pop songs with a touch of R&B are truly the forte here.

Top Tracks on 'David Archuleta'

  • "Crush"
  • "Touch My Hand"
  • "Running"
  • "Desperate"
  • "Angels"

Welcome to the Pop World, David

David Archuleta is already populating pop radio playlists with his hit single "Crush." There are a number of tracks here that could follow in its footsteps. The purity of a male voice like Archuleta's is a welcome addition in a pop music industry currently top heavy with female singers. However, better songs are what could lead him to a truly great album. Listen to the closing cover of Robbie Williams' "Angels" and imagine an album of David Archuleta's voice applied to truly top level songs.

Released November 2008 by Jive Records.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
What a voice!, Member violet4ever

Thanks for your review! I agree that Archuleta's gorgeous voice should always be the focus. On some songs, somebody should have put a leash on whoever did the post-processing, but hopefully David can get more involved in that step next time when the album doesn't have to be created in 6 weeks! I disagree about Your Eyes Don't Lie (aka YEDL) - that track is a big favorite on a music charts board I visit. Listen to it a couple more times. I know the whistling is a bit unusual at first, but it's a super song! All funky in the verses and big AC in the choruses. And to me the whistling evokes something I can't quite describe, like wet sidewalks and somebody whistling outside a jazz club. My favorite tracks besides Crush are My Hands (watch his super AOL Session of this one), A Little Too Not Over You (I love the new music video), Barriers, Running (my niece's favorite too), Desperate (shows his versatility), To Be With You (beautiful duet with Kara DioGuardi, co-writer and new 4th Idol judge), Your Eyes Don't Lie, and Angels. In the bonus tracks, I love the ballads Falling (haunting, written by David at age 14) and Somebody Out There (co-written by David). And the Walmart bonus track Works for Me (co-written by David) really grabbed me after seeing videos of David perform it at Jingle Jams. I love the album. And I love David's voice and his great personality.

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