What’s the Plan? David, Music, and Talent
Perhaps most of you have been wondering why I hadn’t offered a review of David’s latest album, No Matter How Far, the way I usually do when a new album is released.
Well, what can I say? There was nothing to say. I looked through the album’s offerings, compared it to what I already had and downloaded those singles I didn’t have. So, the news that NMHF only grossed 5,000 in sales is no surprise to me, nor was I expecting anything better.
And, to be honest: who cares? Seriously, who cares? Does David care while he’s away on his mission? Just on principle, he shouldn’t care, so why should we?
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a whole extra album, not after I already got BEGIN., which I’m perfectly satisfied with, even if it’s mostly an album of covers.
But here’s the thing: when you are The Voice and have a heckuva vocal mastery, as Randy used to say: “You can sing the phonebook.”
But just because David can sing the phonebook doesn’t mean he should! You know what I’m saying?
Not long ago, I caught Clive Davis on Bill Maher’s show on HBO, in which he was asked about his management of some of the greatest singers, and what he said about Whitney Houston was quite revealing. He said that once he discovered her amazing stellar vocals, he knew he had to find the best songs to help show off her voice, which meant matching her up with the best songwriters and producers in the business. And the rest, as they say, is history.
There’s a reason we adore David’s covers (whether they be Christmas carols, sacred songs, or pop standards). The songs are stellar, and his Voice takes them to another level. There’s a reason “Crush” was so popular back in the day (it’s a really good pop song!).
The most recent music released do not represent David at his finest; indeed, they seem so – what’s the word I’m looking for? – yes, they seem so “serviceable.”
But who are these songs servicing? Who on this side of North America is working to put out these new (and not so new) tracks while David serves his church in South America?
I know it ain’t for fans like myself, who had prepared for a two-year absence. Am I pleasantly surprised when we get something new? Sure! I wasn’t expecting BEGIN. I sure as heck wasn’t expecting No Matter How Far, and while I’m pleased as punch with BEGIN., I found myself having more of a “meh” response to NMHF. In other words, he can do better. It’s cool and all that David’s team wants to satisfy the hardcore fanbase but I’d rather wait until David is in full commission and can wow us with real excellence.
Is it going to be hard for David to make his impact in this fickle music industry? Of course it will be. Heck, even a mega superstar like Beyonce, who headlined the Super Bowl this year and sang at President Obama’s inauguration, doesn’t feel self-assured enough to take a break from music (the way a Sade or a Justin Timberlake did).
David gambled and decided his faith was more important, and I respect him for that, but I believe he knew the risks and I also believe, when he’s ready to give his full devotion, he’ll come back and begin at Ground Zero. Sure, he needs good management and a solid enough label (independent or otherwise).
But more importantly, he needs good music – the kind that can leave an imprint, not the kind that’s just there to quench the thirsts of obsessive fans who’ve already drunk from the Archu fountain.
No one can predict the future, but I’d like to see David at least have a plan while the rest of us give him breathing room to pursue it. And maybe we’ll keep following. I’m here basically keeping the vigil (and because I still have folks showing up here, I got to keep that candle burning).
But, I know the passions I had have simmered a bit but I still have hope that The Voice will know how to rekindle them again. But I want good music, real Soul David music.
I’m not the type of fan who’ll settle for the phonebook.