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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
David Cook
David Archuleta- David Archuleta

Ballads dominate somewhat conventional debut
David Archuleta Name: "David Archuleta"
Label: Jive/Zomba/SMG
Release Date: November 11, 2008
My rating: 4.0/5

Review written by: Kelly Ryder
If you're an avid 'American Idol' fan, you couldn't have missed seventeen year old David Archuleta face David Cook in the Season 7 finale back in May of 2008.  While Archuleta didn't beat out Cook for the title, David proves himself to still be worthy of being an American Idol with his self-titled debut album 'David Archuleta,' which hit stores on November 11, 2008.  The album is filled with a slight variety of genres while pointing mainly towards the pop scene, which is commonly seen from past American Idol winners.

The album opens with Archuleta's first single, 'Crush'.  The song is a catchy, pop-flavored song mainly geared towards the tweens and teens going through the long, awkward process of finding love.  The song was definitely made-for-radio, which generally means whether you like the song or not you will catch on to the song and find yourself involuntarily singing along.

'Touch My Hand' and 'A Little Too Not Over You' are both appealing, made-for-radio songs that might become annoying after too many radio plays.  'A Little Too Not Over You' will be the next single from the self-titled album.

'My Hands' is definitely one of the most creative songs on the album lyrics-wise.  The chorus starts with "But it's harder to hold on to your hands and the hands of time/I need a hand, girl, I'm trying to hold on/Losing strength in these hands of mine", giving the song an added boost of creativity.  But speaking of creativity, the titles of 'Touch My Hand' and 'My Hands' are far too similar and a little more creativity could have been put into naming those songs.

As expected, David has a few ballads on the album as well.  In fact, nearly half of the album consists of ballads.  Some of these include 'You Can', 'Don't Let Go', and 'To Be With You'.  'To Be With You' has background vocals from new American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi and is one of the most powerful songs on the album, showing off his wide vocal range.

The album ends with one of the American Idol favorites, 'Angels', originally written by Robbie Williams.  The song, while being one of David's favorites performed on American Idol, sounded better live on American Idol than it does on the album.  It's safe to say that David took more risks to impress the audience and judges panel on Idol, something he did not have to do when recording the song for the album.  John Lennon's 'Imagine' would have been a better fit for the album closer.

Overall, David Archuleta's self-titled debut album might be exactly what you would expect from the Season 7 American Idol runner-up.  The album is basically filled with made-for-radio songs, but Archuleta does a good job working with what he could.  David stated in an interview that he wanted to be able to explore different genres to see what fit him best, but Jive Records seemed to put a hold on his exploration because in the end the album can only fit under the pop genre, geared more towards the tweens and teens.  If you're a fan of David already, you won't be disappointed by this album, but you will probably not be able to spot much of a difference in this album compared to his expected sound labeled by the media.

Cristina CarrazzaKelly Ryder is the regional head for the South/Southeast region at Musiqtone.com. You can contact her at kellyryder@musiqtone.com or fill out this feedback form below.
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