David Archuleta/David Archuleta

Ok. say what you will about reality TV and such shows as American Idol. American Idol had ‘discovered’ some great talent along the way. Kelly Clarkson…..Jennifer Hudson….Carrie Underwood…..Chris Doughtery….. Archulta was a close second in last years’ ‘competition’, but the debut release from Jive/19 records is pure pop-slop beauty. I say that with admiration and awe…I am a sucker for a catchy pop-song and this CD is full of them.

Crush—-With slick-high powered emotional production, the song features every great trick that can be used….Fantastic vocals, a double over-lay in parts, a computer generated backdrop, sparse instruments and a teenage angst that everyone can/could relate to. Great!

Touch My Hand—-Using an over-dubbed vocal for the chorus, the song creates a layered feel that screams POP! A nicely strummed guitar, a prominent keyboard, a subtle R N B flavor adds to the joy of the song……despite the juvenile lyrics.

Barriers—-One of the few songs that wakes me in the middle of the night because it is playing so loudly in my brain. I personally think this song is a pop masterpiece. That rare culmination of stellar vocals, slick production, emotive instrumentation . A guilty pleasure!  Undeniably  fantastic!

My Hands—-With an undeniable catchy R n B backdrop, the music CAN override the juvenile lyrics. Remember he is only 17. But the slick polish of the song makes you groove to the backbeat, so forget the lyrics, the vocal is great anyway.

A Little Too Not Over You—-Even more  of an R n B flava, the song is co-written my Archuleta and is a little bit more accessible to the common listener. A nice vocal delivery that builds and emotes high levels of emotion.

You Can—-With a nice acoustic flair, a subtle delivery and emotions that everyone can relate to, the song is a wonderful foray into the emotional rushes of blossoming romance. Perhaps I’m the optimist, maybe someone could feel that way about me…..I can relate.

Running—-Sounding, to me, like a song that was written for a female vocalist, the production team again uses double=tracked vocals to their benefit. The song is empty without them. Not bad, but acceptable only because of production.

Desperate—-The song comes across as slightly ‘noisy’ because the orchestration overrides the vocal. Look…this kid can sing, so why drown it out with loud cymbals, crashing horns and amplified violins?

To Be With You—-Another heart filled, emotional ode to wanted love, at least we are allowed a beautiful arrangement and production. A wonderful change is the added vocal backdrop of none other than current Idol judge Kara Diguiardi. How inappropriate!

Don’t Let Go—-Generic, unremarkable pop music. It’s not that it is a bad song, it just seems to missing an added ingredient. It’s obvious that heartfelt ballads are Davids’ specialty.

Your Eyes Don’t Lie—-Using an unidentified R n B sample, the production team again puts too much gloss on the song. The vocals are nice but all the double-tracking will not carry over live. Just let him sing Dammit!

Angels—-Perhaps the song that made Archuleta a fan favorite on Idol. He delivers a heartfelt, emotion drenching rendition of the Robbie Williams classic. Beautiful! Perhaps, this is the last we will hear of David until he wins a Tony. I think he will do fantastic on Broadway and look forward to what this Wunderkind will do in the future.

***1/2 out of 5


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