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Thanks to jwipe on YouTube for the video. (Try to ignore the clueless women who can’t keep their foul pie holes shut. It’s brief.)
I think perhaps the reason I may have been chosen to write about David Archuleta is because as a rather loquacious individual with an annoying vocabulary, I am rarely, if ever, given to speechlessness. David is sometimes a challenge for me.
There are very few singers in history who have been able to achieve a level of purity and perfection in all the dimensions of vocal production in a way that doesn’t come off like a vocational accomplishment. The ability to make a technically flawless performance be about something quite other than technical perfection is the mark of true greatness.
Analyzed from a purely technical point of view, this performance is jaw-dropping. From the standpoint of breath production alone, it seems as though he has an inexhaustible source. Aside from the very end, when he splits the syllables of “divine” with a breath, every note, no matter how long, is utterly full, with not a trace of diminishment at the end. His intonations and modulations are simply breathtaking. Once again, David’s impeccable taste shields him from doing too much or too little with his stylings. Every musical choice is savory, without the slightest inclination toward showboating. His natural tone, that slight smoky quality in his voice, is gift of immense proportions, and contributes significantly to the overall effect.
Astonishingly, this is all quite beside the point. David’s ability as a communicator, a channeler, a conduit of musical language is what is ultimately so riveting. It’s as if the song sings him. That’s why when the material is great, he is extraordinary.