I have come to appreciate how focused David Archuleta is in his intent, be it how he sings a song, or his efforts in the recording studio. Never, in my mind, is this focus more evident than when David improvises.
It never ceases to amaze me that, even when he sings a song he’s sung many times before, he can find a way to add some new riffs, runs and notes, and it becomes a song reborn.
Take his latest TBWY, for instance (see below). The first three minutes are pretty much what we have heard in the past, though extremely heartfelt. After that, David takes it away – check it out at 2:56, 3:17-3:32, 3:48, 4:28-4:32, and 4:38 to end. Oh, the ending!
What blows my socks off with awe and wonder, however — and reminds me of the impact David had on me when I first heard him sing Shop Around (hence my screen name) — are his improvisational skills when giving an impromptu performance.
Think back to when he attended the REO Speedwagon concert and jammed with them onstage. Did he not wail on it?! No fear at 0:16 when he takes over the mic! And most recently, at the Murray concert of Brooke White, Benton Paul and Michael Johns, joining in on Let It Be and Proud Mary. With these two songs, his “inner soul-man” burst out. I love his total lack of inhibition with both REO and on Let It Be.
Curiously, I wonder why this happens. How he’s able to feel so free? Because he’s only doing one or two songs? Is it less stressful, pressured, because it is not his own show, allowing him to feel more relaxed? Since there’s no time to over-analyze, do his musical instincts take over more than usual? Or is it because his album songs were penned to be sung as pop songs – with not as much R&B influence – and he has that in mind when he performs them, but not so the songs he sings for his spur-of-the-moment appearances?
No matter, David sings through his very soul and I’ll take it anyway he hands it out.
*Title credit: Kizzi. Vids: rob4121983 / 88Aladdin