First of all I would like to wish all our Muslim friends a very Happy Hari Raya. I hope you guys are having a good one.
Now usually, any contemplation of writing about David gives me good feelings. I’m filled with a heady sense of anticipation, I get excited and energized for the endeavor ahead of me and start putting down my thoughts with gusto. This article on the other hand is quite different in that although it is about David, the motivations inside me are somewhat less positive. They’re a mixture of frustration, incredulity and annoyance.
I frequent other David Archuleta fansites and I follow the discussions that goes on there and sometimes get involved in the dissection, debate and discourse about David and his music. Normally they’re quite fun and engaging discussions and many opinions are bandied about and they run the gamut of the who, what, why, how and wheres. Some debates even go off in unintended tangents and veer onto the innane but they’re good for laughs nonetheless.
Lately though I notice a disturbing trend of theories and expectations concerning the efficacy of David’s music and it’s potential impact on the music industry. I must state categorically , and those of you who have come to know me will agree, that I’m an ardent fan of David. I’m enamoured and truly believe in his talents and abilities. But I’m loath to place such a heavy mantle of expectancy on the young shoulders of an artist just starting out and testing the waters. For all that we love about David’s vocal abilities and interpretative talents, he’s not the Messiah of music; he’s not the second coming of Elvis; nor is he the “new” Sinatra but simply the “present” David Archuleta. We tend to forget that David’s only 17 and still have much more to experience and explore in all aspects of his life. This debut cd is but a single step on his journey down that yellow brick road. There is literally much to do and miles to keep before David fully comes into his own as a person and musician.
However the churning, despairing and agonized air of hopelessness that sets in with every perceived declination or diminishing of David’s music or popularity on the charts, radio, tv and what have you is inevitably accompanied with a protracted cycle of analysis and melodramatic hand wringing and sweat soaked discussion of what could have gone wrong. They put blame on his youth, his immaturity, his goofy persona, his AI loss and the list goes on. The energy and mental torture that all these “postmortems” exact borders on the neurotic in their intensity and interminable duration.
I wish that we would dispense with the paralysis by analysis scenario and just trust in the Archuleta. Trust in the sophistication of his musical sensitivities and inclinations. For example when it was learned that he would sing Josh Groban’s “When You Say You Love Me” on the tour, critics and fans alike questioned the wisdom of that choice and I must admit that you can count me as one of those same doubters. After being incessantly criticised as nothing more than a bland balladeer all this while, why on earth would he choose to sing a Josh Groban song? But upon hearing and experiencing the memorable rendition that David gave during his first performance of that song at Glendale and subsequent cities , I was absolutely blown away and I’m sure a lot of pernicious naysayers had to shovel bagfuls of crow into their mouths. Since then most fans would readily agree that WYSYLM was their favourite song on the tour. It brought tears to their eyes and tugged at their heartstrings like no other.
David has shown us time and again that he has more than an inkling of what he’s doing even though in his, sometimes exasperatingly, humble ways he often espouses an air of inadequacy but we fans know otherwise. Jive, I’m sure, also sees the wellspring of musicality in David and is confident of the musical imprint he’ll impart on the industry. So let’s not engage in anguished prognosis of doom and gloom with every perceived drop in the polls of public opinion. Remember that we fans are but a portion of the music consumers out there, many of whom do not know of David and, frankly, may not care about his type of music. He has to win fans from a larger arena which may be a long, drawn out process so let’s extend David the implicit faith that his innate good taste, glorious vocal endowments and sheer love of music will fashion a career for the ages and not that of a struck match that burns brlliantly but fizzles out just as quickly.