… than write my homage to the bonus track song on the Japanese edition of The Other Side Of Down by David Archuleta. The song is titled “Nothing Else Better To Do” and it’s written by David Archuleta, Emanuel Kiriakou, Andre Merritt and Lindy Robbins.
I absolutely love this song and I’d like to show it to you through my eyes. David has mentioned several times that “Elevator” is a visual song and I think “Nothing Else Better To Do” is a sensory song. It is a song of intense love.
We could attribute these lyrics to David’s tendency to get distracted, but what they conjure up for me is an image of someone so totally in love that he does get distracted from whatever he might have been doing when he’s around this girl. That’s what it’s like when you first fall in love with someone.
It takes kindling to make a fire burn. This is very visual. The meaning of kindling in this instance is “to excite interest or feelings in.” She is the kindling and the spark that makes his love passionate. The fire is also representative of light.
“It doesn’t take much for you to break down / My gravity
You’ve got my heart stuck … stuck on a cloud / And I can’t speak
But if I was a book / You’d be every word”
Gravity and clouds are recurrent themes not only in David’s songs but in a lot of pop music. Just as in “Zero Gravity” and “Parachutes and Airplanes” David (or the protagonist) is high in the clouds and his heart is staying there in “NEBTD.”
He’s dumbstruck with love, but if he was a book (or wrote a book) it would be entirely about her. She is his inspiration.
“25 hours every day
I got nothing else better to do
than watching the smile light your face
It doesn’t get better than you
All that we need is a starlit sky and you and me
Oh oh oh oh o o it’s true
I got nothing else better to do”
In the chorus, “Light” is at play again. Her smile “lights” her face. A “starlit” sky reiterates the “light” image.
Remember when they asked David where he’d go to get away and he wouldn’t answer because he said then everyone would know where he was going, but that it was very nice? Well, I think he just might have been envisioning a beautiful green island surrounded by the bluest sea the color of blueberry ice. The location could be anywhere and that’s the point. She makes him feel he is in paradise no matter where they are. She is his paradise.
“If I was a song, you would make me sing”
Some fans didn’t seem to like this line, saying a “song can’t sing.” But, a song is just words and notes on paper until the singer is inspired by something or someone to sing it. She brings the song to life. I actually think it’s profound.
“You’re velvet on a red cupcake
Sound a cello and a violin make”
I really have no doubt this is a tip of the hat to his fans with the cupcake image, or else they were really hungry and one of the writers is really into red velvet cupcakes. It is an image of strong desire. She is the icing on his cake.
What is more beautiful than the sound a cello and violin make? This is auditory imagery. Maybe it’s because both of my sons played cello so I love hearing the sound, but it also makes me think of heartstrings (deepest feelings/affection).
>> Rings around the moon are an actual phenomenon caused by “the refraction of moonlight from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring.” That’s rather technical, but it’s a beautiful aura around the moon. This is light imagery again. Moonlight has always been associated with love and the rings add a dimension of rarity to it all. And every single time he’s close to her, oh oh oh oh eh eh eh. That’s a “feeling” line. He’s crazy about her. It reminds me of the sensory tone of Colbie Callait’s “Bubbly.”
I like the island vibe to “Nothing Else Better To Do” and I like the maturity of the song. It may be a song about young love, but it’s not puppy love. It’s a more mature love song. It actually has a Jason Mraz quality to it. If you haven’t heard Jason’s song “Bella Luna,” I suggest you give it a listen also.
That’s my interpretation of what this song means to me. Why do I think it’s a great song?Partly because it isn’t overproduced. David’s voice is clear, strong, front and centre, right where it belongs. There are not too many “overlays.” While I think the electronic sounds of the “eh eh eh’s” in the beginning and on the word “better” towards the end are unnecessary, it’s not overdone and doesn’t bother me.
The melody is soothing and charming and I love David’s lower register. The harmonies in this song are absolutely beautiful. I mentioned in a comment on a fan site that I sometimes wish David was twins because it would be so incredible to hear both the melody and harmony sung live. To me, NEBTD “ticks all the boxes” as Simon would say!
How do you all feel about the song?
— bleubird19 (Attwittsend)