Album Reviews

David Archuleta DAVID ARCHULETA [Jive]

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Preteen girls these days have more than their fair share of boy pop idols to worship. Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas alone could whip the Hanson Brothers in any dreamboat contest. Zac Efron pretends to play basketball while singing, driving 12-year-old girls wild while giving them false ideas about what high school boys look like. Finally there is David Archuleta, the 17-year-old American Idol sensation, admired for his astoundingly clear vocals and endearingly awkward demeanor. Archuleta's self-titled debut comes out tomorrow, every inch of which was designed to make tween girls (and secret college-aged fangirls) cry and ache for his love.

The album cover says a lot about what David Archuleta tries to convey about the singer. He's mature, yet has baby-like innocence. He's clean, yet slightly dangerous. And most of all, he wants to be your boyfriend and hold your hand. You alone out of his 90,796 MySpace friends. He says so in "Touch My Hands," not to be confused with "My Hands," a different song about unrequited, desperate love, which is a totally separate song from "Desperate," about agonizing, intense, world-ending passion. Could there be a pattern here?

David Archuleta is going to top the charts and not only because of the masterful way it appeals to young girls. Archuleta is an extremely talented singer with a voice that defies his age, height and personality. From album-opening single "Crush" to the several ballads for which he is revered, every song shows off Archuleta's flawless clarity and diction. He is successful at tortured-soul whisper-singing, angsty bellowing in an echo chamber and quivering falsetto. This album is pure, perfect pop music, the stuff of romantic middle school slow dances, and David Archuleta is perfect as a wholesome pop idol.

-Hannah Jewell






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