Wednesday, August 1, 2012

David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Six: Crush

By Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic

Pamela Pike's Recollections

Crush was the first official track released as a single by David Archuleta back in August 2008 and was also included on his debut album, simply entitled David Archuleta.  Crush was c0-written by Emanuel Kiriakou, Jess Cates and Dave Hodges.

The single debuted on New York City’s Elvis Duran’s radio station Z100 the morning of August 1st. David was very excited knowing his single was debuting and admitted he was very jittery the night before and couldn’t wait till this morning.  They were in the studio late Thursday night still putting finishing touches on the new single.

The lyrics to Crush explore the old question of true love and whether it is reciprocated, questioning if his feelings are real or not.

The song managed to "crush" the competition upon release. It rose to the top of the American charts and received positive reviews from the music press. Crush is an age appropriate mid-tempo pop song showcasing his vocal styling with lovely harmonies and great falsetto effects.

The lyrics are sweet and innocent and concentrate on the common teen emotions which suit him perfectly to keep his young spirit evident. Crush mixes R&B beats with pop lyrics and sounds hip and contemporary

His voice captures the same doubt and hope your heart has when it beats each time you think of someone that takes your breath away.  This song is very catchy and has enough speed and variety for both young and old.
Crush’s initial sales were strong enough to push the song to a #2 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on iTunes and #16 on after one week release.


Crush video was released on September 16, 2008, on iTunes and was directed by Declan Whitebloom.  

The video innocently portrays David on an outing with friends trying to get the attention of a girl on whom he apparently has a crush.  Several teens are together swimming at a lake, the guys get out, and David stays behind to help her out of the water. The teens are also shown in the cabin playing games and David is shown playing the guitar.  Other scenes show them by a campfire and at the end, David goes out on the deck of the cabin and the girl follows him, showing that she shares his feelings.

Crush never gets old and you can get star struck listening to David’s fantastic voice and fall head over-heels in love.  He takes you back to those bygone days of school girl crushes while you unconsciously hum along to the music and lyrics.

With lines like “Why do I keep running from the truth, all I ever think about is you, You got me hypnotized, so mesmerized” it’s hard not to feel for David as he cries, “I know this crush ain’t goin’ away,” and neither has ours!

Rosanne Simunovic's Recollections

When "Crush" was released in August 2008, I remember thinking that I wasn't sure if this was the direction I had wanted David to take with his music.

However, in retrospect, the song was genius in that it contained a hooky feel in the melodic line, something so important to the success of a song on the Billboard Charts. It was the perfect song at the perfect time in David's career.

And the positive reviews reflected this success. It was an instantaneous hit with the critics and positioned David as a strong musical force in the entertainment industry.

According to information gathered from Wikipedia, Chuck Taylor of Billboard had this to say:

(Crush) is a suitable match for Archuleta,  "hummable, age-appropriate mid tempo pop ditty for the 17-year-old, showcasing his fine mass-appeal vocal stylings with creamy harmonies and some nice falsetto effects."

He also predicted chart success for the song, saying "'Crush' is likely to put its money where its title is on the charts."

Strong words for a strong artist. And the reviews kept pouring in.

Ken Barnes of USA Today further commented that he "liked the "effortless glides into falsetto and some rousing moments in the bridge and chorus", while Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly called the song "surprisingly good!" as well as "hip and contemporary."

He further stated, "David adroitly walks the line between giving his core fans their fill of vocal runs while showing enough restraint that he won't automatically alienate non-Idol-loving

I had the pleasure of reviewing this song on two separate occasions. One was after the release of his new CD, "David Archuleta"and the other when David "Crush" as a single in August 2008.

Here are my thoughts from the August 2008 article:

David Archuleta’s new single, “Crush”, has received overwhelmingly favorable reviews. And, rightfully so! This new single should dispel any rumors that David is not destined for an extremely lucrative career as a current pop artist.

Today, August 12th, the CD was released and the buzz is certainly out there. David Archuleta has arrived and in a monumental way.

Recently signed by 19Recordings/Jive Records, a record company noted for it’s ability to successfully create and market young artists who appeal to the mainstream audience, David’s new single is brimming with the youthful enthusiasm and soulful excellence that has made him a star in the past season of American Idol.

As I listen to “Crush”, I am immediately impressed by the clarity of the end production. Usually, the singer’s voice is overshadowed by the background arrangement but, in David’s case, his superior vocals remain the focal point in the production mix.

And so it should! After all, it’s David’s extraordinary voice and capability to touch people’s hearts with his vocal instrument that has allowed him to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack. His unique ability to combine his passionate soulful artistry with brilliant vocal skills is something truly special in this day and age of over-processed vocal recordings. His voice should – and needs to – be heard and I believe that Jive understood this fact above all else.

David has since moved on but, at this particular point in time, his decision to work within the guidelines that Jive envisioned for him were absolutely on the mark.

However, his career has now taken a more diverse road, one that I always felt was more suitable to his enormous talent. And one that would continue to separate and distinguish him from the rest of the pack.

A crushing talent? Oh my yes!

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