David Archuleta can only go ‘The Other Side of Down’ in latest album

If you can keep track of all your American Idol seasons, you’ll remember that the fresh-faced David Archuleta came in second place to rocker David Cook in the show’s seventh season in 2008. But other than his sticky-sweet youthful looks and charm, Archuleta won over audiences and a loyal fanbase with his soaring renditions of inspirational tunes such as “Imagine” and “Angels.” Two years later, following a stellar debut and a holiday release, the 19-year-old Utahn shows even more growth as an artist with a new studio album, The Other Side of Down.

In The Other Side of Down, Archuleta stays true to his clean-cut image, incorporating the inspirational messages he conveyed in many of his Idol performances and singing about the purity of love. But while he’s always had a maturity in the way he presents his music, and still shows that on this album, there’s a younger, lighter sound at the same time—better for people his age and younger to relate to, yet grown-up enough for the older demographic to appreciate.

Another impressive step forward in Archuleta’s career, as demonstrated through this album, is that he has a songwriting credit to all but two of the tunes on the standard record—something that wasn’t seen on a large scale on his debut effort. His creative prowess shines through on the diverse tracks and poignant lyrics.

The debut single “Something ‘Bout Love” exemplifies Archuleta’s new sound well, although it doesn’t reflect all of the album. The retro-80s sound is loud and distinctive, but the message about the L-word is real, yet almost polite for the singer, and that’s something that is uniform throughout the record. There are plenty of catchy and bouncy pop jams to fill your ears with, like the title track and “Elevator.” There are meaningful mid-tempos, such as “Good Place” and “Complain.” Of course, an Archuleta album wouldn’t be complete without ballads, like the pretty “Falling Stars” and the piano-driven album capper “My Kind of Perfect.”

The just-read-the-title-and-you-know-it-inspires track “Things Are Gonna Get Better” is pretty epic with a gospel choir joining Archuleta later in the song with their vocals. But the title of Karen’s personal favorite track off The Other Side of Down goes to “Stomping the Roses,” a guitar and drum-based poppy number.

While I have to be honest and admit that this album is not exactly on heavy rotation on my iPod, it’s still a solid and remarkable effort from Archuleta. His music is full of depth, but still manages to perk ears up and although he still has that cute-young-boy-next-door vibe, he continues to flourish in how he presents a song with emotion as well as in his sophisticated songwriting. That, my friends, is a sign of manhood, and things for the already-accomplished Archuleta can only go up the other side of down.

OVERALL SCORE: 7/10

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10 thoughts on “David Archuleta can only go ‘The Other Side of Down’ in latest album

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention David Archuleta can only go ‘The Other Side of Down’ in latest album « Baby You'll Be Famous -- Topsy.com

  2. heartsong (Robin)

    What a great deal of pleasure I got out of reading your critique of The Other Side of Down. I will admit to having been a fan of David from the first AI audition and I have watched his growth. I was anxiously waiting for this album to be released and it did not disappoint. I too see a great deal of growth since the first album and I love the positive message throughout this album. David in many interviews has stated that this album ‘is more me’ and I can totally see that. I truly enjoy each song for different reasons. Thank you for your blog. 🙂

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    1. Karen

      I definitely feel like this album is more reflective of David and his overall musical style as well. I’m very glad to see all the growth he has made since his Idol run through this album, and I can’t wait to hear more from him in the near future!

      Thank you for your comment! ❤

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  3. TrudyFOD

    I love David Archuleta’s sophomore album…and have been listening to it every day. I agree David has definitely grown a lot musically but still stays true to his postive outlook on life. The Other Side of Down is a fun album to jam too..I can wait for David to go on tour so I can hear and see him perform his music live. David is just amazing on stage and his concerts are so much fun.

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    1. Karen

      I love David’s passion for music–it always show on his albums AND in his performances. I do too hope he goes on tour soon!!

      Thanks for commenting! 😀

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  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention David Archuleta can only go ‘The Other Side of Down’ in latest album « Baby You'll Be Famous -- Topsy.com

  5. archangel48

    So happy to read your review of David’s fantastic sophomore album! I’m looking forward to his next U.S. tour where I can bask in the glory of The Voice! I hope there are plenty of videos to come from the Phillipines next week! 🙂

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    1. Karen

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I’m looking forward to seeing him on tour again here too. And yay for him going to the Philippines (I come from a Filipino family 😀 )!

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  6. Jeffr

    Really enjoyed your review of David’s album. David is an oasis in today’s musical world. I especially like how you appreciate “an Archuleta album wouldn’t be complete without ballads”, and your observation of “album capper”, and my personal favorite, My Kind of Perfect. Although I find it hard to call any one song my favorite, I definitely agree, it IS an album capper. For me it’s not so much that he’s grown, he arrived with his keen musical sense and maturity, it’s that he’s had more freedom to have it his way this go around. He really paid his dues the past two years. You’ve done a great job of capturing David and his music in your blog. Don’t miss him in concert, you won’t be disappointed.

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    1. Thank you for your very lovely comment! “Arriving with his keen musical sense and maturity” is a nice way of putting a phrase in describing the accomplishment of this album.

      I’ve seen David in concert multiple times during the Idol tour, at a Jingle Ball just after he put out his debut album, and when he opened for Demi Lovato. Haven’t seen him since that last one, but I’m looking forward to seeing him again, especially to perform songs off this record.

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