Archuleta expresses his inner dork on "Other Side"

Fri Oct 1, 2010 9:39pm EDT
 
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By Jill Menze

NEW YORK (Billboard) - David Archuleta is finally getting a chance to act his age.

Although he's been singing since he was 6, the 19-year-old Utah native has projected a mature voice wise beyond his years, as evidenced during Season 7 of "American Idol," when his ballad-ready tenor landed him the runner-up spot behind rocker David Cook.

His 2008 self-titled debut album also highlighted the power of Archuleta's voice and went on to sell 762,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But the effort failed to capture his teenage spirit, save for the age-appropriate breakout single "Crush," which has sold 1.9 million and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Now with his sophomore effort, "The Other Side of Down," due Tuesday (October 5) on Jive, it's Archuleta's turn to put his goofy, young self on display, this time through lively, upbeat pop tunes.

"My goal with the album was to make it as 'me' as possible," says Archuleta, who helped write 10 of the set's 12 tracks. "I wanted to introduce people to the kind of goofy, dorky, weird personality I have. The first album had a lot of great pop songs, but this album is so much more personal."

For the release, Archuleta tapped "Crush" writers Emanuel Kiriakou and Dave Hodges, who contributed two songs, as well as co-writers Sam Hollander and Dave Katz, among others. Writing sessions took place in Nashville ("People asked if I was there making a country album," he recalls), in between the release of Archuleta's holiday album, "Christmas From the Heart" and work on his book, "Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song, and the Power of Perseverance," published in June.

The album's first single, "Something 'Bout Love," was released July 20 and has sold 45,000 downloads, according to SoundScan. Archuleta delivers an uplifting, positive message on the track "Things Are Gonna Get Better," and his boyish charm is on display on songs like "Elevator," which Archuleta notes was inspired by a dream.

"It was a random dream I had about these different elevators and trying to figure out what floor to get off of," he says. "It's about how life is sometimes an endless ride. You may not be sure where you're going."

 
<p>Singer David Archuleta performs during the taping of the 2009 NCLR Alma awards at the Royce Hall in Los Angeles September 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>