A cappella, baby

There’s something so powerful about a lone voice singing a cappella … especially when that voice is David Archuleta’s. It’s a test of talent — and sheer chutzpah — in so many ways. There are no strings or drums or horns to hide behind, no piano chords to guide your key changes, no bass line or percussion to keep you on beat. Like jumping out of a cake naked … only more socially acceptable.

I’m thinking American Idol should not only have singers audition a cappella, they should do the finale performance a cappella too. THAT would show who can really sing. (Which is probably why they’ll never do it.)

Not only have David’s recent a cappella songs been remarkable for their raw power and beauty, but what also struck me about them is how they bubbled forth from David’s deep desire, his burning passion, TO SING for us. “I feel like singing a cappella for you guys,” he told the crowd at the Mall of America. Who does that??? David, that’s who.

In New York, he leapt up on a table with a megaphone, for Pete’s sake! A MEGAPHONE!!!

In Chords of Strength, David explains that he thinks of his voice as a gift, rather than a talent. That it’s a gift for him to share … to gift to others. And the fact that he lives to do just that — to share that gift with us — has never been clearer than over these past two weeks.

I was trying to decide which performance has been my favourite, but I’m stumped. Lean on Me is a runaway train of soulful “gah-roovitude” (to quote the ever-quotable Ms. Beebee).

Then there’s I’ll Be, which is SO intense, it makes me feel like I’ve been tasered … in a good way.

And God Bless the Broken Road … no words for that one. Okay, a couple of words. It’s so delicately beautiful, each time I hear it, I have to stand still. I feel every note like drops of rain on my face. Blessed.

And each time I shake my head in disbelief that David sang it a cappella. His voice is so full and his phrasing and dynamics and emotion and pure heart and soul so mesmerizing that you’d swear he had a full orchestra behind him. Remarkable.

And the literal translation for a cappella? It’s Italian for “in the style of the chapel.” No surprise there. No surprise at all.

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39 Responses to A cappella, baby

  1. madeline Alvarez says:

    I agree 1000% that David can sing a cappella! What I get from his voice is the sweetest feeling of tranquility I’ve ever experienced in my entire 72 years young. He just floors me. He wants to share every little note that comes from that blessed body that was a gift to him. Thank you David for sharing with the entire world. Thank you, thank you. Don’t ever stop.

  2. betsy says:

    I loved two performances equally, so I had to vote twice.
    Although something must be amiss with the Bless the Broken Road vote catcher. 🙂
    Oooh, that just reminded me of a really good movie that I now want to see again. Songcatcher.
    (sometimes I get way off track)

    I’ll Be & Bless the Broken Road are the two that I want everyone in the world to hear.

  3. awestruck says:

    This will be quick – a busy day for me today…

    – “Like jumping out of a cake naked … only more socially acceptable” Bwahahahahah Nearly did the coffee hit the screen when I read this.

    – Gift vs. Talent, inportant distinction. I will mull this over in my mind today…

  4. KathyH says:

    Well, all right. I can choose (two) for this poll, but thank HEAVEN I don’t have to choose one or two to listen to. Love every one of these. Broken Road got my first vote because it made me cry in the best of ways. And the National Anthem because we live in a time when a feeling of patriotism is undervalued, yet David sings it like he means it, and reminds me that I mean it.

  5. betsy says:

    I just remembered a little story about Bless the broken road. We were at the vip in Grand Rapids and David was asking for some song requests. There was a guy next to us (front row, right in front of David) who kept asking for that song. He had just sung it for the first time the week before. It was obvious David wasn’t in the mood to sing it, and was pretending not to hear him. 🙂 Finally he said – “But this isn’t the South” His way of saying “NO WAY AM I SINGING WHAT I DON”T WANT TO!”
    We should have said – “But we DO have Motown, so sing one of those.”

  6. TOfan says:

    Betsy, I can totally picture the look on David’s face. 😯 He should never play poker! lol … It slays me that he still doesn’t get that it’s not the SONG that we care about, it’s him SINGING it. But lovely that he cares so much about choosing the right song for the right crowd at the right time.

  7. Abanana77 says:

    How is all of the above NOT an option?? Haha. But if I’d have to choose, maybe I’ll be? Or God bless the broken road…

    Also I would like to say I love acapella angels too <3.

  8. refnaf says:

    Hey snowangelz!!!! Back from a trip of epicness…. and am working on a recap….

    I had to choose GBTBR cause when he started to sing it…. I felt every note …. and **sniff** it hit me hard. David live, acapella, is soul food. Can we dream of an acapella album someday??? I am.

    Sunshine!! loved your leftie article!!!( I am so behind)

  9. Angelica says:

    Lean on Me. Hey SnowAngelz! Been lurking and so busy at work lately. Oh, and enjoyed the last post too cause I’m a leftie.

  10. Angelica says:

    Refnaf, looks like we were both typing Hey SnowAngelz at the same time. lol Welcome home. Can’t wait to read your recap!

  11. TOfan says:

    AWESOME radio interview posted today:
    http://www.y101.com/ (scroll down to “David Archuleta on the Showgram” to listen.

    Classy DJs who asked good questions and let David talk about the important stuff … nice antidote to yesterday’s shock jocks.

  12. refnaf says:

    (((Awestruck)))) catching up and saw that congrats are in order Woot! G babies FTW!!

    Wish all dj’s could be as classy as David, I have not seen the questionable interview, not sure I want to…but where is it if I do???

  13. TOfan says:

    Associated Press Interview (love that they use ALTNOY in the background!):

  14. refnaf says:

    TOfan…. what a great bit of promo…It has been a good day to be sick… caught up on the interviews etc… he is getting better at promoting himself, and how about this>
    #15 on the NYT non fiction best sellers list!!!!
    SPAZZZZZ, so proud!

  15. TOfan says:

    I just saw that, #15 … with a bullet!!!!

    Here’s the Hardcover Nonfiction page (thanks to YJfan):



  16. awestruck says:


    Biographies & Memoirs (1)
    Entertainment (1)
    Religion & Spirituality (1)

  17. emmegirl says:

    #15 NYTIMES! He can now say forever and ever he was on the NYTimes best selling list!
    (Okay, he won’t say it, but we will!)

    Congratulations David!

    TOfan, first paragraph – you have mastered the fine art of quickly grabbing your readers attention! LOL! Great piece, love every word!

    Voted for Lean On Me, but will be registering votes for BTBR and MIA, and yeah the NA and IB and… every single acapella note that he cries.

  18. TOfan says:


    “every single acapella note that he cries” FTW!!!!

    Another “friendly” radio interview from SLC’s B98.7:

    • awestruck says:

      I am really enjoying these interviews – even the one yesterday (Bob and the Shogram) because it showed how David was ably adept at getting around the inane questions. Way to go David!

  19. Abanana77 says:

    Wow excited that CoS made it onto the NYTimes bestselling list!!! That’s awesome! 🙂

  20. abanana77 says:

    Have you guys read David’s latest blog?? There’s a part where he writes “Who knows… there might be some fun things for you guys to listen to ;)” referring to his Rexburg show next week. I am thinking he will be singing new music. I mean, he winky-faced! Haha


    • TOfan says:

      I noticed that “some fun things” line & thought maybe some cool covers, but new music would be even better! 🙂 Ya, he doesn’t wink very often, hmmm. *intrigued*

  21. KT says:

    Here! Have a Nats pre-game interview on the big screen to go with your Saturday afternoon happy hour!

    For full disclosure read the tag lines first!

  22. awestruck says:

    KT – cool vid, do they usually do an interview like that before a ball game?

  23. TOfan says:

    Thanks, KT!!!!!!
    It must have been so amazing to hear him sing the SSB in person.

    And since we’re into More Info & Tags around here 🙂 , here are yours:

    More info: David talks on the big screen! I tried editing out the first part but then it wouldn’t load to YT. Sorry. Also the audio and video aren’t in sync as it was that way live as well.

    Shake it up baby Dramamine Echoey

    😆 😆

  24. TOfan says:

    Rach and David

    Check out Rach’s blog HERE.

  25. bluesky4home says:


    I was so happy to meet you in Orem! I have been worried about… what was under your hat. I really hope you are sunny side up and sooooo well and happy.

    Thanks for you and your friends and all the fun you pursue on this site. ^_^


    PS mega leftiness in my family.

  26. peppertara says:

    Oh, just love David’s A Cappella songs. All are my favorites really but lately it’s this one as you so eloquently stated TOfan:
    “And God Bless the Broken Road … no words for that one. Okay, a couple of words. It’s so delicately beautiful, each time I hear it, I have to stand still. I feel every note like drops of rain on my face. Blessed.”
    Thanks for describing it so perfectly. Lately I have been listening to that on my MP3 player (on repeat) as I take the train to and from work. I doubt that I will ever hear another artist come even close to delivering a song from what seems to be the depths of their being like David does. Impromptu performances, makes no difference with David. It’s pure magic every time, how does he do that? It’s a gift, as David says, that he loves to share and one of the best gifts that I think that we could receive.
    Children’s Miracle Network….heartwarming. David and children, pure sweetness. So much to read, to listen to, he’s on a roll these days. Have a feeling the Idaho concert will be extra special with a David surprise or too, yes.

  27. refnaf says:

    (((BLUESKY))) Haha, my head is improving, thanks for the hug when I needed it! Now I am dealing with head cold, this past week was tooo much for my body to handle.
    Now the anticipation for the Rexburg concert> a winky from David can only mean NEW SONGS’ least that is what I am hoping for.

    Peppertara “I doubt that I will ever hear another artist come even close to delivering a song from what seems to be the depths of their being like David does.” I am getting a recap together of David doing this within 5 feet of me….not easy to explain…

  28. peppertara says:

    Refnaf…..A recap sounds wonderful, looking forward to it and 5 feet away, doesn’t get much better than that!

  29. Zoe says:

    Good golly Refnaf! Just 5 feet away from a David performance?!?! No wonder you’ve been out of commission! You’ve undoubtedly been gobsmacked silly and rendered temporarily speechless.

    We completely understand and will patiently await your recap!

    Within reason, of course! 🙂

    {{{Hope you’re feeling better!}}}

  30. Zoe says:

    TOfan, so hard to decide which recent a cappella performance is my favorite. They all feel like part of a grand and glorious extended family of musical delights from David. Hard to show favoritism when each feels like its own unique and generous gift.

    Love this: “His voice is so full and his phrasing and dynamics and emotion and pure heart and soul so mesmerizing that you’d swear he had a full orchestra behind him. Remarkable.” Couldn’t agree more.

    And I was not familiar with the literal translation for a cappella. David captures the essence of “in the style of the chapel” like no one else I can think of on the music scene today.

    Looking forward to hearing all about the Rexburg concert…anyone here attending?

  31. TOfan says:

    Zoe, you’re so right … impossible to pick a favourite. I was trying to decide which two vids to send to my sister (who admitted she’d been checking out D’s Star Search vids! *busted*) and I finally picked Jonerz’ HD I’ll Be and God Bless the Lonely Road …

    … but now I’m thinking of following up with a Lean on Me/Maybe I’m Amazed chaser, hmmmmm.

    I can’t wait to hear about Rexburg either… hope there’s a not-so-crappy cellcast! 😆

    If you haven’t already, check out Beebee’s celebratory Congrats Mega-Tweet artwork at http://planethunkerdown.wordpress.com/… 🙂 🙂 🙂

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