Before I review David Archuleta’s CD, I would like to say how refreshing it is to hear an artist who understands the importance of releasing a CD that appeals to the masses.
Additionally, David Archuleta and his talented mentors and musicians worked extremely hard to produce an aesthetically clean CD, beautifully and thankfully eliminating an over-produced, edgy, sound that grates on the nerves until you want to scream for surrender.
As a result, the vocals are clear and ringing and David’s gorgeous signature head voice is on pitch-perfect display throughout each and every song.
I love the unbridled enthusiasm that David displays in this opening track and he was very wise in choosing a song that speaks to his youthful persona. This song has enjoyed enormous success for two reasons – it is a positive, upbeat affirmation of young love, as well as a testament to David’s flexible vocal ability.
The melody is absolutely contagious and absolutely perfect for airplay. However, it’s David’s remarkable vocal ability that impressed me the very most. He navigates every area of his range with clarity and precision, while at the same time keeping the expressive elements front and center. Both words and music are very important to David and he uses both of these song elements to create a memorable song that speaks to his enormous artistic gifts.
Oh yes, I should not forget those beautiful background vocals – all David! The verbose elements of this song would have caused problems for many artists, but it’s David’s enormous technical gifts that have allowed him to perfectly pace the breathing elements in this song . As a result, the words always remain clear and focused.
Touch My Hand
How I love the absolute beauty of David’s voice at the beginning of this song! And, at the .42 second mark, he gave us a wonderful glimpse of the rich texture of his lower range when he sang the word “you”. Can you hear how clear and transparent his voice sounds throughout his range? Gorgeous! Just gorgeous!
I love the fuller orchestral and vocal sound at the 1:00 minute mark – it adds another harmonic layer to the melodic content of this song. And, at this point, we hear David’s beautiful head voice and the pitch perfect clarity that comes along with it.
This is a rhythmically interesting song and I love how the vocals alternate from a more subdued position to an increasingly lush and full sound. It is truly wonderful to hear David singing a duet with himself – one gets a clear picture of the seamless and flawless quality of his voice when both head and chest voice become one.
Okay, right off the bat- at first listen, I can say that this is not going to be a favourite of mine from this CD. But, this happens with every artist – some songs simply become “fillers” because of recording deadlines.
And the lyrics – oh dear – not the best, but not a throwaway either.
However, at the .55 second mark, this song finally gains steam, as both David’s resonant voice and the lush orchestration come to rescue this song from the ordinary. I love the refrain, actually – it is full of angst and emotion.
And, wonder of wonder, by the second verse, the song begins to grow on me – has a reggae sound, a toughness that is pretty neat. However, the refrain is pure gold, baby – “Here we are, lying here” – gorgeous harmonies and a very neat hook.
Is it just me or does David sound tired in this song? He must have recorded this song at 3:00 in the morning or when rushing from tour obligations to the recording studio because this is first time I am having difficulty understanding his words.
Or, perhaps he didn’t much care for the song and, like every other singer in his position, couldn’t quite commit his heart and soul to the lyrics and melody.
However, by the second verse, his lyrics are much clearer, but this song doesn’t really speak to David’s true artistry. It does absolutely nothing for his voice. And his upper range does indeed sound tired but only David Archuleta can still sing in perfect pitch with fatigue in his voice. That alone is testament to his vocal gifts.
Okay, now that this song is over, it’s time to move on to his next single!
A Little Too Not Over You
And this is the song that has all the fans a-buzzing on all the message boards and blogs. Scheduled to be released as his next single, this song truly has it all. It is wonderfully composed by David Archuleta and friends and impeccably produced.
David’s voice, right from the outset, sounds energetic and buoyant – as one of the composers of this song he is obviously very connected to both the lyrics and the music.
There are some wonderful harmonic progressions in this song, especially in the refrain on the word “truth”. David’s vocals sound expressive and transparent – lots of superb phrasing elements throughout this number that highlight the lyrical and melodic elements of this number.
I love David’s head voice swimming over the orchestral refrain during the 2:06 -2:21 segment that follows the bridge. David’s voice sounds so darn beautiful and he emits his vocal sound with expressive ease and elasticity.
This song screams “mucho hit” and the stuff of Grammy awards. This is most definitely one of the strongest songs on this CD –both the words and the music are truly inspired and just perfect for David’s artistic gifts. Bravo!
I love the lovely acoustic guitar introduction in this song, followed by David’s heartfelt humming. This more subdued song provides wonderful contrast to “A Little Too Not Over You” and is wonderfully placed in the programming format of this CD. Could this be a future single at some point down the road? It should be!
This song has a beautiful message and a gorgeous melody and you can hear that David is in love with this song. His emotional commitment to this song is palpable and the expressiveness coming through his voice is very real, very genuine.
This is a song that would be perfect for a wedding as the first dance for the bride and groom. Oh yes, I can most definitely smell a huge hit here, can you? And the sustained note at the 2:43 mark, followed by the few seconds of silence, was artistically perfect. It adds a element of surprise and anticipation of what is to follow.
And what follows is more good Archuleta stuff. I am truly in love with this song – everything about it is perfect. And the lovely head voice that David effortlessly exhibits toward the end is one of the reasons I fell in love with his voice from the minute I heard him sing on American Idol.
Oh my, I need a break to digest this song. Gorgeous, just gorgeous!
This up-beat song is superbly performed by David. The energy in his voice is contagious and communicable from the opening notes of this song. Once again, this song provides great contrast to the heartfelt “You Can” number that preceded it on this CD.
I love the buoyant energy coming from David’s voice, both in the verses and in the refrain. His voice embraces the melodic line with confident vocal artistry and articulates the words with expressive clarity.
He sounds like he had a blast recording this number – you can hear the playfulness in his voice and ultimately, the beautiful head voice as he approaches the end of this song.
This is not the most difficult song on the CD, but David obviously enjoyed it and so did I. It has a nice catchy sort of rhythm, but, in the end, it is David’s voice and artistry that elevates this song to a high standard of performance.
Well, this is a neat introduction, isn’t it? “Desperate” repeated over and over – and sounding quite desperate, thanks to some neat vocal effects!
Then, David’s baritone voice “kicks in” with emotional intensity and it reminds me a little bit of “Apologize” in the manner in which it is performed on this CD. You can hear the emotional intensity and passion coming from David’s voice and the enormous sustaining power of his technical ability.
For his young age, he certainly has a sophisticated approach to all of his songs and makes absolutely sure that the emotional core stays prominent throughout each number. This song, along with so many other on this CD, encourages David to “dig deep” and so he does with artistic determination and passion.
He explores every area of his range and does so in a seamless and liberated manner. I really, really liked this number – it highlights the darker side of his persona – whether real or simulated.
This song demonstrates that this young man approached this recording equipped with a multi-dimensional emotional package. This CD could have been all about love ballads, which David performs so well; however, he made absolutely certain that every side of his artistic persona was highlighted. Kudos to him for this.
To Be With You
This is a song that will be sung for eternity at wedding ceremonies around the world and/ or requested as the official dance of a bride and groom. This is the David I fell in love with – vocally stripped down – all emotions are so real and so transparent.
Also featured in this number is new American Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi, and her voice complements David’s with beauty and finesse. She also was one of the composers for this song, along with E. Kiriakou.
This song is just a jewel – a true gem. David’s vocals are expressive and passionate and all one has to do is sit back and enjoy the beauty of his voice – and the sincerity. This is story-telling at its highest point –something that cannot be taught. The strength of David’s sustaining power and vocal expressiveness is beyond stellar.
And, although David didn’t play the piano on this recording, when he does have the opportunity to perform this song live, I have no doubt that he will be seated behind a piano. It was written, I am most certain, for that reason and what a heartfelt showstopper this will be.
The spirituality, the emotional intensity of this song , the heart rendering lyrics and the beautiful simplicity of the melody is transcendent – absolutely inspiring.
Don’t Let Go
And, for the second time on this CD, David’s composing talents are highlighted. What a superb musician! At every point in this song, David’s vocal ability is clearly transported to the listener. His head voice is audible at every turn of a phrase. It is pitch-perfect and centered and full of expressive energy and passion.
I love the communicative aspects of this song so very much and David’s voice is clearly embracing the lyrical and melodic line with authenticity and artistry.
Also, it is great to hear the lower end of David’s voice for the majority of this song – he sounds like an entirely different person, doesn’t he? His lower voice is extremely developed and resonant considering his young age.
Your Eyes Don’t Lie
What is this country-style introduction I am hearing? At first I thought there was something wrong with my CD player – with all the dissonant twanging.
But then, David’s pitch-perfect voice came through and all was well with the world again. And that whistling just makes me laugh – it’s very quirky, n’est-ce pas?
Somehow, this song is going to make it to the radio – it’s just different and strange and that sort of works today. It’s like David’s version of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”. Could that be the plan? A country crossover hit? And we sit and wait with anticipation.
Now, this song is a favourite of David and we all know that he performed this number at every stop of the American Idol tour this summer.
In the interest of time, I have provided a link to a brief review I did of this song on November 1st, 2008. This is a beautifully conceived and exquisitely performed number and it grabs my heart and soul each and every time.