65 comments on “From Clark Kent to Superman….well,maybe

  1. I think it is because of the time he had to get this record done for us. We know he is a great artist…great singer..let’s just keep that in our minds πŸ™‚ its just awesome to listen to his voice singing again..gonna keep me company for 2 years~ ahha!

  2. John

    When I first asked you to review Begin, I was full of trepidation too. You gotta admit your record of analysing David’s career and his music had been rather “terrifying” during recent months.

    Since I had put my head against the wall, it is with trepidation (again!) that I read your review.
    Ha! I won’t be surprised that the “pound of flesh” you mentioned, will be duly taken from you joyfully by much more than a pound. πŸ˜€

    I can’t help thinking of these words in Broken, which I will dedicate to you, but with a twist:

    “Don’t you see what we see
    “Don’t you feel what we feel
    And may I add: “Don’t you hear what we hear”??

    It is not easy singing covers.
    Comparisons are made. Understandably.
    Not only that, we have grown accustomed to listening to the originals or other versions.
    We anticipate too much, wanting something to smash right into our faces before we can acknowledge it as “good”.

    My feeling is this album has given us alot of Heart.
    And certain parts have actually “smashed me in my face”.
    I’m so sorry you don’t hear it, John, but I do.
    I did advise you to listen to it LOUD so that you can hear the many nuances of his emotions, frequently subtle.

    I want to give an example of one of the songs which you did not much like: Angel.
    If I were depressed, I would want to listen to it with headphones in my bed, while crying into my pillow, and his rendition so serene and calm and so tenderly persuasive – he becomes my Messenger and my Guardian Angel. I will be comforted.

    Lol John! You kinda betrayed yourself. You said you “changed your mind” about Everybody Hurts” after watching the video. How many vids must David’s team make to convince you that you are afterall a Begin outcast? πŸ˜€

    No, John, you don’t have to apologise for being…erm…deaf..
    You are actually just an over-demanding father who wants his favourite son to “do the very best”.

    I love the way David has done this album with Kurt Bester. But that does not mean David can’t do even better in the future.

    We all, including you, fell in love with his voice and also the way he sang at AI.
    This album reminds me of the time when he was in AI, so I don’t quite fathom you as to why you’re disappointed with Begin.
    In fact, I think he has sung even better in Begin than at AI. πŸ™‚

  3. John

    Forgot to congratulate you for a job really well done on David’s Superman picture.
    Amazing!! πŸ™‚

  4. “… a rising crescendo that promises so much but never quite reaches its peak and you’re left hanging waiting for more.”

    Perhaps that was David’s intention to keep us hanging until he returns? πŸ˜‰

  5. Hey John,

    Thanks for your review of Begin and that Superman David pic is cute πŸ™‚ Guess you used that as a distraction of sorts for those who might want to extract a few pounds of your flesh LOL

    Anyway, jokes aside, I do understand your extremely high expectation of David. I appreciate your realistic opinions about David holding back on his vocal styling, tame delivery to the almost karaoke feel of those covers. In Part 1 of his short video clip that he did he said he picked those songs which are in sync with his next chapter of life and of cos we know he meant his impending mission. I suppose with that in mind the melancholic tone was set for Begin.

    For David to be able to turn you into jelly at some point says so much about his emotional connection with his listeners. Give the cd a few more close listen, put on your headphones and I am sure it will bring some flickers of nostalgic smiles on your face and perhaps a change of mind πŸ™‚ Maybe then you will be fully convinced that he did a really good job on this cd. Covers aside, don’t you like Broken?

  6. Trace,

    I feel David’s heart in this cd too. I dont just say this cos David said so in the last part 6 of his vlog. He said getting these songs to us is the most important part and he hopes that we will feel his heart even when he’s not here. Besides I know he sang the heck out of those 10 songs and this cd is a treasured gift.

    I’ve never cared much for songs like Angel, Beautiful, Everybody Hurts and BOTW. Somehow I find them so inspirational when David sings them with that heartfelt quality of his voice and I’m such a goner after that πŸ˜€ Besides I think the Everybody Hurts video is so moving coupled with clips of him singing his heart out in the studio just a day before going off on his mission.

    I am just happy we have new music for now πŸ˜€

  7. John

    It looks like, so far, the extraction of your “pound of flesh” is done very gently, almost lovingly, causing you no pain and screams of “blue murder”.
    But don’t be fooled. Expect the extra pound yet to come! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  8. Amelia

    I admire your loyalty and faith in David.
    Don’t go anywhere – his best is yet to come. πŸ™‚

  9. Tracy

    That’s a great way to soften whatever negative feelings you might have. πŸ™‚

  10. Shirley

    After listening to Be Still My Soul, I finally grasp the extent of the depth of his feelings about his God and faith.
    Not just about putting his career on hold, but also about the motivation which drives him to do what he does, and be what he is.
    The reason I connect deeply with this song is also the use of the Cello – been waiting anxiously since the time I asked him.
    When he sang the words.. Be Still My Soul..with a lower register nearer the end and the Cello enters, I wish I could do an MGR of it and let it go on and on… πŸ™‚

    BOTW is a beautiful song and I’ve always liked it by Simon & Garfunkel. But, in David’s version, I’m not sure about the loud bang on the piano right at the end..I find it rather jolting.

    I’ve never heard the original version of Everybody Hurts before.
    As I was nearly killed by David’s version, I Ytubed REM’s version out of curiosity. It proved that David’s version is totally beyond comparison.

    Do you think EH will be the 1st single now that they have made a vid of it? I would really like it to be heard on radio by more people for them to see what David can do.
    It’s time for people to realise that David is no longer a kid. It’s time for them to take him as a singer more seriously.

    I like the album well enough to applaud David.
    I also think it is a good Beginning for David to have a new start, perhaps even a new direction.
    I think a direction, based on Broken and Everybody Hurts, would make me happy.

    What sort of genre of music is David’s Everybody Hurts? Rock Ballad?

  11. Trace,

    I have always wanted a studio version of Be Still My Soul from David eventhough I’m not familiar with the hymn till I heard him sings it.Β  LOL, I know you have this cello thing with David πŸ™‚Β  For me I’ve always love and admire his spirituality. In COS he mentioned that his goal was always to stay close to God. To me its inevitable that he’ll go on a mission, its just a matter of time.

    BOTW is indeed a beautiful song but I’ve never really enjoy it till now πŸ˜€Β  LOL that last bang on the piano is suppose to jolt you out of your David trance! πŸ™‚

    Everybody Hurts might just well be the 1st single since they’ve made a video out of it. I’ve listened to REM’s version immediately when the tracklist was revealed.Β  I really like the song and know David is totally going to kill it on this one! Yes the song has to be heard all over and the MV ought to be seen by everyone πŸ˜€Β  REM is a rock group and its safe to say Everybody Hurts is a rock ballad.

  12. Uncle John
    Begin is still my favourite Archu-album because it has that heart which I think was rather lacking from his previous pop-albums. (Which I kinda scolded him for in my last letter before Begin was released. Gahh… I hope he forgives me for that) Begrudgingly, I might have to entertain the fact that I was bowled over by this album because I miss David and the sound of his voice. Or maybe I’m just totally biased.

    Admittedly I haven’t listened to Begin this week because I was away. I let my auntie baby-sit my CD for the week and all she said was that it was “nice”. Hard to fathom some people… lol I’m gonna go see that mv now πŸ™‚

  13. LOL… John, you certainly have great sense of humour on that superman picture! What a title?!… Yup! David is saving some poor soul in Chile right now. πŸ˜‰

    When I met him after his concert in the States, I could feel his humility, gratefulness and appreciation to us, fans, that makes me strongly believe that this album is truly from his HEART.

    Haha..surprisingly, I have to agree with John on this album – a so-so. LOL…I have to wear body armour now that I know who are going to shoot me!!

    BEGIN. is truly the replica of AI’s S7.

    David’s vocal has grown to be more silky and polished texture but I still prefer his AI’s vocal which has some raspy, raw texture that makes it outstanding. That where I fell in love with his voice. πŸ™‚ Don’t get me wrong, his vocal is still beautiful but now more towards professional sounding. A+ for his vocal always.

    Song covers:
    I don’t know most of the cover songs in this album while growing up, hence, I consider them as David’s songs. The 90sec snippets gave me some excitements but after listening to the whole album, it sort of fall flat. I guess it must be his laid-back lazy gentle vocal style that makes the songs kind of same tune except for True Colours which has a different beat. I read that Pride is a rock song, so I expect assertive vocal on this song but somehow it turns out funny to my ears, a gentle ballad rock song?!!

    The plus point of this album is that David brilliantly did change most of the cover songs to his own style by injecting certain genre of music into the ballads, eg. True colours and BOTW – throw in a little of r&b feel to it. Broken is a straight forward an anthem for humanitarian which has a nice and simple rhythm.

    As a fan of David’s voice, I’m not satisfied and after many listens everyday (yes! nuts), I beginning to like his laid-back lazy vocal style on certain songs. My favourties are Beautiful, Angel, True colours and Don’t Give Up – the female part should be more softer.

    Final thoughts:
    I’m not particular fond of slow ballads, hence, I’m giving the excuse that David was given a short period of time to churn out a safe, anguish vocal and heartfelt album.

    I hope BEGIN. is not the beginning of the slow ballad route because I want him to sing carefree, lively pop mature songs that matches his age and also work with someone near his age. No more parachutes and airplanes!! πŸ™‚

  14. Oops …*churn out a safe, gentle and heartfelt album*. Distracted by MU vs Fulham game just now! πŸ™‚

  15. I love this new beginning for David! I don’t know how y’all can think of it as just OK.(It can still make me sob) I hope to hear more of these emotionally driven, more mature albums in the future. They don’t have to be slow ballads, I agree they can get dull after a while. Perhaps more soul and R&B, that’s how he started out when he was a kid. Maybe he can swap the orchestra for some bongos. Minimal production is best with D.
    I don’t think D will ever be able to do indie pop like Jason Mraz. He has a powerful voice and belts out his notes. I’ve heard someone say JM’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard next to D’s. Indie pop emphasises on the choice of lyrics employing strange vocab, oxymorons and the like. As we know, D has trouble writing lyrics.
    Begin is still my favourite archu-album. πŸ˜€

  16. LOL… Liying, not OPM as well? πŸ˜‰

    Yes, slow ballads can get dull after awhile and I’m missing David’s upbeat music in this album. He could throw it in one but I guess his intention of this album at this point is apparent. I don’t want to hear songs that makes me sob/cry but can makes me feel happy all day long like indie pop music. πŸ™‚

    Haha.. tks for the description of JM’s voice. It is funny but you have to get use to Mr. Mraz’s vocal to enjoy his music. His latest album has shown different genre of music fused into one that makes it so interesting. πŸ™‚

  17. hello Trace,

    BOTW, ya.. the original singers’ delivery were soft and gentle and like Shirley mentioned –> the ending supposed to jolt you out of your trance. The ending was indeed busy!! Well-said Shirley!

    Angel: I’m giggling at your description – a depression antidote! LOL…

    Everybody Hurts: It’s not rock ballad. It’s anguish rock ballad – David’s famous crying vocal that grab our attention. πŸ˜‰

  18. liying

    You “scolded” David?!! eiowqzxngjios….!!! πŸ˜€

    I totally agree with you that this is his best album so far (not including MOTAB and CFTH).

    Your aunt’s comment that it was “nice” probably has alot of hidden meanings of “niceness”. πŸ™‚

  19. Akang

    No, definitely no more Parachutes and Whatever! πŸ˜€

    I agree with liying that I don’t understand why you say the album is just Ok.
    As she said, ballads don’t have to be slow and dull.
    Rock ballads will suit David’s voice. And as “Everybody Hurts” has proven, it is neither too slow nor dull.

    Airy-fairy renditions of songs, to me, is duller and more boring. πŸ™‚

    Songs that make you cry and sob are more meaningful to listen to, because, after a good cry (by us!), you feel exorcised and your negative energies released, and you feel happier.
    Happier because you then thank your lucky stars that you are not one of the sad characters in the story. And a good cry does no one any harm, no? Makes sense? πŸ˜€

    Lol! You have invented a new genre to music – Anguish Rock Ballad!
    He will be the pioneer and many will follow. But he will be the Best! Hahaha….

    We definitely can’t begrudge David for the loss of his raspiness. Unless he gets back that vocal paralysis haha! God forbid.

    I agree that Pride too is not edgy enough – though I’ve never heard the original.
    I don’t think David should sing very hard, edgy, pounding rock. His voice is too silky smooth.
    We will leave the Pounding (your word hehe) to people like Adele. John?

    Neither should he sing JMraz’s songs because I feel he is wasted on lightweight songs.
    I want him to do rock ballads like EH, when he can have a rock beat and revel in his voice to put me in a trance (Shirley and you are ganging up on me hehehe) and to draw blood from my veins!

    If a very good song is written for him like Somebody Out There (thanks for the audio!), where his voice can shine, I will be happy too. it’s a shame that SOT was not included in one of his older albums….wiocxazzzoemiss!!

    So JMraz is doing Rojak music now? Lol! Sorry, just teasing. πŸ™‚

  20. Shirley

    Besides EH, I also think Broken should be a single.
    His voice has taken some new sounds in it and I want more people to hear them.
    They must be introduced to a newer David – more adult and more emo.
    And of course it is an original song – no need for them to make comparisons with older versions.

    He may not be able to attract new fans with this album since the songs are covers (I hope I’m wrong) but at least, it is a start with this new originl song where he sounds different from the previous songs he has been singing in other albums which were young and showcased his youth.
    I really think Parachutes sealed his doom for a more adult audience at that time. Hardly anyone took him seriously with that song.
    I want him to have a new beginning with Broken.

  21. I dare say Begin is even better than CFTH. (I don’t own a Motab) Let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty, skill and technical prowess of D’s voice which he displays throughout this album. He has complete control over his vocal chords which is a really hard thing to do especially for D. πŸ™‚ Besides that, the message he wanted to convey came across very clearly. Hence the emo overtones. There has been a spike in the number of people taking interest in D’s music after the album’s release. (albeit not a very large one just yet) People were curious about his take on these covers, some were just long-lost fans. I like that he has a more mature sound to him, I’ve been waiting for this a long time. Anyways let’s not fling too much mud at this album so soon before the Malaysian release.

    Yes Auntie Trace, I scold David. My letters to him are quite lengthy and I can sometimes be a bit blunt about things. I don’t think he likes me very much. Totally ruined my chances of ever becoming Mrs David Archuleta lol πŸ™‚

    On a side note, Sarah Maclachlan wrote Angel about musicians struggling with cocaine abuse. I wonder how David relates. Omigosh was D depressed?!

  22. liying

    Lol! You had me grinning about your being blunt in your lengthy letters to David. πŸ˜€
    I like you..have we met before? πŸ™‚

    I don’t think you have ruined your chances of being Mrs. David Archuleta at all.
    The reason being, David has had so many letters sent to him, spazzing and telling him how good and cute he is….I am sure this standard kind of fanmail becomes sort of tiresome after awhile. (my conjecture, not David’s thinking)

    So my conclusion is, you have captured David’s attention. He has perked up to listen to what you had had to say. But I hope your criticism of him before had been constructive.

    Now go and spazz to him about Begin and make that long-desired proposal..
    No, not yet. In 2 years’ time. Don’t cacau him now when his focus lies elsewhere. πŸ˜€

    I agree that we should wait for the others to listen for themselves after Sept 4.
    Just 9 days more!
    I will check at Speedy and also the bookshops (for Eunice).

  23. liying

    I don’t think singing Angel was depression-driven related to himself.
    Going on the mission, I think, gave him butterflies that he can at last serve his God without distraction.
    I believe it was driven by his ever-present adopted role of being a source of inspiratiion and comfort for those who feel lost.

  24. Liying,

    Your remark about someone making that comparison of Jason Mraz’s voice vs David’s is funny πŸ™‚ Guess we all have our personal opinions and preferences. One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.

    As for me, I love his emotional connections to the songs and ultimately to his listeners but he has not reduced me to tears yet. I am just happy to hear his voice be it singing or talking LOL

    I am very much looking forward to a mature sounding album in the future too. I think we will get a Spanish cd first when he’s back. Will anyone of us be buying a whole album of Spanish songs or do we have to learn the language first?

  25. Akang!

    What’s wrong with an anguish rock ballad with David’s famous cry? I thought its very nice. LOL, I love how you coined a new term here! Yes, Trace is right, David will be the pioneer on this one πŸ™‚

    Wah, its been a long while since I hear Somebody Out There. So that’s assertive vocal but I thought I hear that in Beautiful, Angel, Broken & Everybody Hurts or maybe I could be confused πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  26. Hey Trace,

    Do you remember reading in COS that David mentioned Angel by Sarah McLachlan is one of his favourite songs and that he used to sing when he was nine or ten. He also said the song allowed him to really escape and be in a different place.

    Maybe he’s truly depressed and wanted to put it on Begin and then escape to his mission??? One more thing, just be prepared, there’s possibility that he might extend his mission πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Have a great Sunday!

  27. Shirley

    I agree with you about David’s cry of anguish. In fact it is not just “very nice” – it takes one to another place – maybe he takes us to Somewhere Only We Know? πŸ˜€

    By the way I love the way he sang that song – the beat..the pace..the way he makes me dance..the way he brings a sense of nostalgia to mind. without being maudlin and sentimental.
    I can’t listen to the original version anymore.

    You could be right that perhaps he was depressed afterall, and “running away” to a mission was his way of de-stressing by being closer to his God.
    Archies, being the most demanding, the most loyal, the most in-your-face kind of fans, and his own heartfelt desire to please all of them, and his disappointments perhaps to have not reached more people etc etc (I’m sure you can think of more) – all this could very well have contributed to his need to get away for awhile.

    I have always had my own suspicion that he is not as happy-go-lucky as he presents.
    Deep inside, he has turmoils we don’t see. How did I know? I can see Akang laughing at me with a smirk lol!!I

    An album all in Spanish would be rather good for business – he has alot of spanish-speaking fans – that market could wisely be tapped.
    You know me, I would welcome any music he comes out with.
    Contigo has proven that he will sing in Spanish very well.
    (I can see Akang frothing in the mouth and flopping into a fainting spell already! πŸ˜€ )

  28. Shirley

    Extend his mission??!! wosfjizzppmkvuiefjiosl……..!!! 😦

    I don’t think he will.
    Because he has said he will be back in 2014.
    And also because by then, he would have missed making his own music.

    But I will not negate the possibility that he might go back for another mission or a sort of recluse period in the future.

    Please excuse my creative thinking. πŸ˜€

  29. Well Auntie Shirley, David knows full well how sexy we think his singing in Spanish is. πŸ˜‰ The fact that we don’t know what he’s singing makes it more delectable. hahaha lol πŸ˜€

    Auntie Trace, no we haven’t met before. AAM meets were usually before my exams. I’ve just finished college for about a month now, which is why I can spazz daily to my hearts content. haha

    Poor David. I think he really was a little depressed.

    No more missions!!! We might have to kidnap him, club him in the head and stuff him in a sack to prevent him going on any more.

    People like me are probably what caused his depression. Yup I should go apologise…

  30. liying

    You are hilarious!
    The way you claim to be the cause for his depression really tickled me! πŸ˜€
    Well, young lady, you made him run away in depression, you go right back and straighten things out – make him come back hahaha…

    I am wondering, for a young person like you, did you like his slower songs like BSMS on the album?
    I am asking this because you mentioned earlier about “the beauty, skill and technical prowess of David’s voice.”
    But you also said that “slow ballads can be dull after awhile”.

    The way I see it is, his voice shines best when the rhythm of the songs is slower.
    I would really like to hear a younger person’s perspective on this. πŸ™‚

    Older people like ….you know who you are hehe….can join in too. πŸ™‚
    (Hey, nothing wrong with being older huh? I am as old as the hills! πŸ˜€ )

  31. Hey everyone,

    It’s nice to see the banter going back and forth between the beginners (those who like the album) and the enders (those who…like it less, LOL!). Reading through it, I managed to pick up a few points of interest regarding the whole hoohah that is BEGIN. I can see that many people are rather puzzled as to why David chose this particular set of songs to cover. Now, I don’t claim to be Charles Xavier from the X-Men (who can read minds) – I don’t know why they made that decision, but I can hazard a guess; I believe these songs can best showcase David’s voice. Not vocals, mind you – just his voice.

    The reason is that the appeal for male singers is different from that of female singers, who are usually evaluated by how many vocal tricks they can throw into one song without making it sound like a very badly done rojak (and also how high they can go before sounding like a drowning cat). Males on the other hand, get a different sort of attention – how many male singers have you heard of that got famous because he can hit high notes or can match Mariah with her runs? Not very many, I assume. In fact, most male singers have extremely limited ranges – only half of their female counterparts – but they still get droves of fans trying to stalk them 24/7. Why? Because they are valued for how they sound. David’s voice is pretty iconic – if I may say so – since I’ve yet to hear anyone who sounds like him. He croons and wails pretty well – and only ballads allow him to croon all the way through, so…here’s BEGIN. for you!

    Coming to the album, I can’t give my own two cents on it since I’ve fastidiously kept away (and still am doing it) from listening to anything from BEGIN. I haven’t even watched the MVs and videos David released regarding the album’s production – the all can wait until September 4th! Nevertheless, I’ve gathered a thing or two from everyone’s comments and decided that I’m going to like it, haha. I’m a fan of ballads myself – and I just can’t get enough of David’s ballads, heh. Still, an album full of ballads can be pretty hard on the ears after a while. We’ll see.

    Oh and on a final note, I don’t think David’s mission is that big an issue anymore. I think it was something like national service – having been in the waiting line before, I know the feeling you get; there’s that fear of being away from home and everyone you know for a long time and doing goodness knows what in a foreign place. I didn’t get chosen, but I suppose that once you’re there, it’s just another phase in life – I’m sure David’s just chilling out at the moment and having the time of his life.

  32. Hey Zach!

    Lovely to see you after so long! πŸ™‚
    I’m glad you came in even without being armed with your own 2 cents since you have not had experienced Begin.

    Will you be a Beginner or an Ender ? – we would really like to know after Sept 4.
    I hope you too will give us your review.

    I agree with you that the Mission is no longer an issue. We have accepted it and stopped crying Lol!

    I’m also wondering (hoping hoping) if he actually pre-recorded more songs than the 10 in Begin, that which will be released in 2013???

  33. Wow a lot of comments and reactions to my article :-D. Except for calling me deaf, not too much brickbats that I can see…thank god! lol.

    For what it’s worth, it really pained me to write what I did. I fully expected to be over the moon for ‘Begin’. I really wanted to rave over it and rate it 5 stars but in all honesty I can’t not because the genre of music isn’t my cup of tea, on the contrary I was excited with the prospect of listening to David sing some of music’s classics. But the reality was quite the surprise.

    Many of the tracks aren’t particularly difficult to sing, judging from their being mainstays at karaoke joints thus the tendency to sound like a karaoke singer when you attempt some of these songs. And I’m afraid this is exactly what David sounded like on the songs that I highlighted in my article – a note for note faithful rendition of the original which doesn’t do it for me. I’m sure many half decent warblers can dish out an on tune and non pitchy version of these songs. But coming from David I wanted more…I wanted to say to people, “See this is what David Archuleta is capable of. This is why he should have won American Idol and this is what true musicianship and talent is all about!”.


    However I think he will do better on the next record (I sure hope so) when he has more time to think about it and perhaps with a producer who knows how to draw out the best of that unique voice. Hope springs eternal as they say πŸ™‚

    As for Zach’s comment about high pitched male singers I can provide 2 examples: Adam Lambert who has an amazing vocal range (even though I think he overdoes it often and is too theatrical for my taste) and Steve Perry, ex-frontman of the pop rock group Journey who is greatly admired for the power and clear tonality of his voice even when hitting the high notes (which can be high believe me). And of course all the high tenors of male opera singers like Andrea Bocelli.

  34. John

    Eh? I thought you had gone into hiding to avoid a hiding! πŸ˜€
    Besides Begin creating a sort of internet buzz, you have too with your article:
    “What? Who is this John person? He is disappointed? – why ah?! Velly goood waaat!) πŸ˜€

    I sympathise with you that your hopes had been dashed – though not empathise.
    But I guess we all have different opinions and expectations.
    I’m glad though that you wrote what you really felt, being true to yourself. πŸ™‚

    I’m also glad you said:
    “I think he will do better on the next record when he has more time to think about it…”
    As we all know, it was a rushed job.
    Hey it is darn good for a rushed job huh?!

    Thanks again for giving us the review – and that’s from all of us. πŸ™‚

  35. John

    By the way, as a matter of curiosity, are you sure you have placed the speakers of your audio system properly?

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  36. Of course I liked David’s slower songs. (like is an understatement) I agree those kind of songs showcase his voice better. In a way he was playing it safe singing slow ballads. Uncle John may be right in this respect. The best way to sell his albums is to sell his voice and D knows that. And he is totally right about that.lol He is a businessman in a way after all. hehe. Unfortunately, a lot of people have forgotten about D since AI and this album serves as a reminder as to why D is THE VOICE. I believe D also wanted to discard his cute Lil’ Archie persona and have people see him as an adult and finally take him seriously. Which is why he chose to sing adult contemporary. A far cry from his teeny bopping TOSOD days. This album should be heralded as a new beginning for D’s music, a rebirth if you like. I used to be afraid he’d become one of those mass-produced, conveyor belt pop stars which he evidently doesn’t want to be.

    I don’t agree that he sounded like a karaoke singer at all. Some parts of the album may have been over-produced. But that really isn’t David’s fault. I don’t think it’s Kurt Bestor’s fault either, that’s just his style of production. For example, BSMS should have just been D’s voice accompanied by the cello. (Which is why I say D should get in touch with Kurt Schneider, the most awesomest music producer on the planet πŸ™‚ )

    D uses Speech Level Singing which is why his vocal range is quite large.

    What I meant by saying slow ballads can get dull is that you can’t listen to them all day everyday. Frankly you can get sick of any kind of music by listening too often. Slow balllads are good for bedtime or lazy Sunday afternoons πŸ™‚ But I can’t imagine listening to D croon while trying to run a marathon or something like that.

    I hope D has a nice break from people like me and comes back invigorated to make more music πŸ˜€

  37. John, I chose to ignore opera singers on purpose since they’re on another plane of existence altogether. :p In the pop music industry, there are only a handful of male vocalists who are known for their ranges, while the rest are better known for their sound (think Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Josh Groban, Michael Buble and a horde of so many others).

    Liying (or is it Li Ying? I’m confused, haha.), I don’t know about David using speech level singing since his voice is too nasal – especially in his upper registers – for me to be convinced that he is doing it properly. He also strains to reach higher notes; you can see it pretty clearly because the veins in his neck pop out in some of the videos of him – that isn’t a characteristic of speech level singing, haha. Rather, I think he’s just lucky to have that vocal range from the start – David still has a long way to go in terms of vocal technique.

    As for David karaoke-ing on the album…I can’t say much until I hear it, but maybe they (David and his producers) were keeping in mind the adage “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? Or perhaps, with the limited amount of time for David to choose the songs, record them and all, he didn’t have enough time to experiment with the variations he could have added to the songs? There could also be the possibility that he sounds best singing the songs in the original arrangement so they just left it at that.

  38. I googled ‘speech level singing’ and discovered this explanation:

    “Basically, if the larynx stays down and the vocal cords stay together from the very bottom of the vocal range to the very top everything is fine. This also applies to all vowel and consonant combinations through out any phrase. If at any point the larynx jumps up or down or the tone becomes breathy then there is something wrong with the vocal process.

    The larynx is the big bump in the middle of the neck just below the chin. This houses the vocal cords and controls the process of swallowing. When the larynx moves up, the muscles around the cords act as a sphincter and closes so as to prevent swallowing down the windpipe and into the lungs. This is a very important process when you need to swallow, but it is a very poor process when you are trying to sing. If you place your hand on your larynx and yawn, you will find that you can bring your larynx down as well. This is a good way to learn what it feels like to have the larynx stay down. The end goal here is to be able to keep the larynx from moving down as well as up. It should stay completely still as you ascend and descend.”

    “The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are a pair of soft tissue cords that are joined at the front of the larynx and extend back. When they close, the back end of the cords come together (adduct), and the flow of air is temporarily stopped. When the pressure of air from the diaphragm overcomes the pressure of the muscles holding the cords together, they are blown apart and sound is made when they close again due to the resonation created. Then once again the air pressure overcomes the muscle pressure and the process begins again”

    So based on the above is David using speech level techniques? No idea but David has always had voice training and according to voice experts on the net he has a vocal range of C3-E5. Is that considered a wide range?

  39. Zach,
    My name is Li Ying ( liying is just my malas way of typing my name without any caps). πŸ™‚ As far as I know D uses SLS. If he didn’t, he’d be out of breath on the high notes not to mention he’d strain his vocal chords which is something he should especially avoid. His look of strain on the higher notes is probably just him getting really into the song. πŸ˜€ If you remember in COS he said he went to see Seth Riggs the weekend he met the the AI 1 finalists. Riggs is, if I’m not mistaken, one of the SLS pioneers.
    If you watch his tutorials, his singing really doesn’t sound much different from regular singing but apparently there is less strain on the vocal chords and so less risk of damage. D’s nasally sound is what makes him special and I woudn’t want him to change.

    Uncle John,
    I’m not entirely sure if a 3 and a half octave range for a guy is considered wide ( I think it is ) but I’ve heard guys sing with more limited vocal ranges. D’s transitions between his chest voice and head voice are impeccable at any rate, almost unnoticable because his bridge voice is so highly trained. I can’t really identify the types of voices per se, this is from my reading. The head voice is for higher notes whereas the chest voice is for the lower register. Each require a different set of muscles. SLS teaches you to do these transitions without moving the larynx but alternate between the different sets of muscles. SLS is known as the technique of the stars and SLS-ers often feel if you aren’t using it, you aren’t doing it right. πŸ™‚ Usually people tend to raise their larynx for high notes and vice versa, but if you keep your larynx down and instead control the adductions of your vocal chords ( higher rate for higher registers and the other way round) you’d produce a much warmer sound, not put too much strain on your vocal chords and you won’t sound out of breath. I don’t think any of D’s vocal trainers would teach him any other method. SLS is supposed to make singing much easier. πŸ˜€

  40. Wahliao!!
    What you guys talking about??!!
    I’m impressed! πŸ™‚

    I’ll have to spend some time later to figure it out.
    …first I must find out where my larynx is…then place my hand on it…and yawn…and make sure it does not jump up and down….alternate the muscles…poor David…

    Never heard of SLS…but I know SLC…

  41. Anybody remember David’s ‘Smokey Mountain Memories’? He hit that awesome high note at the end of the song – supposedly one of the highest for a male voice:

    What was that note he hit at the 2.16 mark? I remember watching the after show reviews of that performance and D’s voice coach Dean was talking about how he and D had prepared for that particular note. I suppose that was with his head voice?

  42. More than an hour and I still can’t find that blasted larynx of mine. 😦

    I take my hat off to you guys for knowing so much ….and to David who knows how exactly to operate his. πŸ™‚

  43. Oops. C3-E5 is actually a 2 and a half octave vocal range not 3. Sorry, my brain. hehe πŸ™‚

    Uncle John, that might be a high F. I’m not sure. Does anyone here have perfect pitch? If D wasn’t using SLS he might have just flopped on the stage gasping for breath. Haha Lovely head voice as always.

    If you wanted to you could extend your vocal range with loads of practice. Pitch is controlled by muscles after all. You just develop the muscle memory to pull it off.

    I tried watching tutorials. Singing is a lot of work. Gotta admire D for that. Respect.

  44. John,

    Thank you for posting this great song. I hope we can post all of David’s AI songs, so we can relive those moments. πŸ™‚

  45. Wow.. impressed with the vocal lessons by Liying, Zach and John. Three of you are so much better than the AI Season 10’s judges. πŸ™‚

    A brief intermission: I want to dedicate this video to Genie, Shirley, Tracy Tan, Irda and Sheba. LOL.. l’m amazed what piano can do, David’s favourite piece of musical instrument. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for watching!

  46. Regarding the video, uhm…no, I don’t actually find it very high pitched, lol. David has actually hit higher notes than that after AI – and with better control, too. I suppose he’s still learning at that point of time.

    And Li Ying, David’s nasally voice is due to his vocal technique, haha. Many singers sing with the same nasally tone – you just have to look for it (and of course they don’t sound the same as David when they do that). While I’m not saying that he’s not using speech level singing, he’s certainly not a master of that style…yet. Straining (closing eyes, contorted face, bending over, bulging neck muscles, popping veins) is one very easy way of telling if someone is using improper vocal technique and David, I can assure you, has shown many of those signs in all of his live performances.

    However, don’t go running around assuming that David is a lousy singer just because he’s not using perfect vocal technique. The only people who have perfect vocal techniques are classical vocalists – those people are a different sort of “species”, haha. In the pop industry, many singers use improper singing techniques but are still successful. Will it surprise you if I say that Celine Dion is one of them? And let’s not mention Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera (who is dubbed Straintina because she…strains a lot when singing, haha), Carrie Underwood, etc. Only Mariah Carey is the closest one to having practised good vocal technique and even then, look at her voice now – all torn up from too much use.

    And as for David’s chest/head voice transition, I must admit that I actually envy him. Yes, where-ever you read that from, Li Ying, it is correct: David is really good at moving from one voice to another, haha. Not only that, he is also really good at jumping from chest voice to falsetto. That all happened after he got advice from Mariah on the week he sang “When You Believe” on AI (Mariah Carey week), I believe. She is, after all, the best vocal acrobat in the pop industry – she must’ve given him some “vocal aura” so he can improve, haha.

    Uhm…as for what chest/head voice and falsetto is…I could explain, but it’s not very easy to do with text. Perhaps you could YouTube it if curiosity overwhelms you, haha.

    Oh, and David has close to two octaves of vocal range (minus falsetto), which is pretty good for a guy. Adam Lambert has maybe…two octaves and two/three notes, just for you to make a comparison. Most of the other famous male singers (Jason Mraz, Greyson Chance, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, take your pick) usually have around one octave only, so revel in D’s magnificent range, Archies!

    Aunt Trace, I think it’s easier if you place your hand on your throat while you swallow. You should be able to feel a little bump moving up and down – that’s your larynx. If you can’t feel it…it means you swallowed your larynx by accident! Haha, no, I’m just kidding – some people just don’t have very prominent larynges so don’t fret if you can’t find it.

  47. Hi Everyone,

    Wow, I’ve learned so many interesting stuff about SLS just by reading all your comments here. I didnt know Seth Riggs is the founder of this SLS techniques. David did acquire good singing tips from the best.

    LOL Trace, you joker! Are you still trying to find that larynx of yours? Try to follow Zach’s instruction closely πŸ™‚

    Hey Amy, I love what The Piano Guys did to that 1D’s hit. Thanks for posting that video. Β Amazing what these men can do at the piano. Β They looked like surgeons on an operating table LOL

  48. Trace
    Maybe you don’t have a larynx? πŸ˜‰

    I read once that Mariah *high priestess of melisma* Carey has an 8 octave vocal range. Is that even possible? And what about the ex Whitney Houston? Didn’t she have an equally jaw dropping voice until she destroyed it with drugs?

    As for Chris Brown, the foetus and the Chance boy – I’m not sure if they can be labeled as singers in the strictest sense of the word. They’re more like performers and personalities in my opinion.

  49. I tend to agree with Zach that I really don’t hear “that very high note” in SMM as “one of the highest in a male voice”. It was awesomely high but I think that opinion was expressed long before anyone heard Adam Lambert. πŸ™‚

    What struck me about SMM was how he made the song so endearing by the sense of longing he put into that song.
    For David, it is always about the emotions first, even during the AI days. Something he had made very much more apparent, and very felt, in all the songs in Begin.

    He uses a great deal of falsetto in many songs in the album and he has made leaps and bounds with that style, as in Broken.

    He has always impressed me with his head voice(high?)) but I also agree that he has to put in alot of effort to achieve what he has achieved, like what Zach said, about bending over, popping his neck veins etc. I think that’s the reason I used to grip my armchair in fear whenever he is ready to hit a high note.

    I think his chest voice (low?) is yet to be tapped as he never used it that much. Perhaps he is not too confident. However I think it’s highly admirable when he uses it – as in the last part of BSMS.

    That’s why I have always wanted him to sing with the sole accompaniment of the Cello. His chest voice would blend extremely well with that instrument. I hope BSMS is just the beginning.

    Lol Zach! I did find my larynx this morning. Found my brains too! – well, just enough to comment properly. πŸ˜€

  50. John

    Lol!! Yeah I agree that I probably don’t have a larynx – that’s why I leave the singing to David and other people. πŸ˜€

    EIGHT vocal range?! I really don’t think it’s possible.
    If it is, glass will shatter and so will I !!

    Give me songs that connect with my heart anytime.
    Perhaps David has a “heart voice” too? hehehe…

    “Singers” like our beloved foetus can remain the manufactured product that they are. People like us will just exercise alot of tolerance – ah, perhaps not – we’ll just switch off the radio and run away from shopping complexes.. πŸ˜€

  51. Amy
    Thanks for the Piano Guys’ vid. Fun! πŸ™‚

    Yes I found my larynx at last. Swallowed it by accident (as Zach suspected haha) while having lunch yesterday. But managed to cough it out during dinner. πŸ˜€

  52. liying

    Alot of hard work to achieve good singing – yes.

    Loads of respect for David – absolutely.

    Begin is admirable – yes absolutely.

  53. Eunice

    Yes I’m sure we will post all of the AI songs at some point. Which are your favourites?

    I hope you will manage to buy your Begin cd on or after Sept 4. Don’t wait too long – we don’t want them to run out of stock. If you have problems in getting one, give us a shout-out – I’ll get you one. πŸ™‚

  54. I think D’s ‘chest voice’ is very breathy and raspy, lacking power – maybe that’s why he doesn’t use it that often.

    Adam Lambert’s vocal range came as a result of good genes whereas D’s ability to hit high notes is through vocal training and yes he’s not an expert in yet. I guess that’s why he doesn’t employ the technique all that often. Whatever the case maybe you gotta give him the props because he is singing with only ONE set of vocal chords so maybe difficult notes are harder for him to hit, thus the bending over, bulging neck veins, closed eyes etc.

    Another song I remember is when he sang ‘Angels’ during the AI tour. I think it was the last stop on the tour and he threw us for a loop when he ended the song with a note in the stratosphere. Of course there were a lot screams in the stratosphere as well lol!:

    Watch for it at the 3.53 mark. Also at the 3.32 mark when he went up the scale followed quickly with a slight growl. I think this is the best ‘Angels’ he’s ever done – full of passion, energy, power and real singing prowess. All that I expected from ‘Begin’ :-).

  55. EIGHT octaves?! Hahahah, that is no human feat, John! Mariah only has five, and the widest vocal range in record (which is held by a male, incidentally) is six octaves. And not many people know this, but the highest note David has ever sung (at least, if I’m not wrong) is sitting there under everyone’s noses – it’s just not very noticeable because David has never (ever) sung it live: the high note in Something ‘Bout Love’s chorus (the last and second last ones, where he moved up a key after the bridge). Yeap, when he sings “When the world falls down like rain/ It’ll bring you to your knees”, it’s the absolute highest he can sing.

    Why, if he can hit it in the studio, does David choose to avoid the note live, you ask? Because the note is tailored. Not the autotuned kind of tailored – they actually have a vocal coach or a voice “engineer” who will lead a singer through the ropes until they squeeze out the highest possible note they can achieve, and the note is then perhaps autotuned to clear out imperfections and all that so it sounds normal to us. Adele’s high notes in Someone Like You is also produced this way – she never sings the song in the original key or even goes anywhere near the note in “I beg, I remember you said” in her live performances. Therefore, while it certainly is a part of their ranges, these fabricated notes can only be produced under optimal conditions – sad to say, I doubt David will ever sing the chorus of SBL in the original key from start to finish in his live shows.

    For a demonstration on how a high note is supposed to be sung, you may check out this video. Note how her voice ECHOES throughout the entire venue even when its outdoors. You can skip to around 2:40 for the real show, haha.

  56. Thanks for that explanation Zach πŸ™‚ And yes we shall eternally revel in D’s magnificent range hehe. Be sure to enjoy your BEGIN. πŸ˜€

    Haha glad you finally managed to regurgitate your larynx Auntie Trace. πŸ™‚ Wanna give singing a go?

    In other news, (if anyone is interested) apparently D’s been transferred to a new area, Rancagua, an hour from Santiago. He’s now the senior companion there. Check under Rancagua II. http://chilerancaguamission.org/zonas.html This guy called Bravo Nauta posted on fb group. I guess it’s ok to share since there’s a site for it?

  57. That’s my favourite Angels as well. It’s phenomenal. Especially at the end. I play it often.
    For you, John, perhaps you were helped along by the viewing of a video as in EH? πŸ˜€

    Phew Zach! All I know is, listening to too much crazy high notes would drive me mad.
    But thanks for the explanation – I feel quite educated now. πŸ™‚

  58. liying

    I went into the link you gave and was searching for a pic of David. I even looked amongst the tall guys. Such a desperado.

    ME sing?? Ok you go first! πŸ˜€

  59. Happy Hari Merdeka everyone! Β I’ve just attended a thanksgiving mass this evening for Merdeka Day. In the end we had to stand in attention and sing the Negaraku. Β Its been a long while since I sang the National Anthem πŸ˜€

    How appropriate and a new banner too. Β Thanks John. Β Woohoo, 4 more days to release of BEGIN. in Malaysia! Sept 4th is yet another date that will go down the Archuhistory of Malaysian Archies πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  60. Shirley

    Singing Negaraku in church? That’s something new. I hope you enjoyed the new experience. πŸ™‚
    I spent my Merdeka Day listening to Begin – not such a new experience – but a constantly repeated one haha!

    Yes the new banner is definitely an appropriate one. Combining our flag and the Twin Towers with David’s image and that very much anticipated date – reminds me how fortunate I am to be living during this period of time. πŸ™‚

  61. Do you all know if there’s any truth to the rumours that there’s a new Philipine album to be released next month?

    Anyways, who’s heading to Speedy tomorrow? πŸ™‚

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