Christmas From the Heart is the second studio album from David Archuleta, and, although it is a holiday collection, it is quite possibly a stronger album achievement than his last. His voice is perfectly suited for this type of material. David Archuleta's voice is full and tremendously appealing to a wide range of listeners. He can stand up easily to big productions, but he avoids over singing and ever sounding bombastic. Christmas From the Heart is a holiday album you will happily return to in years to come.
Mostly Traditional Arrangements
Most arrangements here are in the traditional vein for such favorite Christmas songs as "Joy to the World," "The First Noel," and "O Holy Night." On most tracks he is backed by simple strings and piano. Multiple songs swell with appropriate crescendos, but the music always returns to a focus on David Archuleta's solid, clear pipes. A duet with the Oprah discovered young singer Charice on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" maintains the song's natural balance between melancholic sadness and hope for the future.
A Few Christmas Surprises
The second half of Christmas From the Heart is significantly more interesting in arrangement and song choice than the first. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is given a slightly jazzy treatment that changes the feel of the album just when needed. The French carol "Pat-a-Pan" evolves from tradition into a new age edged pop arrangement. "What Child Is This" utilizes flamenco style guitar and an almost cinematic sweep of strings. David Archuleta's Latin roots are acknowledged on the Spanish carol "Riu Riu Chiu."
Top Tracks on 'Christmas From the Heart'
- "O Come All Ye Faithful"
- "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
- "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
- "Riu Riu Chiu"
David Archuleta's Solid, Beautiful Voice at Christmas
There are no real missteps here. Christmas From the Heart is simply a solid, pleasing holiday album that will be welcome throughout the season and in years to come. If there is a lesson to learn for David Archuleta, it may be simply that his voice sounds best in the context of simple, uncomplicated accompaniment. Auto-tune and drum machine effects are not needed and likely even detract from a voice like Archuleta's. He is a very talented traditional singer in the best sense of the term.