The single Crush leads off the album and it’s one of the better song. It sounds way too smooth cause of the production but the song makes good use of Archuleta’s strengths. Nice soulful, uptempo pop song with a recognizable tune. The next song is pretty catchy and the production isn’t even that bad, as it doesn’t make the song too smooth or levels out what’s in it. Too bad there’s a little too much synth (though it’s subtle, I admit) in the song. But Touch My Hand a pretty relaxed song.
Barriers has a bit of a OneRepublic feel to it. Not too strange since both them and David are in the same part of the genre. And Barriers is not a bad song at all. I like how it flows and Archuleta’s vocal performance is pretty strong too.
My Hands lends itself well to be a radio single, but the song has a standard build up, and while Archuleta is a better singer than a lot of pop vocalists out there, this sounds too made, too much like all the other stuff on the radio and not very refreshing.
The gentle A Little Too Not Over You is one of the best songs on the album. The production accentuates Archuleta’s vocals and the conservative songwriting actually benefits this song as it becomes a better sing-along that way. You Can is more stripped down and that includes the production. And immediately you can see how good this guy actually is. Accompanied by basically just a guitar, Archuleta passionately sings this heartfelt song. Probably my favorite on the album.
I cannot deny that Running is incredibly catchy and that it’s impossible to shake off my mind after I heard it. So it’s a good addition to the album. Not the most imaginitive song ever, but it is effective nonetheless.
Desperate is a song like so many others. Nothing special. Not bad, just not exciting enough. The piano ballad To Be With You however is a definite highlight. Archuleta’s vocals shine with the accompanying piano and match very well with the female background vocals. If anything, this is the direction Archuleta should head into.
Don’t Let Go is a nice song but there’s too much synth again. The song has a nice beat and a good drive though and while I miss a real climax, the song isn’t all that bad. The catchy Your Eyes Don’t Lie is quite interesting and I’d love to hear a demo version or decent live version of that song as I think the song has a lot of potential that you have to try really hard to hear on the album version.
The album ends with a cover of Robbie Willams’ Angels. I’m not a big Robbie Williams fan but I’ve always really liked this song. And I’m glad that Archuleta chose to not just cover it, but make it his own. And while it doesn’t compare to the original it is a very good cover that he can be proud of.
Archuleta shows he’s a young man with a lot of potential but this first album is still trial and error. But I have no doubt that he’ll find his groove and come back with a lot more consistency and then we will meet the real talent he holds inside him.