Daily Archives: April 28, 2009

Subverting the Disney Image of David Archuleta

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Now that it is clear David’s record label Jive is insistent on going the Disney teen star route – associating David with the Mickey Mouse set, from Hannah Montana to iCarly to touring with Demi Lovato – I’m starting this blog for no other reason than to preserve and reclaim the “Soul Man from Utah” and to subvert some fabricated commercial vision of Youth.

I mean, yes, it makes sense for his label to cultivate  a tween demographic since the older set (young adults) might look at David and immediately think “Disney.” I do believe I’ve seen more than a few comments from non-fans who saw him return to American Idol’s stage last week and responded with “He’s still too cheesy and Disney for me.”  The new single, “Touch My Hand,” doesn’t help with its uncomplicated and unimaginative lyrics.  Still, I imagine those particular older and cynical audiences have yet to be seduced by The Voice.  They unfortunately have yet to hear his aching and longing on a ballad like “Somebody Out There,” nor have they been privy to the danceable and hookable “Zero Gravity,” which has already inspired some cool remixes.

Since I’ve exhausted myself waiting for Jive to take David’s artistry seriously, I thought I’d create yet another blog, like The David Chronicles (consider us the “Soul Sistah” to that site), and take him seriously here! I invite you to participate in this alternative dialogue.  And rediscover his “Soul” – the “Shop Around” David, the “Heaven” David,  who wants his listeners to “understand” him when he sings.

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And since I like debates and don’t shy away from the tough subjects – like politics, race, sexuality, culture wars, and the like – I hope we can explore all these forces and what they mean when we contemplate David’s artistry.

Oh, in time, he will outgrow the Disney persona that is being forced on him (and forced on him for no other reason than that David looks young and seems innocent). I personally would like to dig deeper beneath that superficial facade since I’ve caught a glimpse and know there’s more to the “Soul” of David Archuleta.

– Hello Gorgeous