Monthly Archives: April 2012

David Featured on Fox’s 25th Anniversary Special

Thank you, JR, for uploading this segment (for those of you who missed the moment – yes, I just heard the Voice while I was in the kitchen, which was enough to get me bolting to my living room and screaming my head off!)

Isn’t it awesome that David’s “Imagine” is featured, right before Fantasia’s “Summertime”? (And isn’t it shady that Fantasia’s performance gets labeled as the best performance on Idol while there’s just silence about David’s – of course, you just need to hear the Voice to make up your own mind.)

Imagine David Moved to Tears Singing This!

I know all this missionary training/LDS devotional time is about David and not about us, but you must forgive me. I read over at TDC (thanks Grammyj for the link!) how David was so moved to tears singing about “The Spirit of God” (in Spanish no less), and it had such an impact on those present, that I had to hear it for myself.

Our David is an awesome guy, and I can imagine him doing a good job “converting” just on the strength of his Voice.  🙂

As his parents once told him, when convincing him to sing in public, “don’t hide your light under a bushel,” David!

Just knowing that he’ll be using his magnificent vocals in some kind of way during his mission warms my heart.

What power! What conviction! What faith!

And how much more soul-piercing was it watching him tear up singing this! 😀

This is how you take a song (and a staid little hymn at that) and make people feel it!

I don’t even know the lyrics in English, but I can definitely feel the “spirit of God” moving in that tiny little vessel of flesh called David Archuleta.

What Happened to “Diversity” on Idol (the Musical Kind)?

Funny, but in the previous thread, when someone posted a version of Eva Cassidy’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the comments section, it reminded me of her version of “Imagine,” which had inspired David’s memorable rendition of “Imagine” when he performed during Top 20 week on Idol. Of course, I got nostalgic and revisited that magical moment:

And just like that, watching this beautiful rendition, everything just clicked.  It’s that incessant question both TV viewers and critics have been pondering in the past few seasons on American Idol: Why do we no longer get “moments” on the show? It’s not for lack of competent singers, and this year alone, we’ve got some fine powerhouse contenders (Hollie, Jessica, Skylar, Joshua), but here’s the clincher:

Not since Season 8 has any contestant been challenged to sing outside of their “box.”  For it is moving beyond that “box” that we get the moments to happen.

Season 1, it happened when Kelly Clarkson took on the “big band” song, “Stuff Like That There.”

Why was this a “moment”? Because, up until that point, she’d been singing the power-belting adult contemporary/R&B tunes. She stepped outside her box.

Season 2, it happened when Kimberly Locke sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”:

Why was this a “moment”? Because, she stepped out of her “box” of usual contemporary staples and took on a classic standard and wowed with her vocals.

Season 3, again, it happened when Fantasia sang “Summer Time”:

Why was this a “moment”? Because, like Kim Locke, she took on a classic standard, stepped away from her staple of gospel and R&B, and sang the song! (IMO, she did the same when she took on Willy Nelson’s “Always on My Mind”.)

Season 4, it happened when Carrie Underwood stepped out of her “country” box and sang “Alone”:

I’m going to fast forward to Season 6, when one of my favorite “moments” happened with Melinda Doolittle singing “My Funny Valentine” with such perfection:

All of these fine moments of great Idol performances. Something that we don’t get, and I blame the producers for forcing contestants into boxes.  After David wowed us with “Imagine,” the next logical step was to give a diverse range of songs for him to continue having “moments” with, not just sticking to the “inspirational” kind. That’s what got him labeled “boring” by some.

And ever since David Cook changed up songs to “fit” his rock guitar style, other contestants in later seasons started doing this too.  Hence, we get audiences oohing-and-aahing that Kris Allen acoustified Kanye West’s “Heartless,” or just recently, Phillip Phillips slowed down Usher’s “You Got It Bad.”

Obviously, there are limits to fitting songs into one’s style, and I’m positively certain Colton got voted off this week for 1)ruining Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” through that atrocious rockified version and 2)rendering Earth, Wind, and Fire completely unrecognizable through his emo version of “September” (Get outta here with that mess! America obviously agreed with me.)

After awhile, I’m going to get bored with Skylar countrifying every song. I was impressed with her version of Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” but why in God’s name couldn’t she have sung Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” straight? Why are producers forcing these contestants into their neat little boxes?

Because you know what? Sklyar could have a moment doing a big band song a la Kelly Clarkson without the country change.  In fact, if she had such a “moment” she could easily win.

Hollie could also have a “moment” if she took on a Barbra Streisand song. Imagine if she had to dig deep and do “The Way We Were” or “Papa, Can You Hear Me,” or a Broadway song like “Memories” or “On My Own.”

Imagine Jessica taking on Gershwin or Ella Fitzgerald? (And no, Jimmy, she doesn’t need to sing age-appropriate songs, she needs to feel her songs, whatever the age.)

Imagine Elise singing “Over the Rainbow,” or Joshua letting loose on “Unchained Melody” or singing a Broadway tune like “Impossible Dream.”

All could have genuine “moments” with standards.

Imagine (gasp!) Phillip Phillips getting rid of his guitar and singing a capella, like Bo Bice did back in Season 4:

And if PP can’t impress us by doing this, then he needs to get voted off like Colton. Cause yes, here is where I agree with Randy: This is a singing competition!

Diversity.  Musical diversity. That’s what the show is lacking, and that’s why I was not impressed with last year’s winner Scotty McCreery, who never once sang outside his country genre.  Would it have killed him to sing Barry White or Lou Rawls for example, other famous baritones? Previous contestants constantly proved their merit by changing and singing in different styles and genres. Worry about the “box” after the show, is what I say.

And push them out of their boxes, Idol producers! Have you forgotten how this works? Have you forgotten what makes for compelling TV viewing?

The remaining Top 6 contestants definitely have potential, but everyone’s playing it safe, and I for one will always appreciate David for taking the risks that he did, at so young an age, when others can’t seem to find their “soul.”

A Birthday Gift for Myself!

Well, Soul David, today is my birthday, and I’m in that in-between feeling of glee and fear: glee to have made it for another year and fear that I’m getting old!

Go figure!

At the very least, I will count my blessings, treat myself, and just take the day easy before my friends take me out for a birthday dinner this evening.

Part of the “treating” of myself entailed buying David’s Forevermore album once it was made available on iTunes (sorry, but those other websites selling the CD I did not recognize and I’ve got issues entering my credit card info any and everywhere online). At least I already have an established account with itunes.

Anyhow, I was starting to feel like a “bad fan” because I couldn’t get excited about this Forevermore album – despite David’s vanishing act for two years. Not because I’m allergic to an album full of ballads (I’ve been aching for such an album from David for “forever”!) but because the music quality sounded trite to me. I’m of the opinion that The Voice deserves the best treatment, and I was convinced from the song leaks (especially from the leaked title track) that the album was a rushed job filled with the cheesy cheese, as captured in sentimental fluff pieces like “Forevermore.”

Well, with David now out of our sphere and in another one this week, and sadness and nostalgia kicking in, along with the news that the album was available for purchase on itunes, I finally gave in and downloaded Forevermore.

I’m so glad that I did and that I have new David music to accompany my birthday celebration! 🙂

I still don’t like the title track – and the bonus instrumental version of “Forevermore” is even worse since the only thing that made that tune bearable (the Voice) is missing from it! – but everything else is really good.

David just has that ache in his Voice, you know? It’s that vulnerability that just enters into your heart and makes you swoon. It’s most audible in songs like “I’ll Never Go,” “Tell Me,” “Wherever You Are,” and “Maybe.”

I’m torn between “I’ll Never Go” and “Maybe” as my favorite tracks, and “Rainbow” is the most interesting in having that laid-back quality.  Of course, “I’ll Never Go” reminds me of some contemporary Christian song but I’m having trouble pinpointing which one it resembles.

“Tell Me” and “Maybe” have that sad “Apologize”/”My Kind of Perfect” aspect to them. I’m absolutely loving it that this album is less about “inspirational music” and more about “heartache” and pleading.  Talk about keeping his fanbase waiting on hands and knees for his return!

I swear David knows exactly what he’s doing when dealing with us. 😉

Other highlights include “Reaching Out,” which has a more soulful vibe, and it vaguely reminds me of a Michael Jackson ballad, like “She’s Out of My Life,” and “Hold On,” another heartbreaker.

Knowing that an album of covers is also coming later this year, I’m excited once again that David was so generous to give us his Voice before he left to devote to his personal and spiritual growth.

We couldn’t have asked for a better idol, and I’m grateful for this little gem he gave us.

Too bad the album cover art looks so amateurish.

Forevermore on iTunes!