Just in case you’ve missed them too, I’m posting below. The first is chart from 11/08/08 comparing the launch of D’s album with Swiftie’s (which, as you recall, was released on the same day).
5/22/08 … post-Finale column, appropriately titled:
Vulture Is Officially in Mourning
No jokes today, people. It’s just too … painful.
God, he was so sweet. And innocent! And he never hurt a soul in his life! He brought so much joy to so many, little David Archuleta, and this is how you repay him? With a humiliating defeat on what should have been the most glorious night of his life?
We should have done more. More charts. More … something! We had an idea for a chart last night that we should have made during week six! It was a pie chart, and the headline was “How Much Do We Love David Archuleta?” and the entire chart was blue and inside the chart it said “A lot!” and it had his smiling picture. What if we had made that chart? Would everything be different now?
When Ryan made the terrible announcement last night, and little David nodded — so gracefully! — and ceded the stage to his inferior, David Cook, that caterwauling amateur, we thought of nothing but the immortal lines from Housman:
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
For us, David, your laurels shall never wither; forever shall they wend ’round our hearts. Farewell, sweet Idolbot 2008. We shall remember you always.
Vulture Reviews the ‘American Idol’ Finalists’ Future Albums
[5/21/08] After last night’s awe-inspiring, Archuletan triumph on the first half of this year’s American Idol season finale, we started to think — what kind of albums will David Cook and David Archuleta make, once one is crowned the winner and the other (Cook, presumably) is swiftly returned to thankless obscurity? So, we climbed inside our time machine and traveled to 2009. We found America’s last still-open record store (a Sam Goody in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in case you were wondering), and bought a copy of each. Vulture’s exclusive reviews, after the jump!
Can You Smell the Rock?
On American Idol, David Cook impressed viewers and judges alike with his unparalleled ability to turn cheerful pop songs from the eighties into hopeless, sludgy grunge ballads, informed by the Seattle sound of the early nineties — a skill he indulges, for better or worse, on his new album, Can You Smell the Rock?.
Cook’s snarling, nu-metal version of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” is predictably incendiary, as is his plaintive, mournful cover of USA For Africa’s “We Are the World.” Still, we can’t help but feel that something about “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” gets lost when it’s interpolated with Alice in Chains’ “Rain When I Die.” A mixed bag.
By now you’ve surely heard the story about David Archuleta turning 18 and firing his manager-father, Jeff, midway through the recording sessions for his first album — but even if you hadn’t, you’d probably be able to gather as much by listening this spirited debut, one half of which is tastefully arranged, Groban-esque classical pop, and the other, hard-edged, nihilistic coke rap.
Idol Threat opens with a glorious, angelic version of “How Great Thou Art,” enhanced by strings, horns, timpani, synthesizers, a church organ, and harp (all virtuosically played by Archuleta, according to the album’s liner notes). Next up, though, is his Mannie Fresh–produced club single, “M.O.N.E.Y. (I Get It)” — already a mix-tape favorite — in which he spits about his humble beginnings as a street-hustling gangbanger growing up in Murray, Utah. It’s truly a shame that American Idol‘s seventh season was never able to feature the music of Young Jeezy, if only because it would’ve given Archuleta the opportunity to showcase his slow, guttural flow and little-heard raspy baritone. His rhymes are also quite impressive, though, sadly, they’re all much too filthy to print here.
The album closes with the heartrending piano ballad “Manhattan Yellow Pages,” a track that makes good on Randy Jackson’s repeated assurances that Archueta would sound terrific singing the phone book. Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli join him for the verse about “home gutter repair,” but Archuleta capably out-sings them both, naturally. Is there anything he can’t do? The answer, clearly, is no.