From the looks of it – according to my last poll – most of you are playing David’s recent music (BEGIN. and No Matter How Far) on replay. What is interesting to note, however, is that many of you are all over the place in terms of what you’re listening to, even including his debut album, and I’m still amazed at David’s outpouring of musical efforts, considering his still very young age.
Still, because some of you brought up his debut album, I found myself revisiting it over the weekend, and it hit me how much I’ve had to make “adjustments.”
What I mean is: back when David had a hit song with “Crush,” fresh off his appearance on Idol and while signed to Jive (back when they were still a thriving label), everything seemed so possible, and the sky really was the limit. Nowadays, we know better (I hope).
After all it didn’t take long before things hit a snag. Jive wanted to market him as a bubblegum teen star (marketed to tweens of course), and then it looked like David’s “team” took him in the classical direction by having him work on a Christmas album, and then nothing much happened with his sophomore effort.
And then, David and Jive “parted ways,” and then David went on his mission.
What is fascinating to me, in revisiting David Archuleta, is how much Jive had wanted to capture David’s innocence while also wanting him to grow. The serious album cover (still a favorite of mine), the bold red colors, the opening shot of his music video for “Crush,” in which he’s playing on the piano. I saw “teen pop” meets virtuoso and an attempt to at least cast David as a serious musician with a young pop side.
As a fanbase, we were pretty unanimous as far as this particular direction. However, it was telling when we started bickering around the time his label couldn’t decide to either give “A Little Too Not Over You” a chance or to quickly move on with “Touch My Hand.” The self-assuredness in marketing “Crush” was not replicated in marketing any of these gems, and I’ll never understand why “Zero Gravity” didn’t get a chance.
I’ll always maintain my personal belief that “Waiting for Yesterday” was the “obvious” second single release (but of course wasn’t so obvious since it was released on the deluxe edition of the album).
Then again, Desperate and Running were also promising. Not to mention a ballad could have worked.
Oy! Musical identity crisis!
However, since radio hits are no longer a guarantee for success, maybe artists can now get back to focusing on the music for a change? Maybe David will get support in that way, if nothing else.