Even though he’s currently on a hiatus from music to fulfill a Mormon mission, David Archuleta‘s presence continues to be felt amongst his devoted fanbase. As a token of his thanks, Archuleta recorded BEGIN., an inspirational album comprised of nine cover songs and one original track (“Broken”), to tide his loyal supporters over until his return in two years time.
The cover songs, which were specifically selected by David, reflect on his innermost thoughts and feelings as he embarks on this new chapter in his life. Standout tracks like Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” are popularly known as motivational anthems for love and acceptance, whereas Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up” and R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” are commonly interpreted as songs of encouragement for those in low spirits. Archuleta tackles two songs that were on my wishlist of ‘Songs That Archie Should Sing’: Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with remarkable results. As well, his recording of the religious hymn “Be Still My Soul” is stunning in its sheer simplicity. David’s cover of U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” and his original song, “Broken” stuck out as oddities in this otherwise cohesive album, but they are still strong enough to be appreciated as they both rely similar messages of hope. Perhaps “Somewhere Only We Know” is the song that represents the relationship between David and his fans the most, as its lyrics suggest that, despite separations as caused by distance, we are bridged by our memories and the promise of a future reunion.
Not only do the songs demonstrate Archuleta’s extensive knowledge of music, they also express his tremendous maturity, both in choosing these powerful songs with such meaningful messages, and in his emotional connection in their delivery, which is apparent throughout the entire record.
David is one of my favourite singers and personalities. There’s something about his voice that is so confronting and calming; he is like the best friend you never had but always wanted by your side. That aspect of his character is greatly showcased in BEGIN.
In his message to his fans on the release of BEGIN., David says:
There was so much to do in such a short time, but I have to let the fans know how much this album means. This was definitely an album done against the odds, but done for the people who have meant so much to me, and a way to bring them on the journey I’m currently on right now to an extent. These songs have a reason behind them, and I hope that through this album you will understand better why I am out here on my mission.
2. Somewhere Only We Know
3. Everybody Hurts
4. Don’t Give Up (feat. Libbie Linton)
6. Bridge Over Troubled Water
8. True Colors
9. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
10. Be Still My Soul