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.
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.