BEGIN. again

i’m not trying to be cool here with all lowercase, it’s just that the caps key is possessed on this computer, grrr … since today is the anniversary of the release of begin., i thought i’d repost my original review to /a/ see if i still felt this way about it and /b/see if you guys still the same way about it that you did last august.

the one song i feel differently about is broken… i love it even more now… i listened to it in the car friday night in the dark, during a 7 hour drive, and my hubby, who was driving, actually cranked up the volume… it sounded that good… haunting really.

i find even more now that it stands out distinctly from the rest of the album. the style of it, the sound, the vibe, his voice, everything. please keep tapping into that motherlode, d.

from august 7, 2012….

I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment. After the buildup of excitement for BEGIN., then staying up late last night to download it and listen to it, I got zero sleep because some of the lyrics and melodies kept running through my head.

What also kept running through my head was David’s last BTS vlog, telling us that he hoped this album would help us all understand why he made the decision to go on a mission… then he mentioned that again in the special OS note up above.

The fact that he even cared that we understood really touched me. Who does that? It’s his life, he doesn’t owe anyone any explanations, least of all us. And yet he wants us to “get” it, to feel where he’s coming from? Wow.

So even though I planned on simply basking in that voice when I listened to BEGIN. for the first time, I couldn’t help but listen with his plea for understanding in mind.

And as beautifully as David sings every single note on BEGIN., the overwhelming feeling I get from these songs is pain … the pain of going through some very tough times … and how to make sense of the world as you navigate through those struggles. Are these his struggles? Others’ lives he wants to help heal? Both? Neither?

I also get a feeling of hope, however. That we’re not alone in this. That we can get through it … with love. Love for yourself, one another, your Creator, humankind, and for music itself ….

I know, I know, I’m probably reading too much into it. But these passages about pain jumped out at me:


“Everyday is so wonderful … and suddenly, it’s hard to breathe
Now and then I get insecure… from all the pain… feel so ashamed”

There, David sings “I” but then switches to “We” in the next verse, “We are beautiful” (even though the original uses “I”) …

David, David, David, YOU, YOU, YOU are beautiful and someday you will sing the “I” in that song and really mean it! Not in an inflated-ego way (because I really don’t think that’s even in your DNA) but in an “I am a child of God therefore I am beautiful” way. Embrace your beauty inside and out, David. We sure do. 🙂

My guess as to why this song’s on the album? David’s mentioned in interviews that he learned how to sing runs from Christina Aguilera’s songs… repeating them over and over until they came naturally. I picture David singing this in his room. To his dog. And maybe it helped him feel a little better about the world. Or maybe it’s because his dog loved it.

Somewhere Only We Know

“I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
… this could be the end of everything,
so why don’t we go somewhere only we know”

Doesn’t mention pain specifically here, but he’s tired. He needs somewhere to BEGIN. … We can all relate to this, I think. Go for it, David! (Love this track, btw, probably my favourite after Broken.)

Everybody Hurts

Title says it all, doesn’t it?

And when his voice drops low on “well, hang on” I just about dropped to the floor. Especially love the background “Hold On”s … I want a track of that on a loop to help me get through tough days. (I’m serious.)

Don’t Give Up

“I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail
No fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose”

Lots of pain in this one. “No one wants you when you lose”? Ouch. I do love the two voices… I just wished we’d heard them together more. Hearing them separately made it seem as though hers was a “still small voice” telling David “Don’t Give Up.”


“So tired of the straight line … and everywhere you turn
there’s vultures and thieves at your back.”

*cough*Jive*cough* … Seriously though, I can’t help but wonder if David knew the original meaning of Sarah’s song (about a heroin addict)… doesn’t really matter because it ultimately tells you that when you’re at your darkest point, may you find comfort in the “arms of the angel.” Beautiful.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Hmm, he moved the “when pain is all around” verse to the beginning. Coincidence? I think not.

At the end, “All your dreams are on their way” I felt the hopefulness rising in his voice… “I will ease your mind.” Oh, the sobbing.


“Do you see what I see?
Do you feel what I feel?
It doesn’t matter until we see broken lives heal”

Even after hearing everything else, this is still my favourite track. Everything I gushed about in my last post still stands. It feels so him. Stunning.

True Colours

Besides Broken, I think this song, SOWT, EH and Pride are my favourite tracks on the album. Here, I really felt he was singing his way out of a dark place and trying to help others do the same.

He repeats:

“If this world makes you crazy … and you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up because you know I’ll be there”

… his “Don’t need to be afraid” felt like it was meant for both him and for us… to help us all stay true to who we are.


Really need to hear this live. He. Will. Kill. It.

I know U2 originally wrote this as a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., but I think it’s also an anthem for all those who take action on behalf of others “in the name of love” – selfless love, in its purest form. No need to guess why David included this one.

Be Still My Soul

Every time David sings BSMS, it’s new and different to me. But one constant is the way this particular verse hits me every time:

“Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.”

There’s something so powerful that wells up from him here that you can’t help but feel love and hope and comfort. It’s no wonder he ended with this.

Yes, David’s voice is more incredible than ever on this album and “Broken” is just, well, spectacular, what blindsides me most about BEGIN. is that it exists at all. That, instead of spending those last weeks with family and friends he won’t see for two years, he was recording all this. For us. For us.

And what BEGIN. says to me is that despite the pain and struggle, there is always hope. We’re not alone. There are times when you need to listen to your heart and regroup, keep the faith, and hopefully come back stronger than ever.

(Sorry about the rambling, btw, I’ll blame it on being sleep deprived! 🙂 )

How about you guys? Did these songs help you better understand David’s decision?

p.s. and how do you feel about the album a full year later?

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13 Responses to BEGIN. again

  1. Kristin says:

    Since day one, David has been fascinating to me. But him doing all that he did before leaving for his mission…left me stumped. I always pondered it a lot and BEGIN. was no exception. I was on vacation last year when this came out…so I waited a week. When I finally got it I sat down on the floor of my room and played it, and the minute I heard him sing “you are beautiful” I was trying so hard not to tear up. Everybody Hurts left me crying…he’s one of the few to make me feel that way.

    I wasn’t too crazy for Broken at first, I did like it and was impressed, but as time went on, the song took on a personal meaning for me. Especially with the final lyric, broke but not broken, which really resonated with who I been throughout everything I’ve dealt with in my life.

    So I would agree since a year ago, my feelings for this album and the tracks have changed. They have left a personal meaning for myself, but with David a labor of love on his part for all of us. He didn’t have to do this…yet he did. That alone speaks volumes about his character and the kind of person he is…and that we matter to him…and he cares and wants us to understand him.

    I think I also teared up…because I missed him, like we all do. Hearing his voice again and the feeling he put into those songs also gave me strength…and made me feel better when I was down or upset when I started college. Sometimes we just need that little nudge 🙂

    I didn’t really focus on his decision at first, but as I listened to the words more carefully, and a lot lol, it started to make sense 🙂 Voicing his fears and frustrations and insecurities of what he wanted for his life and his career and his future resonated with me deeply. *plus it helps me sleep at night lol* It was really when I read his thank yous I further understood…and why he did the album at all 🙂

    Ok that’s enough of me rambling lol sorry about that, always with David my thoughts are like the start of a novel XP

    • TOfan says:

      no need to apologize, kristen, ramble away! lol … i can really relate to what you said about certain songs giving you strength, you’re so right, it’s like a shot of B12 or something, lol

  2. violet4ever says:

    BEGIN is gorgeous and full of David’s mood and thoughts about his mission. I was amazed that he spent so much of his remaining time, even including the night before his mission, to make this album for us. I think it was also a comfort for him to sing and express his feelings through these songs. It’s a beautiful gift and a hhhhhhhjn

  3. violet4ever says:

    (cont’d haha – got a piece of cracker in my keyboard and in trying to get it out so I could continue typing, I accidentally submitted the unfinished post)

    It’s a beautiful gift and a keepsake of this time – of our wait and David’s journey.

    Favorite tracks – Beautiful, True Colors, Don’t Give Up, Broken

  4. peppertara says:

    What a great write up TOfan. Love everything about this album, every track, the title, the cover, the way David conveys his feelings through this album with such incredible heartfelt vocals, the meaning behind it, the fact that he took the time to record this for his fans…..what a beautiful expression of love and caring. Still celebrate this album, love it. Can only add thank you to David….it truly is a beautiful gift from his heart.
    How sweet that we have another wonderful little video from David and Kari and some pics to top it off! Happy Anniversary BEGIN. You’re pretty wonderful.

  5. awestruck says:

    YES to it all TOfan – Broken tears me up every time I listen to it. Favorite tracks are Broken, SOWN, Pride, Everybody Hurts…

  6. TOfan says:

    Blown away by these background vocals… download mp3 HERE.

  7. davidarchiefan4life says:

    Thank you for the chance to go back and spend some time with Begin. Has it really been a year all ready?? That little video was such a wonderful surprise from Kari, thank you for the mp3 I can’t get enough of that little snippet! 🙂

  8. peppertara says:

    That little snippet is addicting and yes….thanks for the mp3! Only David can do background vocals like that, honestly.
    A little off topic (again) but perhaps I am the only CDN fan who missed this short little interview back in 2008, with a Vancouver radio station. How on earth I missed this one, I have no idea. Came across it by accident really. If anyone else missed it here is the link if interested. D’s answers are so cute and humorous, especially to the silly question asked by the DJ. Sorry if it is old, old news for others. I’m not always ‘up’ on things, obviously. 🙂

    • TOfan says:

      thanks, pepp! I can’t get the link to work but I’ll keep trying. And even old news is good news where D. is concerned! hahaha

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