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Album review: David Archuleta's debut

David Archuleta Why do "American Idol" fans consistently reward male pop singers for being entirely sexless on the show? Pouty lips and flirty lashes are practically entrance requirements for female singers, and "rocker" guys can bellow and strut to their content. But there's a kind of elfish contestant who always does well despite the possibility of vanishing in a cloud of unicorn glitter were he to sing something arousing.

Which brings us to the curious case of David Archuleta's debut album. It's an exacting distillation of a 13-year-old girl's wholesome romantic aspirations as imagined by 50-year-old label reps. Yet the show revealed that image is actually true to Archuleta's personality (albeit, one creepily stage-managed by his dad). It's as if Archuleta's influences as a singer were solely previous "Idol" contestants, and he's a blank screen for viewers to project onto via millions of speed-dialed votes.

Archuleta has one magisterial single, "Crush," that will smother all who encounter it with the refinement of its craft. But the record is larded with awkward modernist R&B, Christian semaphore ballads like "You Can" and warm-milk mewling that makes David Cook, Archuleta's "Idol" foe, sound like Robert Plant.

The best teen pop is often code for exploring more dangerous ideas, yet Archuleta counts Tamyra Gray and Kelly Clarkson as influences in his liner notes. Kids deserve more salacious pandering than that.

--August Brown

David Archuleta
"David Archuleta"
One and a half stars

Comments () | Archives (72)

whoever wrote this issadly mistaken about so many thing i could hardly explain. david is an amazing singer who could sing the dictionary and people would fall in love with it. also his CD is amazing and deserves much more than 1.5 stars. in addition to that his CD contains many styles of music including rock, pop, r&b, and soul all amazing and non of it being warm-milk mewling. finally when you said "kids deserve more salacious pandering than that," all i could think of was um HELLO this person needs HELP! what type of adult would EVER say that. any adult with a brain in their head knows that saying something like that is contradictory to anything any parent (which i'm guessing you're not) or just sane adult in general would say. that is all i'm going to say right now, but seriously whoever wrote this should read this and rethink just about everything you just wrote (and maybe get some help while you're at it!)

Definitely agree with most of the comments here..

* brewster: Is this a review of David Archuleta's cd or a personal attack on David Archuleta..
* mAXIE2GO: David James Archuleta will never have to use sex to sell his music..
*Kelly: How about an elfish (read small-minded) and mean-spirited review that has nothing to do with the actual album..
* lindy: This is probably the worst review of an album I have ever read..

The conclusion: That is so shallow, small minded and stupid rewiew of yours, and yet you call yourself 'A reviewer?' You're supposed to help people knowing the songs of the album based on neutral and relevant suggestions, instead of giving attacks with your personal opinion.. This is what a 'review' supposed to be:

Posted by: LJ | November 12, 2008 at 01:39 PM
If you like music that is light-hearted, quite well-produced, and flies in the face of modern entertainment which favors cynicism and sex, then this album is for you.
Good tracks: "Running", "My Hands", "You Can", and "A Little Too Not Over You".

You still got a lot to learn to be a reviewer.. You're just a dumbass..

I love Archie, and at the live show, on tour, he was absolutely fantastic! I ordered the CD, played it, and was so disappointed in the songs! He deserves better than this. I thought I would love the whole album, but even Angels does not sound good. I feel really bad about this. It was a shock to me. I am a DC fan first, but also love Archie. Hope the next album will be more like he was on tour!


IT MAKES ME SICK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT THE ONLY WAY TO SELL SOMETHING IS IF IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH SEX!!! If David James' album pertained to sex at all would not have bought it...I think that he is a great role model b/c he is not like a lot of the perverted male celebrities/singers or whatever that think that the only way to sell something is if it has something sexual in it. I am so glad that "Archie" rises above all the garbage that is in our society.

It seems to be more of a personal attack on David Archuleta. I know "Hype" sells, but when talking about a minor child you end up showing an ugly and low side of yourself. I could handle any review based on his music/VOICE. This one kinda made my stomach turn! My guess is the writer doesn't have any kids.

Thanks for the laugh!
Get your facts straight and try again.

Are you kidding me....have you even listened to the album? I have been a fan of David since I first heard him on Idol, yet I was a little unsure of how his first single/album would turn out since he is so young. He might be "akward" in some people's eyes but I think he is refreshing and charming and when he opens his mouth to sing, it is hard to think that he was not born to do exactly what he is doing. When so many young stars are spiraling into a world where they don't embrace their youth but try to grow up too fast, I think young kids need an idol such as Archie. I only listened to a couple songs off of his ablum before I was sold on buying it. Crush of course is an amazing single but there are so many other songs which not only showcase his breathtaking voice but also his sweet personality. You need to open your ears and listen a little better because you obviously are missing a great talent.

David Archuleta has an amazing voice and his entire album is insanly great. You guys who think it's bad, you all have bad taste in music!

uhm, you're completely wrong.

August Brown, August Brown, August Brown!!!!
Supposed it is an album review? You must be kidding the whole world!!!!
I wonder actually do you really know music at all? I don't think so...and you also have no child of your own. Your review is mean heartless and also useless.
You will eat your words!!!! You are just jealous that when you were 17 years old your life was miserable that's why, unconciously you want to hurt David's feeling because you see him as the somebody who is totally the opposite of yourself when you were as young as David A. You want to have what David has right now, a lot of friends, a beautiful voice, a clean life, etc,...........Oh yes did I mention a very handsome face?
Listen to his CD first before you are in a hurry write a mean and stupid review like that. Are you happy now after writing your review or you feel ashamed of yourself???

David's voice is pure, inspiring and angelic.

He hit the right note when he did John Lennon's "Imagine".

The image he cultivates here doesn't feel authentic and the songs are disappointing.

Personally, I hope this effort is not so successful.

Lets face it---David is "lettuce boy". So, let's keep it fresh and real.

Very disappointing from the person who should have won idol. Not very good.

Wow @ the comments of people disagreeing with the reviewer.

I don't recall everyone having to have the same opinion. if he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to write that he does.
You guys are stupid.

Where have you been August? The following line of your review pretty much sums up the amount of knowledge on which you base your review of David Archuleta, "Archuleta's influences as a singer were solely previous "Idol" contestants..." Anyone who has listened to any of David Archuleta's interviews knows that many of his musical influences are some of music's greats, and certainly NOT Idol alumni. Although he considers Tamyra Grey, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, and others from Idol among his inspirations, he has repeatedly given props to great singers, such as Eva Cassidy, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, as well as more recent successful artists such as, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles, and Jason Mraz. None of whom have graduated from American Idol! Get your facts in front of you before you condemn someone for having the courage to admit that watching a reality show like American Idol as a child actually gave them the spark to follow their dreams and risk undeserved critical analysis in the first place. David Archuleta's debut album, produced in under 3 months, while on tour with AI, has been well-received by his fans and others in the music industry, despite the lack of production time. I'm no teenager, and I personally can't get enough of David's diverse and angelic voice.

This review, clearly, was wayyy off base. This is probably one of the best pop albums of the year, because it has personality and it is very genuine. There was no pandering, if anything I would expect that the ballads would have been a bit too gooey for the fans, but they have been well received. This kids is one hell of a vocalist and I think it would be a travesty if August didn't correct this.

I think too much of this review was based on his idol career and it feels like August didn't even listen to the CD, because she used general terms and never cited any specific songs. As John Stewart might say, this review "sounds like something an eight year old would write when they didn't read the book."

NO WAY! :) Seriously though, I love David Archuleta. We should be glad that someone so cute and innocent is so successful. It says good things about young people that they can appreciate such rich and sincere talent.

Betcha this review looks stupid now...close to a million copies sold already, David's tour is going international, he's cutting a second CD. People who don't HAVE talent, usually hate on those who do. And until you see David LIVE...you have NO idea what he's truly capable of doing. Don't limit David with your sterile words to get hits on your review. Apparently millions of fans.. really disagree with you.

First of all, i thought no one under 13 was allowed to comment? Archuleta is so bland he's dangerous. His music should be a government regulated substance. The only people that should be exposed to his music are people who are just about to be operated on. "David Archuleta" would make an excellent aneasthetic.

ahahah you know nothing about music
good job dude LMFAO

August Brown. Shame. Shame. Shame. Sex sells? Oh, why golly gee wiz. How original of you!! Yes, "it" might sell, but people with talent don't need to use it to sell anything. Their talent sells itself. Got it?

Sounding like Robert Plant is a good thing nowadays?
Some people are just so delusional.
Listen to more dad rock plz

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