People have tried to put David Archuleta in a box from the start.
In Chords of Strength, I remember reading that when David was age 12 or 13, just after Star Search, Jeff Fenster told the Archuletas that his record label didn’t know where David would fit into the music world at that age, and maybe it would be better if he worked on music for a few more years, learned to play the piano and come back then. Naturally, in what box would you put a little white kid labeled the “Soul Man from Utah”?
Then came American Idol and the attempt to limit David to Josh Groban-like songs — he got criticized (by Simon, at least) every time he tried to venture out of this area.
And yet, let me remind you about We Can Work It Out (despite the memory lapse, his vocals were good), You’re The Voice (an amusement park, heh Simon), With You (vocals were good again, only the movement was awkward).
David was smart, imho, to stick with what The Powers That Be on Idol wanted to hear. Could David “fit” into this box? Why, yes, he could — if he wanted to.
Think of the Jerry Lewis telethon and TAGGB. Think of the ALMA awards and CELD. Think of his album, Christmas From the Heart. Second in sales only to Bob Dylan for Christmas albums in 2009.
Let’s now look at David’s two pop albums. His debut album, done while on tour, was mostly written by others, though David still managed to do some writing and got songs into bonus land. Now we have The Other Side of Down, a completely different album than his debut one. More indie in flavour, though still with a pop influence — especially in some songs. We definitely hear more David on this one with 10 of 12 being co-written by him and the bonus tracks as well.
Could David fit into the pop box? Has his debut album reached platinum yet? It was so very close last time I checked. Yes, I do believe so! What about the indie box? Well, according to sales let’s “give it some time.” This is where he seems to want to be at this point in his career. David is still experimenting and will continue to show us different facets of his musicality. I don’t believe this will ever stop with him. He is just too curious.
Let’s take a look at what a box represents in terms of form. It has four sides and four angles, period. Not enough for someone like David who is so multifaceted.
How about a heptagon? Seven sided right? With David’s musical talents still expanding, he has shown us so many different sides already and this will only grow as time moves on.
I vote for the dodecagon – in geometry, a dodecagon is any polygon with 12 sides and 12 angles. Now this sound more like it. My photoshop skills are non-existent so I will try to describe it for you…
A bright glittery mirrored dodecagon to reflect the talent and artistry and many faces of David Archuleta. Place David on the outside of the dodecagon looking at it. Being placed inside something limits you, confines you, and has boundaries, so let’s not do this with David please. I would like to list the many skills of David and encourage you to help me out in completing the list to be able to fill each mirrored face of the dodecagon.
2. Pop artist
3. Indie artist
4. Duet specialist (have you heard the clip of Silent Night with Orla Falon yet? And, don’t forget No Air with Jordan Sparks)
5. Soulful contemporary artist.
7. Improv talent
8. Pianist / Guitarist
9. Jazz artist (check any Star Search performance out if you haven’t already done so. And what about Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?)
Perhaps in the future we will find a need to look for a larger geometric form to accommodate the ever expanding list… what about a disco ball?
What do you guys think? How would you fill the other dodecagon sides of David?