David the Soul Singer

It’s fascinating to me that David would define himself as a “soul singer” and that this label would mean “singing deeply with feeling,” or as he once said on Idol, “like you really mean it.”  Which is a clever way of saying, “No, I’m not a pop singer.”

In many ways, when we consider the success of Adele’s 21 album, that’s the kind of “soul singing” David should be doing.  That, plus the nice matchup with a producer like Rick Rubin, who seems to be the “It” producer at present, aiming for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year with 21, putting out a new album from Red Hot Chili Pepper next month (can’t wait!), and attributed with the hot-selling success of Adele, who got introduced to him by the Dixie Chicks, the country group who told Rick about this great new singer from the UK.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Now that David knows that he is a “soul singer,” and is willing to embrace it, wouldn’t it be the coolest if someone hooked him up with Rubin, who could help him craft an Adele-like 21?  I imagine it would help if he were, you know, attached to a label, like Adele’s Columbia.  All in good time, I guess (and until David’s management at present has these connections, I’ll remain skeptical about their prospects in advancing David’s career).

What’s important to me, at this juncture, is that David is willing to explore this aspect of his vocality, and I sure hope he gets enough chances to do so.  Of course, the thing I’ve always been curious about is how this vocal genius, the kind who got to chit chat on the phone with a legend like MJ of all peeps, would detour from his core “Soul Man from Utah” persona crafted from his Star Search days when he appeared on Idol and during his time at Jive.

When you consider, for instance, that, had he had the kind of trajectory where he followed his “Shop Around” performance during Top 24 week with a Stevie Wonder song, say something like “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” during the ’70s theme of Top 20 week (when he unleashed John Lennon’s “Imagine” on us – which in all honesty should have been revealed to us during the Top 12 Beatles week so he didn’t peak too early), no one would have thought it was incongruous when he performed Chris Brown’s “With You” during Top 3 week.  I once read that David was encouraged to “tone down” his soulful R&B persona on Idol (in God’s name, Why???) so that he would get further ahead.

I imagine, had he crafted his “soul singer” persona during those competitive days, Jive might have ventured outside the tiny box they put him in and cultivate a younger Justin Timberlake type career.

I take heart that David sees Michael Jackson as a role model to look up to; let’s hope he finds the right producer, as MJ did, to unleash the “soul singer” we all know David to be.  Maybe it will be a Rick Rubin or someone close.  All I know is, I’d love to hear the Voice put out something like Adele’s “Turning Tables,” because, IMHO, David’s got more “soul” than even she does, and she’s got enough, mind you.  David may not have the “bluesy” vocals that she does, but when you listen to David do something like this:

There is hands down no comparison! And keep in mind that this song ain’t even bluesy or soul, just straight pop like it’s intended. That’s just what the Voice did with it.

Somebody, please give David some amazing songs to work with, if not some amazing covers. I want to cry, weep, melt, swoon, get hot and bothered (especially when he himself is hot and bothered and steamy, and well endowed – yeah I noticed, but I digress) when I listen to the Voice. It’s not hard on popish songs. What then when the songs are tailor made for his “soul singing” self?

Still holding out hope…


Posted on July 17, 2011, in David's career, music, public image. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. You must be reading David’s mind HG. He talked in an interview how much he likes what Adele does with her music and says he wants to be able to do that.
    Snow Angelz has the interview and exact quote. (don’t know how to attach it here but Kizzi had posted it and Tofan reposted it) Check it out.
    Love how in depth you can go on these things.

  2. Great article! I’m only familiar with a few of Adele’s songs but I love what I’ve heard. Her vocals are powerful and distinct and her songs have depth. I think Jennifer Hudson should take note of Adele’s approach. Jennifer has the pipes but to me, she needs stronger material.

    As for David, he’s definitely in a league of his own. I hope these performances can be used to show music execs how much he has evolved as an artist.

    And Ralph, if you’re lurking, David is showing us some new freestyle dance moves ~2:10-2:18. 🙂

    • Yes, I’m a lurking and loving the Jakarta videos.

      Great post HG. Hope you had a great vacation, too.

  3. Last night I watched a movie w/Diana Ross and Brandy (as her daughter). Diana played an established singer and Brandy was trying to make it in the business. In brief, the label execs put Brandy on the fast track to superstardom and Ross was very wary of their intentions. (They were looking for huge, quick profits.) Brandy’s 1st single hit #2 on the charts, the label had her appear on award shows, etc. Brandy soon announced that she was going on tour. Ross looked at her and said, “How can you be ready for a tour? You have no band! You’ve never even rehearsed for a tour!”

    Anywho, all this made me think of David, a band being formed for him, the Jingle Balls, appearing in Madison Square Garden AFTER Kanye, etc. That was probably too much too soon for someone with only one hit song. I’m glad things are going his way now.

    *From the last thread: Joymus, enjoy your travels!

  4. Great Post, hg. I agree with everything you wrote. Adele is one of my favorites. I hope David can find a producer and label in the future that will help produce the music that we all know is there from the “soul singer.” Rick Rubin would be a wonderful choice as a producer.

  5. HG He sang HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Yep, I agree with HG’s post. I always wondered, too, what made David stray from his “soul-singing” roots when that is such a huge part of his musical identity and what he basically pwns everybody at. Nobody can touch him when he’s in his element there, and yet…he’s been trying his hand at everything except that. Kind of excited at the prospect that he might return to where he belongs..:)

    And yes, D desperately needs a mgmt team that actually wants to advance his career. I’ll leave it at that. HG~ You have a tiny email from me. 🙂

  7. Heidijoy, Yes, yes, yes, he sang “Heaven” !!!!!!!!! Chills

    • I am a pile of slobbering goo with Heaven on repeat. It’s another one of the “moments”…

  8. O. M. G.

  9. A moment, indeed.

    Small wonder so many of us flock to whatever concerts we can get to. Those moments happen at regular but random intervals and life is just richer if we are in the same room with him when they happen.

  10. Twitter is all aflutter today and rightly so. I am blown away by David. AGAIN. He’s never looked more confident or sounded better. I realized today was a total loss after the first video came in. I can’t even concentrate on anything else. YouTube and David Archuleta own my life. lol

    I also loved his look today. Total SUPER STAR!!

    This Sephia version of Heaven is nice too:


  11. With just one word, “heaven”, sung with the purity of spirit so as to open up Heaven and reveal another mansion of the pure beauty of love and light. Exalted.

  12. raelovingangels

    Belated compliments on the great post!

  13. I’m a lurker but the videos from his Asian concerts make it hard to stay there! It’s great to see (and, especially, hear) him REALLY step into his soulful nature and grow as a performer: owning the stage; eyes wide open and connecting with the audience, performing songs fearlessly. And to have good backing vocals carry the tune, while David does what he does best–improvise! It’s your time, David—-GO!!

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