Note: There are no spoilers in this semi-review…at least I hope not. Cheers to ‘Chords of Strength’ being in the New York Times Best-sellers list!!! What a FEAT -especially for a guy who claims to hate writing and tries to overcome the fear by writing an entire book. 🙂
I can barely remember the last time I actually reviewed anything -probably when I was seventeen and still alive over at Friendster. And I had never felt the need to share my thoughts about any of the books I have read all this while. But this is a book I had been very much looking forward to for reasons you can probably guess. I had, unknowingly, set my expectations on this book pretty high mainly because I was so eager to read all about the author’s life story. And just like how the author never fails to do each time he sings, he completely exceeded my expectations by an insanely long mile.
The David I first came to know was the David from American Idol 7. I fell in love with him then -as an artist- and I am still falling in love with him to this day. The sound of his voice is what keeps my admiration immense; but beyond that, the many other layers of him fuel my passion for his music and all that he is. After watching numerous performance videos, listening to countless interviews, reading a million fan accounts and even meeting him in person, I thought I had him semi-figured out -David the Artist, that is- but boy was I wrong.
Chords of Strength was truly an eye-opener to David the Person I never knew much about. Having the privilege to read his thoughts and feel what he was trying to convey left me thoughtless most of the time. It was just too intense, too raw, too real, too much of anything to wrap my head around, but yet I could. I had no idea there was that much DEPTH to him even when he was a child and he completely blew me away once again by his maturity, values and attributes.
Nineteen years hardly seem like enough time to undergo the necessary life experiences which would warrant an autobiography. But this book proved that David had been through enough to share the first half of his life with the people who care and whom he cares about. It was more than a pleasure to delve into the years of his life before American Idol 7 came into the picture and my fascination for him has quadrupled. Because if that was the way he was at five, and this is the way he is at nineteen, then I can hardly wait to see what an extraordinarily phenomenal man he is going to become in the future -not that he already isn’t.
This autobiography was equal parts poignant, wisdomful, endearing, touching and soulful. It tugged at my mind, soul and heart on a page-ly basis -no kidding- and I can’t help but feel as if I was right there witnessing his experiences right before my very eyes as I read. I lost track of the number of times I actually had to pause whilst reading the chapters because I had to digest what he was profoundly conveying or because I had to ponder about the huge chunk of food for thought he just handed me. There were also many times when I paused solely for the sake of chuckling because he has such a funny streak and dry wit -which was no surprise thanks to his tweets over at Twitter.
There were so many messages in the book -far too many to mention- but the one thing I really drew from it was the power of optimism. Having had to deal with a multitude of struggles, his optimism even as a kid completely astounded me. It almost felt like a punch in the gut every time he described something so terribly awry and then continued the story with undiluted positivity and implicit faith in God. Nothing could shake him and I believe nothing ever will. David the Boy has certainly won my heart over. Not to mention, David the Writer.
I also took away from this book the importance of humility which is what makes David the very way that he is. Despite all the success and accomplishments which have come his way, they matter not in the least bit to him. It was and still is always only about the music. And about people feeling the music. I know now that thanking him for singing a song which triggered in me emotions which had no precedent was what he would love to hear more than my congratulating him over his fame and achievements.
I am so very proud of the young man that he is today and this autobiography has done nothing but catapulted my adoration and support for him to yet another zenith. I am most proud that he knows exactly who and what he is -a child of God, first and foremost- and am certain that he will never lose this most important part of him no matter the circumstance. He is the real deal and he is a lover of music to the very core. I beam with pride as a fan -of his voice, of his soul, of his character and of him. This is one boy/man/singer/performer/person who I will always be behind. No questions asked.
“Humility is the fruit of inner security and wise maturity. To be humble is to be so sure of one’s self and one’s mission that one can forego calling excessive attention to one’s self and status. And, even more pointedly, to be humble is to revel in the accomplishments or potential of others -especially those with whom one identifies and to whom one is linked organically.” -Cornel West
-Quote I printed on a bookmark which I had given to David when he was in Malaysia