Cracks of Heaven appreciation post from the lovely Taterzen

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When David Archuleta’s album, “Postcards in the Sky” was finally released, I watched it download and then gobbled it up on the spot.

My intent was to savor each song, but I couldn’t play them fast enough.

Everything was so good, great, better than ever, beyond expectations; and my expectations were pretty high. When I heard “Cracks of Heaven,” I was caught a little off guard. It was the first track I revisited.

I must admit, it is not the song with the most plays now. That honor probably goes to the title track and “Shine a Light,” but not by much. Most often, I listen to all the songs in sequence, or choose one as “the song of the week” to see if I can hear something new. They all get a turn. They all deserve a turn.

So, why the “Cracks of Heaven” appreciation?

My mother passed away in 2014, at the age of 94. Her mind remained exceptionally keen for all of those years; but after my father passed away in 2005, her physical health became the challenge. She began to worsen when she was about 92.

I determined to spend more time with her, almost daily near the end. I can only refer to that period as a blessing (and maybe my chance to make amends for those teen years when I thought my criticism and sarcastic repartee were the way to independence.)

Mom was calm about her impending passing; we talked of it often. Because of that, I felt prepared for her to leave, but when it happened… Well, I was completely slammed by a painful emptiness. My faith, and my firm belief that relationships extend beyond this life, did not exempt me from grief.

Musically and poetically, “Cracks of Heaven” describes it all—the loss, the loneliness, the wondering, the memories, the comfort, the acceptance. Granted, it is quite personal, but that is what music is to each of us.

In a recent interview, David said he did not write “Cracks of Heaven” about, or for, a particular person. He just felt that it was “a subject that should be discussed.” Considering David’s intuitive nature, and judging from the comments of others who love this song, he actually wrote it for a number of people.

The production bar was raised for David’s entire album. I think it persuaded him to dig into his bottomless bag of genius musical nuances in order to enhance the messages. The result certainly sustains the lyrics.

I thought this empty house would be more quiet
But I can hear your voice whisper loud
I close my eyes and it’s like
You’re still here with me
Without you I thought it would be a ghost town (ethereal background)
I was afraid that my heart would stop
It hurts from missing you
But what gets me through is knowing, knowing

Some specifics worthy of my unabashed appreciation:

• It starts softly—empty house, quiet, whisper. When we get to “you’re still here with me,” the “with me” is sung by two voices in close harmony.
• The reference to a “ghost town” includes a wordless obbligato floating through the background, not scary or creepy, just ethereal.
• There is an expressed fear that the loss might be too much to handle, but then comes the realization that not everything is completely gone, and we launch into a hopeful chorus (with me singing along).

I see you in the morning light
I see you in the midnight sky (I feel it)
Everywhere around me
Never have to say goodbye
It doesn’t matter where I go
I feel you in every memory
I hold until I see you again
Through the cracks of heaven
Whoa Whoa Whoahh ooh
Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoahhh
Heaven, Heaven oooh…
Through the cracks of heaven

• At the end of the first line, there is a distinctive broken chord. (I hear a G, F#, D.) Those same intervals are repeated at the end of the second line as David sings “I feel it.” It is also used after “never have to say goodbye” and “it doesn’t matter where I go.” The chorus is sung three times throughout, and my brain always hears a reassuring “I feel it” whenever that broken chord is used. And I do feel it.

• Have you noticed how David gets every possible ounce of beauty out of vowel sounds? He lands right in the center and coaxes them into full bloom. Listen to “memory” in the chorus. It is more like a prolonged mem-o-ry, with a little hesitation catch on that “o” to let us know it is important. I love how he can linger over a “memory” like that.

• The song title is finally used in the chorus; and just like peeking through the crack in a door to see what’s going on, we get a tiny glimpse of understanding through the cracks of heaven.

I’m just a stranger on a street that’s crowded
A thousand faces talking noise to me
Every day’s a fight
But it’ll be alright
‘Cause I know, I know

[Repeat Chorus]

It’s the very first time we danced
The first time that I took your hand
‘Cause in your eyes I found a piece of hope
I’m not alone…

• The second verse and the bridge continue to move through the grieving process. Favorite lyrics: “A thousand faces talking noise to me.” Exactly! Just going through the motions, still sifting through memories

(Final Chorus)

• At some benevolent point, the once dreaded reminders become welcome memories to be cherished. The cracks of heaven now provide comfort. The final chorus seems to express it. The words are the same, but it builds and changes, with musical elements added to the final five lines, a rousing finish almost demanding a “Hallelujah!”

–TaterZen

(photo up top: Shelley, of course)

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19 Responses to Cracks of Heaven appreciation post from the lovely Taterzen

  1. TOfan says:

    {{{{{Taterzen}}}} your post moved me to tears. First of all, my deepest sympathies for your loss, and my thanks for every beautiful word. Really hope we get to hear Cracks of Heaven live someday… on the other hand….😭😭😭😭

  2. tawna21 says:

    Taterzen! Thank you for this beautiful post!! This is my song to my Dad (2014). Like you said, even with strong religious beliefs regarding life after death, the grieving still is there. This song is a smoother over-er (new word). And, I don’t know all those musical things that go on (so many of you do), but I do know that whatever they are, they sure make David’s music touch my soul. ♥

    TOfan. I don’t know that we could survive this song being sung live. ♥

  3. Pepper says:

    Taterzen, thank you for sharing and focusing on this beautiful song! Your words are so moving and heartfelt. Have always loved this song, so meaningful. I would love to hear David sing this live.
    For me, it was David’s song “Wait” since it was released only days after my Mother passed away in 2011. The words just hit my heart so I can understand how many of us can be moved in so many ways by David’s songs and the touching lyrics that go along with them.
    Cracks of Heaven is so lovely and now I can listen to that song and relate so strongly, yet instead of finding it too sad I find it heartwarming and real. You really do feel those you love around you in so many ways. Always a part of your heart. It really is a special song and I love this part of your post:
    “At some benevolent point, the once dreaded reminders become welcome memories to be cherished. The cracks of heaven now provide comfort”. So very true and so well said.
    Thank you again for sharing. ❤

  4. GwenPo says:

    Hi Taterzen, what a beautiful interpretation of “Cracks of Heaven.” I think it is one of the most beautiful on David’s amazing “Postcard in the Sky” CD. After I read your post I went back to listen again,with your insight, and this song became even more amazing to me. Thank you The death of a loved one is very hard even though we know it is not the end , this song gives us a glimpse , gives us hope. I am not as musical as you are but now I hear what you pointed out and can understand a little better WHY David’s music touches us so. He is an amazing person and leaves his footprints on all of our hearts. How blessed we all are to be his fans. Thanks again.

  5. This is a beautiful reflection on this song. I lost my grandmother last year, and like TaterZen, this song touched me in the deepest way. What a blessing it is to have a song that can discuss this subject and mean so much from someone we admire so much. My sympathies to you, TaterZen, and I hope this song and more continue to provide you comfort.

  6. janey79 says:

    Taterzen, what a beautiful post. Although Cracks of Heaven might be my least played this one verse is perhaps my favorite on the entire album:

    The very first time we danced
    The first time that I took your hand
    ‘Cause in your eyes I found a piece of hope
    I’m not alone…

    David sings it so sweetly and the image is of him reaching to take his beloved’s hand for the first time is so touching (literally). Isn’t that what most of us really want, not to be alone? I know that’s true for me.

    I was at the SLC vip when two women told David how much this song meant to them as they were both widows. How does a young man of his age have that kind of compassion? Thanks again for your thoughts, you will always be my favorite Spud.

  7. oliveoil says:

    Wow, Taterzen. You are so gifted in seeing and hearing the heart of David’s music. I tend to be attracted to a bouncy beat such as in Up All Night, Someone to Love, and Shine a light. Or the gorgeous melodies in Upset with Me, Aiming for Hope , and Say Me. Cracks of Heaven has all of that with lyrics that tie everything together creating a healing balm for the broken heart.

  8. refnaf says:

    Wow! (((Taterzen)))
    Beautiful post
    Your description of what David does musically with the song is so insightful!
    I think this is my least played song , only because the chimes in the chorus bug me…. but the meaning of it really does bring comfort. Huge ((((((hug))))s to you, and thanks for this post 🙏

    • emmegirl14 says:

      I love the lyrics and the music in the verses in this song. The melody for the chorus (don’t know if that’s the right word) is the only part of this amazing song I’m not “crazy” about.
      But definitely one I still repeat, repeat 😊

  9. emmegirl14 says:

    What an amazing write up of one of my album favorites Taterzen!
    This one struck me from the get go and because of everything you said, and I can’t!
    He is the Master of Vowel Manipulation – another one of those “only David” nuances in his singing I love!

    You said it perfectly so I will just say, “copy that!”

  10. Marietta says:

    I love your take and the break down of this song-I noticed it too on the lingering when he sings Mem-ory its haunting-It’s also one of my favorite songs on the track especially when he sings”I’m not alone” this song causes me to cry every time so heartfelt-at VIP in KC he sang”Aiming for Hope” I had to swallow back tears 😭

  11. TaterZen says:

    I was somewhat hesitant to share my thoughts about “Cracks of Heaven,” but so glad I did. Your comments are not only supportive (Thank You!), but so interesting. David’s music is a bona fide connector. ❤

    • janey79 says:

      I’m so glad you did too! I love to see the different takes on each song and the know what folks are hearing that i am unaware of. So far, each appreciation thread has made me like that particular song even more – especially the PiTS post. It has quickly become one of my favorites.

  12. missbianca says:

    Hallelujah! What a rousing, sweet, touching, indefinable post Ms Tater! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will never have the ears to hear “a G, F#, D” but I also replayed this song first. Looked up its lyrics first. Teared up, maybe not first–lots of “feels” in that album.

    I remember when your mother passed. I remember you thinking you were ready and then being … uncharacteristically unable to deal with anything. I carried you in my heart for weeks. Bona fide connector indeed.

  13. TOfan says:

    So now he’s insta-storey-ing while he’s volunteering and cleaning toilets… IS THIS GUY FOR REAL OR JUST A FIGMENT OF OUR COLLECTIVE IMAGINATIONS??!!!!!!!

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  14. tawna21 says:

    And…. he forgets the second item on a list of two that he needs to pull from the shelf :/ These are the things that make him r.e.a.l !!!!

  15. Kizzi says:

    So poignant Taterzen. I love how David’s music brings each of us special moments. Glad you had time to be with your Mom in her golden years. It is truly a gift.

    Love your writings and insights! Thank you!!

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