I guess by now most if not all of David’s fans have listened to ‘Something ‘Bout Love‘ multiple times including me. I must admit that upon hearing the preview of the song for the first time I wasn’t terribly impressed with David’s choice of a leading single for his new album. My first thoughts were “bubble gum pop!” How could he think that such a song would go down well with fans? I fully expected the song to be dismissed with scathing reviews – which I gather there were a few in subsequent comments.
But having digested the song for the past few days I’m beginning to see it in a different light. At first I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I went back to his debut pop album and spun it a few times. It began to dawn on me that some fundamental shift had taken place in David’s musical journey. Listening to the song and comparing it with the music in his debut album made me realize that there was more David in SBL than in any of his previous songs, even the ones he wrote or co-wrote.
I’m not asserting that SBL will be a hit. Maybe,maybe not. Is it a Grammy winning song? – probably not. But it is more satisfying in that the musical imprint of David is more evident in SBL. I suspect he had more of a say in the production of SBL. Some may deride SBL as nothing more than frothy, vacuous pop fare overlaid with digital embellishments i.e.autotuning etc. But I would disagree with that accusation. Yes I grudgingly accept that there could have been some digital tweaking but even in it’s sweetness, there’s no denying the essential soul and heart of David Archuleta in the song. The voice is upfront and center – clear and edgy in parts. The essence of David’s musical styling and savoir- faire is unmistakable. It reminds me of Janet Jackson’s ‘Control’ by which she triumphantly declared her musical independence and growth. In that record she served noticed that she was a force to be reckoned with and henceforth the music industry had better regard her with more forethought.
To me the force has always been with David. His aptitude for intelligent and tasteful musical expression has always been evident. I think with SBL he is finally taking the reins in his own hands and steering his own course. It is a tentative, first step for sure but even in a journey of a thousand miles that initial step is important. It is a declaration of intent and independence for David. As the text in the photo above suggests- he is literally jumping for joy with his new found freedom.