This review also appears on Amazon.com here
Sample “Everybody Hurts” on You Tube from BEGIN by David Archuleta
Dear Music Appreciators,
This is an album of nine covers and one original song from the ever popular runner up from American Idol Season Seven. His fans will gobble this up, and rightly so, as Archuleta possesses a beautiful singing voice that injects just about every song he attempts with some kind of seemingly angelic purity that is likely consistent with his clean-cut Mormon image.
Despite the halo he adds to each of these tunes, not all these covers are created equal. “Don’t Give Up” just isn’t the same without Peter Gabriel’s raspy intensity and signature phrasing. The one original song “Broken” is beautifully sung, but seems to kind of stick out among all these masterfully written hits – either more originals or no originals at all might have provided for a more consistent flow through the album. “True Colors” is well done here, but the song is so overdone in general that it feels like an old corny chestnut mixed in with the cool kids. “Pride In the Name of Love” is a valiant effort but I just can’t imagine ever reaching for this “TV show singing star tries one on for size” version when I could listen to U2 instead.
And then there’s the last track – the 18th century Christian hymn “Be Still My Soul” – beautiful, and definitely befitting of the Archuleta halo – but does it really fit in with all these worldly pop songs, even if they are sung in the voice of an angel?
For those who need a refresher on the artists that originally made these songs famous:
No. Title Original artist(s)
1. “Beautiful” Christina Aguilera
2. “Somewhere Only We Know” Keane
3. “Everybody Hurts” R.E.M.
4. “Don’t Give Up” (featuring Libbie Linton) Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush
5. “Angel” Sarah McLachlan
6. “Bridge over Troubled Water” Simon & Garfunkel
7. “Broken” David Archuleta
8. “True Colors” Cyndi Lauper
9. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” U2
10. “Be Still, My Soul” well, n/a really