David Archuleta’s new album, The Other Side of Down, has been released on iTunes, following a slightly early shipment of the Fan Edition from the official DavidArchuleta.com site. Fans have waited for months, watching David’s tweets about where he was, who he was writing with, and how excited he was that the album would show his “quirky, dorky” side. We’ve waited with a combination of anxiety and excitement that is unique to a group of dedicated fans. Questions that we asked ourselves were, “Will the reviewers like it?” “Will some of the songs get some good radio play?”  “Will he have a hit single?” and of course, “Will Jive promote it enough?”

During last week’s streaming of the full album on AOL, the reviews began to come in. And now we have a few of our own. So over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking the songs from The Other Side of Down and reviewing them one by one. We hope you’ll join us and give us your perspective. And to help you get started, our own JR has put together all of the lyrics for you to download from the album.

Lyrics – The Other Side of Down – The Album

Song Review – The Other Side of Down

Optimism Personified

The title track of David’s new album, “The Other Side of Down,” could well be his personal anthem, given that the lyrics represent David’s stated current perspective about his life. No matter the difficulties, David will “put one foot in front of the other,” and keep on moving forward.

But one also has to wonder if there are days when David feels overwhelmed by all the changes in his life over the last two years. And perhaps that is what he means by the phrase, “In a whirlwind, spinning, now somehow, it knocked me off my feet, but I know better than to let it get the best of me. I could give up, I could stay stuck, I could move on…”

So many people – fans, DJ’s, TV interviewers – point out David’s inimitable optimism, and we read in Chord of Strength about the tough times that both David and his family experienced, as most families have.  But David doesn’t whine and complain (that’s another song), he looks for opportunities in his circumstances: “I think I spot a silver lining hiding in the gray. I might get tossed around, but am always bouncing back…On the other side of down, it keeps calling me, where I want to be.”

Although The Other Side of Down is not my favorite song from the album, there is something catchy about it. After listening to it, oh, 20 times in the last few days, I noticed a certain shoulder roll taking over my body and the percussion has a distinctive beat that makes my toes tap.

But the pull of this song is not the melody, nor the beat, nor even the Davidesque lyrics; what draws me in is David’s voice – buttery smooth and without any apparent strain and perhaps the mellowest vocals of all of the faster songs on the album – even while he sings the falsetto, “down, down, down.”  The velvet quality that drew us to David’s voice on Idol is still his defining musical characteristic. His complete control over his chosen instrument can make even a so-so song something special.

Give me David Archuleta singing almost anything, and I’ll fall in love with it. And that is what will take David where he wants to be – the voice. As he says so clearly in this song, nothin’s gonna break his stride.

Click to Listen:

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