David Archuleta

by: David Archuleta

American Idol seventh season runner-up David Archuleta was the same age as Jordin Sparks, the season six winner, but he always seemed much, much older -- a creature from a different era, a time where Up with People peacefully merged with the sound and sensibility of the pre-Nirvana '90s. Modernity seemed foreign to Archuleta, which wouldn't prevent his success in American Idol, a show that lives in a permanent oldies fantasia where it's still rebellious to sing the Allman Brothers some 35 years after their breakthrough. While rebellion is anathema to Archuleta, there's no doubt that the kid is sweet, something that shone through on the show, and he manages to sidestep saccharine pitfalls through much of his eponymous debut -- delivered six months after AmIdol season seven drew to a close. The producers keep him away from anything rhythmic through most of David Archuleta, with only the overly busy rhythm tracks distinguishing this as a 2008 release. Archuleta does sing well -- maybe not with a sense of storytelling, but as a highly coached performer who can hit the marks with accuracy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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