Saturday, October 31, 2009

Album Review: David Archuleta "Christmas From The Heart"

Happy Halloween ... or, Merry Christmas! I'm a bit confused on which to say. Either way, I'm not big on Halloween, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to embrace the forthcoming holiday season by writing my review for David Archuleta's marvelous Christmas album Christmas From The Heart. I thought now would be a good time anyway because the only thing between us & December 25th is a big meal--& while I wouldn't wanna discount the meaning of that meal, I'm that guy with the figurative 'Christmas is #1' giant finger who counts down the days every year, so why put off the celebration, especially when David Archuleta is kicking the festivities off this year?

David begins Christmas From The Heart with several familiar tunes, but have no fear! I promise you he sings them not only in such a way that you'll forget you were ever tired of them, but with such (how do you put his voice into words again?) next-to-Godliness that I simply cannot deny the fact that it is the best I've ever heard the songs sung. First up is "Joy To The World," which has an 'oo' intro to die for & sets the mood exquisitely well. "Angels We Have Heard On High" is sung with surprising maturity (yes, even for David!) & "O Come All Ye Faithful" features that clear, beautiful tone we all know & love. Mr. Archuleta enters epic territory on "Silent Night" with those strings! You feel like you're along for David's journey on "The First Noel," which with, among everything else, that "hallelujah" a little past the halfway mark makes for a personal highlight. Then comes the heartbreakingly gorgeous "O Holy Night." Goodness, this is too much.

Despite having already reached what should be a lifetime limit of singing THAT beautifully for THAT long, David continues on with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" with guest Charice. They sound good together--even if she makes you realize just how great he is (if I'm being honest!). Alone again, Archie keeps his cool vibe going with the extra-smooth "I'll Be Home For Christmas," but throws ya for a loop with "Pat-A-Pan." As I've seen a number of you say... oh, to hear him do this live! He sings some incredible harmonies here, though they can be found throughout the album & are no small part in the reason I find this album so special.

I can't help but feel that David must be tired from taking so many epic journeys as I listen to "What Child Is This," another gorgeous track. Boy wonder continues to put those amazing pipes to work by singing the foreign language songs "Riu Riu Chiu" & "Ave Maria," the latter of which is just incredible & holds a particularly special place in my heart. David wraps things up with the album's sole newly-written track "Melodies Of Christmas." Though an unmistakable pop Christmas song, Archie does a heck of a job keeping the focus on his wonderful voice.

Christmas From The Heart is easily one of the best Christmas albums out there. There aren't even that many--even of the ones I have--that I love, as I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas music, but you wouldn't be able to tell that if you saw me listening to this one because it's just so darn lovable (just, of course, like David himself)! So, if you don't think Christmas music could possibly be as blissful as I've described above, think again.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS! That duet w/ David & Charice will be a timeless classic. Make sure to request it on your radio stations since it is now OFFICIALLY the start of the holiday season!

If I have to be honest... said...

Well said Anoynymous!

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS with Charice is what did it for me.

KH said...

Great review, and I don't care if it makes me sound a little over-the-top in saying that I agree with every word. David's voice and his ability to convey meaning with his singing make this my favorite Christmas album, and I love my Christmas album collection. Hope to hear these songs on radio!

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? If you are, then you have to make an appointment with your ear doctor. 'Have Yourself A Merry Christmas' is the best song in this mediocre CD. It is the other way around actually. Hearing Charice sing makes you realize what an average singer Archuleta is. He will never be a great singer like Charice.

Anonymous said...

Great review! Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is already a smash hit on radio! The irish radio http://www.heartbeatfm.biz/ even called themselves Archuleta radio, they have been playing the album for weeks straight! Its also on AOL radio in their xmas songs collection. David's album became an instant classic. It will be cherished for generations.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is by far the best Christmas cd I've ever listened to and we have dozens in our collection. There isn't a single other xmas cd that I would want to listen to outside of a week before christmas. This one I've played repeatedly because of the way it moves me.

I actually don't like the Charice duet because it takes away from David's beautiful vocals (sorry, I'm in the more David, less Charice camp!). I'm addicted to Pat-a-Pan and I think this should be playing on the radio as it is relatively unknown in the U.S., making it unique and a stand-out (in all the best ways).

Thank you for this review, it was nice to read something so well written. -and Ave Maria pretty much killed me too, as I spontaneously teared up listening to it (don't remember the last time I've done that!),

INDONESIAN ARCHANGELS said...

ok theres nouse to insult both of them..david n charice did a great job in their part..
really love the album..this album is super awesome(only those who have cold heart or problem with their ear who think that this just mediocre album)
ave maria is my favorite..david sang it soo awesome until i feel something i called music-orgasm..hehehehe..n im not even a christian
thank you for the review

violet4ever said...

Thanks for the review! I love David's Christmas album. I like the inventive arrangements, some with bits of other Christmas songs as intros of even accompaniment (Angels We Have Heard on High over Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring). I love David's pop and soul touches. Every track on this album is wonderful and the overall sound is gorgeous. I especially love Ave Maria, Riu Riu Chiu, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Charice and I'll Be Home for Christmas. I can't wait to see David on his pre-holiday Christmas&Pop tour. If anyone would like to preview the album, you can listen to full tracks here: http://www.last.fm/music/David+Archuleta/Christmas+From+The+Heart

Gail said...

fantastic review. i agree with everything except that i don't think david sounds tired in what child is this. it's one of my favorites on the cd because it's sung so reverently. have yourself a merry little christmas is one of my least favorites on the album but that's because i don't like the song not because of charice. i think their voices match very well and both did a great job. ave maria, pat a pan and riu riu chiu are my favorites.

Anonymous said...

This is the best Christmas ever for me and I buy at least one every year! Some many favorites but Pan a Pan is the most addicting! Thanks you for your review.

AnnieR said...

I really do like the new arrangements and David's versions of these traditional songs. He does not take the 'bombastic' approach. Beautiful album, sung from the heart.

And I really like the Charice duet. There are several on this CD that should get radio play, and that for me is one of them. Enjoyed your review.

Anonymous said...

A review that I can agree with! Thank you for writing many of my thoughts and feelings about this refreshing album. David's vocal's keep improving and deepening with age and experience, and we get to enjoy the results of that growth.

Thanks again for saying what I feel about this album.

Anonymous said...

David Archuleta's "Christmas From The Heart" is spectacular! He made the old classic Christmas songs sound new again. I loved "Pat A Pan" (sung in French), "Riu Riu Chiu" (sung in Spanish) and "Ave Maria" (sung in Latin). How many 18 year old singers out today could have done that? "Pat A Pan" and "Melodies of Christmas" are fun to listen to. All I can say is David Archuleta is fantastic and I will cherish this album for years to come!!

BJC said...

To the person who is anonymous and thinks that David is an average singer. You don't have to put down David to like Charice. David has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. I have heard many Christmas albums and I have to say that David's is my favorite. He is singing with his heart as well as his voice.
I am not going to be anonymous, My name is Betty L and I am very proud to say I am a David Archuleta fan. By the way, I think Charice is good too. They blend very well together, neither tried to "out sing" the other.

Anonymous said...

GAH! Thank you, BBTB, for this post! I couldn't agree more. I absolutely love this CD, and I don't really need to say why, because you said it all for me. I'm sooo proud of David, and what he's done on here. He continually blows me away.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful album, stunning vocals. As a fan of David's, I love the duet with Charice. It's nice to hear David's voice paired with beautiful female vocals.

Anonymous said...

Wow, my thoughts exactly.The best Christmas CD EVER! I have to be honest but I'm sorry Karen Carpenter, but David's cd has push you to number two! I cant get enough of this cd. David's vocals are just stunning. My favorite track (if that is possible) is WHat Child Is This, so hauntingly beautiful. His voice is so silky and tender. I have given this cd to many of friends and all have loved it! Can't wait to hear him sing some of these songs live in San Francisco, it's gonna be a family event!

Anonymous said...

You people at Bring Da Beat Back are so right on the money. You get David and I think that his label Jive gets him also! This album has been done masterfully if that is a word! Every song is just shows so much reverence and the music shows off David vocals! Gahd he has pipes like no other. The first time I listened i just shed tears of joy. I have heard these songs my whole life but never have heard them the way David sings them. I love the duet with David And Charice- The way each of them sang separtely and then blended so beautifully together! That is how I Wanna know you should have been done with Mylie and David but Disney messed it up! Anyway just buy it and see for yourself!!!

beckyfansofdavid said...

Thank you SO much for your review. We've been waiting! Thanks also for supporting David and being such a positive voice for him.
CFTH is just beautiful. I don't have a favorite. It's like choosing a favorite child for some reason. But Pat-a-Pan is SO unique, it's the most played for me.
Thanks again!!

catherine said...

Hi Justin,
So nice to hear your thoughts on the album! I think your description of the album as "blissful" sums up my feelings quite nicely. I was smiling while reading the review because I could feel your enjoyment of the music in your song descriptions. Listening to David on this CD just makes me happy; he has such a wonderful emotional connection to these Christmas songs. So as you said, "why put off the celebration, especially when David Archuleta is kicking the festivities off this year?"

Anonymous said...

Great album. My favorite is Have Yourself a Merry Christmas with Charice. Her voice compliments with David's. Very nice.

Bookaholic said...

I looove this CD and have been listening to it pretty much non-stop since it came out. Each track on the album is spectacular. His voice is so strong and pure, yet tender on these songs. 'Heartfelt' is a very apt description.

My particular favorites are Riu Riu Chiu (though I don't speak Spanish), Pat-a-Pan (though my French is limited), Ave Maria (even if my Latin is from way-back-when), What Child is This? and Silent Night. All are just incredibly beautiful.

This is my favorite Christmas CD ever! It's exquisite and will be beloved in this household forever, no doubt.

If you buy just one Christmas album this year, this is the one to get. You'll never regret this purchase. It's amazing! A doozy, without question, folks. One to treasure.

macy said...

You are my new soul mate--I agree with everything you wrote! David's vocals and the arrangements are simply EPIC! The Charice duet is fun. Got my fingers crossed that he gets lots of airplay this season!!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you "get it." David Archuleta is an amazing singer / songwriter. This Christmas from the Heart CD is just awesome and it's the first holiday CD I've ever purchased. I've already given some away as gifts. I just love orchestra music with David's voice shining through. O Holy Night is amazing, and I love Pat-a-Pan & Rui Rui Chui. But the classic songs are there too and I love to sing along. I also enjoy the song David co-wrote Melodies of Christmas -- really the whole album is just phenomenal -- never thought I would be listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the glowing review of David's cd. I agree, there is not a better Christmas cd out there. This one will appeal to EVERYONE, EVERY AGE, EVERY EVERYTHING! David, once again, bares his soul and gives testimony to the meaning of Christmas. And as he says in his liner notes, it matters not what religious beliefs you have, the music will speak to you. Give it a listen and enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review, I totally agree with you. I don't even like Christmas music, but because it's Archie - I bought the damn CD. I adore it - listened to the whole CD this morning going to work...actually brought tears to my eyes on some of the songs. Great arrangement(s) on every song..and David is pure magic.