Begin by David Archuleta

1 January 2020

As I write this and listen to “Begin” once again, I’m in awe of David Archuleta’s vocals. Though he recorded the album in just a few weeks, he really gave it his all before leaving on his two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Archuleta lends his silky-smooth voice to beautiful ­covers like “True Colors” by Cindi Lauper, “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera, and “Angel” by Sarah McLaughlin. He also steps away from the slower songs with “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, in which he delivers raspy, endearing vocals that he rarely employs, and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, which Archuleta keeps inspirational and enjoyable. This disk also includes a duet with Utah-based Libbie Linton. They cover “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel, proving their great vocal ­abilities.

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Archuleta also adds a deeper touch with the hymn “Be Still, My Soul.” His vocals are top notch, and the song helps listeners understand where he is coming from.

Aside from the covers, “Begin” includes an original song. “Broken” was written by Jon Hunt, but it is all Archuleta. The song is slow and sweet as he shows a wide range and hints at a connection with the organization Invisible Children. “And I find it hard to open up my mouth, will they hear what’s spoken? But I saw when I opened up my eyes, invisible children, Broke, but not broken,” Archuleta sings.

But the best song on the album? It’s a tie between the covers of the upbeat “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane and the ballad “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. They are very different, but both show off Archuleta’s stunning vocals and ability to make songs his own. He makes “Somewhere Only We Know” fun while “Everybody Hurts” will leave you amazed as his voice goes from soft and tender to absolutely astounding.

This is by far David Archuleta’s best album vocally, and the feel-good songs will have you keeping this disc on repeat. This is the perfect mood-changer if you need some cheering up, or are missing David during the next two years.

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