Sentimentality vs. Emotional Depth

Before I give my opinion on David’s new song “Glorious,” I’m just going to remind everyone that this guy was capable of writing a song like this one when he was all of 17:

Ya’ hear that, Soul Davidians? Emotional depth, melodious melancholy, and that achingly “weeping” note that only the Voice can deliver.

Yeah…where is that David that I fell in love with it?

The main thing saving “Glorious” for me is 1.) it’s sung by The Voice, which has been muted for much too long! and 2.) it has the potential to grow on me with repeat listens.

But without David’s glorious notes on “Glorious,” this song would be so….mediocre.

Yes, I expect better. This is David we’re talking about. The guy who made me “feel a song” as old and schlocky as Bryan Adam’s “Heaven”:

This is the Voice who restored the sacred in a sacred song that had become secular as he did with the soulful melisma that ends “Joy to the World” (beginning after the 3:00 minute mark):

And finally, this is the Voice that had me swooning and melting all over the place with this:

I want the magic and I want the intimacy.  David is too emotionally deep to reduce his song output to sentimentality. And perhaps that has always been the elephant in the room: that unspoken angst in the midst of all the Fan Wars.

His focus on his faith just might curtail his emotional impulses, where he stops trusting the passions of his soul and instead focuses on the dogmas and the doctrines.

I say this, not to knock his faith. Far from it! If his faith is where his passion lies, then I want him to dig deep into that and bring out the passion and make us feel it! I don’t want some do-right-by-the-book sermon that substitutes real-life struggles and real emotions for some superficial message about how we should all come together in perfect harmony. That’s kid’s stuff and child’s play.

David has shown us when he was a teenager what he was capable of, and now that he’s a grown man, I don’t want to see him regressing or retreat from being his authentic self in his own authentic Voice.

“Glorious” gets a pass because it looks like a soundtrack for a faith-based film.  It’s fine if he wants to contribute to his church in these ways, but for the rest of us, I hope he gets back into the groove of what made him so special and what made me willing to spend $250 for VIP tickets and a 2-hour drive to see him in the flesh and hear him live.

If David is not ready yet to dig deep with his own songwriting, then I’ll be more than happy to hear him cover other songs.  He has always been at his strongest when the excellence of a song suited the excellence of his Voice.

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Posted on October 1, 2014, in music. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. I agree about the emotional depth of this song, HG. You know David did not write it, right? It’s a cover.
    That’s not to say he would have written something with more emotional depth himself because I don’t know but he was working with what he had.

    That said, I do think he pulled out as much emotion as he could in the song. I wish it were a bit longer because it seemed like he was just getting ramped up and then…it’s over.

    I read someone say here the other day that they’re more excited for Son of Man (Comes Again). From the clip, I agree. And that’s one that he did cowrite.

  2. “His focus on his faith just might curtail his emotional impulses, where he stops trusting the passions of his soul and instead focuses on the dogmas and the doctrines.”

    Interestingly enough, I was talking to a fan via email about this after she listened to Glorious. It was her concern, not mine. I have felt this way, at times and I’m looking forward to this concern being debunked with the new album. (Hoping) I’m just accepting Glorious for what it is, at this particular moment. It’s just so good to hear him.

    Hope that made sense. Rushing to get to a Zumba class!

  3. I have to say that I’m loving Glorious. The first time I heard it, my reaction was that his voice was so pretty! Not sure if that’s even the right word for it lol. But I wasn’t thinking it was a song I would listen to a ton though. To my surprise, as I listened a few more times (and especially with headphones on where I could hear the nuances), I have become hooked on it. Quite hooked.

    I definitely wouldn’t be mad at him if he did more soulful music to go along with this kind of stuff too though 😉

    • His voice is so many things on different songs, sometimes different things in the same song. Lol Seriously, his tone is lovely on this one. Like it’s in a real sweet spot. To my ears, at least.

      I’ve listened to it on repeat, too. Can’t fake that. When I don’t like a David song, even his voice can’t save it for me.

  4. Hg, wow, fantastic post. You expressed what I, due to my lack of ability to write, was unable to convey. I totally agree.

    • Cq, I just want you to know when I asked you in the previous thread why you didn’t like the song, I wasn’t accusing you of not liking it because it was potentially religious. I was asking more because everything you said about the song was positive, so I was genuinely curious about what it was that you didn’t like. I’m still interested in that answer from YOUR perspective.

      My jury is out regarding Son Of Man. And that’s extremely religious so I know most people would automatically assume I love it but I do judge each song on its merits…ok,ok, I do recognize I probably am a little bit biased if David is singing a song…but I don’t think everything he has ever sung, is perfect in every way.

      But glorious….I genuinely do think is glorious and just what I needed right now in my life.

  5. Thank you for your insight, HG. I had not thought about it that way but it is something to listen for.

    I found “Glorious” to be a song that fits well in the background while I’m working. Usually I’m listening to a mixed playlist and found that when David’s voice came on, I’d be pulled out of my concentration to listen. “Glorious” doesn’t have that pull yet but perhaps that would change if he got a chance to perform it live a bunch of times.

  6. Very interesting post, HG. As I mentioned in the previous thread I think that Glorious is absolutely beautiful, and from a production standpoint its nearly perfect. Having said that, I have noticed that David’s voice has changed a bit in the last two years. The effortless vibrato-infused glory note that was the trademark of his ballads in years past is no longer present in his more recent performances. He’s still pitch perfect, but that particular feature appears to be gone. Or maybe he’s purposely suppressing it thinking that a flatter tone is more fitting for a pop song. I remember when he recorded Falling Stars he said he had to work on flattening his tone because his vibrato did not fit the song. He also mentioned recently that when recording Glorious he had to focus on using his “pop” style because he was so used to singing hymns. I hope that he doesn’t believe that his beautiful vibrato was some sort of flaw. To me it was the thing that made his voice particularly unique, and I hope to hear if flood an arena once again some day.

    • Did you hear him sing “Bring Him Home”? He hit some amazing notes with that beautiful tenor vibrato. I don’t think we need to worry.

    • That’s interesting My 2 Cents. He did say he had to get his voice used to singing pop again. Compared to hymns, he may have associated that with less vibrato.

      Yes, it’s the vibrato infused glory note, that most people want to hear. It’s probably not easy to incorporate that into a pop song, especially an up-tempo, catchy pop song, which many people also want. I wonder how David will reconcile that going forward and how reconcilable it even is?

      I was going to say something else but I’ve lost it now. Lol

  7. I don’t think the lyrics to Glorious are sentimental because they’re not just “pie in the sky”. I believe that The song expresses a heartfelt belief held by David and many others. That we are all created for a purpose and a destiny orchestrated by God. ( Which I believe, btw, even tho I don’t always act like it.) I know that probably sounds pretty cheesy. haha I can’t wait to see the video. Especially the “weird” motions. 🙂

  8. justhanginaround

    Great post, HG. I can feel your conviction loud and clear, and appreciate how you have expressed your opinion on the song and your continuous appreciation of David’s talent.
    When I first heard the song, I thought it was just okay – it was sweet, it was nice – but yes, David is destined for more incredible material that will let his voice shine and his heart reach out to people.
    I am keeping in mind that it’s a song that’s been used for their youth gatherings at church and is now a song for a movie — not the usual stuff that David works with and releases.

    To be honest, I think the fans – for good reason – have just been missing David and his voice so much. Hence, the incredible reaction. His voice sounds amazing on this song of course…but that’s David! I am a little underwhelmed by the song, but impressed with David’s voice, as ever.

    That being said – with the group of writers he’s working with now – I am truly looking forward to his 2015 album! I expect great things from David — only because I know his level of excellence.

  9. justhanginaround

    Hi All,

    Here is a link to David’s new music video for “Glorious.” Enjoy.

    • Ha!!! Nope, no way I ain’t loving this song! And oh boy….when he’s singing with those ‘hand gestures’ lol….I got that crazy, angsty, longing feeling I used to get, that is pleading…..I want to be there in that studio and experience that voice in real life! Ugh, what is about him and his voice, it does things to ya. Things almost too big it’s painful trying to contain them all in your body. Lol

  10. Glass Half Full

    That just took my breath away. Seeing him actually sing it gives a whole new layer to the song.

    • justhanginaround

      I completely agree! Nice to see him performing again — even just in a studio recording like that.

  11. I came here to post the video, but see someone beat me to it. The video is very well done. The scenery is gorgeous! I love this song, but I know liking a song is very subjective. I think it’s beautiful and love the lyrics. Obviously David did not write it so we shall see what his new songs sound like next year. Anyway, I’m happy for new music from David – it’s GLORIOUS!

  12. Finally! Something other than a poll or a page-saver from HG.

    Finally! Something about the MUSIC.

    My first thought when I began watching the video was to give thanks that he wasn’t wearing a shirt with buttons so I wouldn’t have to hear about…The Button. Or The Boton. Or The Botton. Seriously, the folks in this fanbase need to learn to spell.

    I got chills when the mountains came into view. Definitely plan to go see the movie.

    • I can’t really talk….and I don’t recall seeing those extra ways of spelling button lol….but I think the most commonly misspelled word all over the internet would definitely have to go to….sense. So often people spell it as ‘sence’. Oh the irony of it is funny too.

      Lol…and just for the record, there are different spellings for American versions and English versions of some words. I’ve been picked up on that before, when I was just using the English spelling, which is what we use here. (Can I use that excuse for all my misspellings. 😉 )

  13. hg-I really enjoyed reading your post. I felt it was a very fair and balanced review of the song-Glorious. I mentioned this on the previous thread-I just was not a fan of the Elevator song nor did I care for the Christmas album that much. Now I am not a fan of the Glorious song. It just a matter of different tastes in music. lol. hg -You seem to be a very diplomatic and non judgmental person in your writings. Good for you. 🙂

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