“The problem with David is that he has this soaring, painful (almost like a cry) type of voice…like it’s so smooth and beautiful…but then he wants to write happy songs about stuff that is either completely unrelatable or stuff that really doesn’t matter much. His voice doesn’t fit the type of songs that he wants to sing. He needs deeper/sadder and more meaningful songs so that his voice can soar”
The above is a comment from a fan while discussing the merits and demerits of David’s songwriting pedigree. There has been much discussion in the various fan sites and forums about the direction and content of David’s song writing; does he have enough life experiences?, should he write about ‘heavy’ stuff?, should he attempt to write completely on his own?, try different genres? etc. David himself has often said that he doesn’t have the talent for words and clever lyrics and so he needs to write with others to learn the craft of good song writing.
I have often wondered how much input does he actually provide in the songs that he has been given song writing credits. Many of them certainly have smart lyrics although they may not be considered Grammy material. Songs like “Works For Me”, “Stomping The Roses”, “Somebody Out There” , “Complain” have mature lyrics and touches on themes that can’t be described as sappy or candy floss. But how much of those words actually came from the pen of David?
The only song I know of that he has written all on his own is “Falling”, a rather dark tale about depression and giving up on life – perhaps a good example of the ‘heavy’ subject matter that we wish he would write more about. But this particular song is a real surprise to me as David has always looked at the glass as half full rather than half empty and on the surface he seems to be the cheerful and happy-go-lucky type. So for him to write a song that hints very broadly about suicide is truly amazing. This is from someone who won’t sing the word even if it’s part of a song!
In many ways he’s a contradiction and a puzzle. A Rubik’s cube in human form. He has certain religious and moral tenets that he won’t compromise with and coupled with his Polyanna demeanor it would seem rather too much to expect any ‘real’ music from him other than the cheerful, sun- always- shines kind of songs.
It is often said that one has to suffer for one’s art and that you have to wear your heart on your sleeve. Walk a few miles in anothers’ shoe and you’ll begin to appreciate that it’s not always going to get better, the elevator sometimes go down more often than up and there’s no other side but down. Some of the greatest songs in history has seen their genesis in heartbreak and tragedy. David has no problems in covering other people’s songs and making them completely his own giving them his own unique spin. Surely he was, to a large extent, able to embody the truth behind those songs and make it sound as if he experienced them as well?
But is David willing to allow himself the same liberties when it comes to writing about it? Does he have the capacity to see life for what it really is – warts and all and put his impressions down with pen and paper? Or is he going to prance happily through life always thinking that a beautiful face is just round the corner? Focusing on the positives may be rejuvenating and spiritually inspiring but it doesn’t make for great song writing. A person who is always upbeat about everything is just unrealistic and in self-denial. It leaves a lot of stones unturned which leads to the possibility that life itself – with all it’s complexities – is left largely unappreciated.