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Video by mamezamd, audio by jwipe, mix by yours truly.

For me, this performance of “A Thousand Miles” represents everything that is so remarkably appealing about David Archuleta. It is on the axis of what sometimes seem like opposing attributes: powerful and tender, sweet and virile, effortless and masterful.

With each new performance recently, it is starting to feel like everything prior had been a rehearsal. His tone has never been richer, his control has never been so fluid; and the ease with which his confidence is manifesting is both palliative and thrilling. I’ve never felt so willing to led David lead me wherever he wants to go. And when an audience’s trust in an artist begins to reach that level, magic happens. This is a major development from just six months ago, when his ability to lead with assurance appeared only in glimpses. I am astonished at how quickly this is happening.

This piece is ideal for David’s strengths: soulful and longing, but with an unwavering sense of hope; like melancholy delivered with light. The rhythmic lyrics broken by long vocal lines are perfect for revealing the most exciting and impressive aspects of his instrument. This is a desert island track for me, because it sweeps me away from wherever I am and into a place where only David Archuleta can serve as host. And what a privalege it is to be his guest.