David proved this week that his is a voice that can open the hearts of billions across the world. Beginning with his masterful rendition of “America the Beautiful” (one of his most daring reinterpretations to date) and ending with his sensuous, transcendent “Contigo en la Distancia,” David showed himself a musician whose art could transcend national borders and unify.
Because of the magnitude of these events and their importance in relation to each other, it made sense perhaps to focus on these two events:
America the Beautiful
David opened the women’s finals of the U.S. Open with a rendition of “America the Beautiful” that was “soaring” and “soulful,” in the words of Tina Molly Lang, a Yale School of Music grad. Even in the broadcast, you can see certain audience members being blown away by The Voice. Here is an excerpt from Lang’s great article:
[I]t would be unfair to pigeon-hole David Archuleta as a power balladeer. His vocal strengths also come from the versatility of his voice. He has a voice that suits classical, gospel, pop, or R&B. His interpretation of America the Beautiful had an interesting soulful R&B quality, yet it would have worked accompanied by an orchestra, a gospel choir, or a band.
Kizzi related her husband’s reaction to this performance. One could imagine the new groups of people who opened their eyes to David because of this performance:
Mr. Kizzi wasn’t able to watch the Women’s Single Final Sunday night. Early yesterday I was playing a YouTube recording through computer speakers of David’s performance and Mr. K stopped in his tracks, put his hand over his heart (he’s a Navy man – “Guam is Good”–Navy people get this) and had tears in his eyes. He had me play that last “A – MERRR – IC – K-A-A-A” over and over again.
Contigo en la Distancia
Thanks to r2rod2 for these high-quality videos!
David was simply masterful. He showed himself to be one of the world’s most important and powerful musicians, at the ripe young age of 18. Much has been said about this historic performance—and very well—elsewhere, and so there is not much else to do here but to thank the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) for having the faith in David to award him the Best Year in Music award and to showcase him in their awards ceremony.
It is difficult to grasp the wide impact that “Contigo en la Distancia” will have, but it is clear that David has won whole new groups of fans. At MJ’s Big Blog, where anti-Archie sentiment once ruled, the reaction was near-universal praise.
And, perhaps more importantly, David has gotten a big reaction in the Spanish-speaking world. One Spanish-language entertainment blog, Celestrellas, posted a poll asking people what their favorite performance of the night was, inexplicably not including David! The response was swift and condemnatory: who could you leave out the most memorable moment of the night? The authors changed their poll, and needless to say that David clobbered the poll. Still, the comments section is still replete with universal praise:
David Archuleta fue el mejor cantante de todo el show. Quiero ir a su concierto ahora!!!
(David Archuleta was the best singer of the whole show. I want to go to his concert now!)
Lo mejor de los premios ALMA: DAVID ARCHULETA!!! BRAVO DAVID!!! BRAVISISMO!!!
Hermoso, único, exquisito talento; su voz es sublime! WOW! la voz mas bella que he escuchado. Que elegante se veía; su sonrisa ilumina al mundo entero. David es un gran orgullo para todos los latinos en EEUU y el resto del mundo.
Espero que muy pronto grabe un disco en español. No hay duda que David Archuleta tiene un gran y exitoso futuro en la música y en lo que se proponga.
(The best of the ALMA Awards: DAVID ARCHULETA!!! BRAVO DAVID!!! BRAVISIMO!
Beautiful, unique, exquisitely talented; his voice is sublime! WOW! The most beautiful voice I have heard. He looked so elegant; his smile lights up the entire world. David is the pride of all Latinos in the United States and the rest of the world.
I’m waiting for him to record an album in Spanish soon. I have no doubt that David Archuleta has a great and successful future in music in whatever he chooses.)
One can only imagine the impact this performance is having to Spanish native speakers. Many are hearing David’s soul speak to them directly for the first time, without the language barrier getting in the way.
And there are now 2 great videos with subtitles on YouTube made by billandsherri and itsnancyer, that help us English speakers grasp the full beauty of this song as well.
The first video is by billandsherri. The second video, by itsnancyer, is below.
¡Que viva la Archudominación!