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David Archuleta is back with 'Begin'

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After the finale of "American Idol" each season, we often don't see many of the contestants again. David Archuleta, the season seven runner-up, was one we did see again, though. His song "Crush," from his self-titled debut album, was a huge hit.

After that, however, he wasn't in the public eye as much. For many, he was a one-hit wonder.

He's stayed busy, though. On Aug. 7, Archuleta released his sixth album, "Begin."

Most of the songs are covers, but they're beautiful arrangements. Depending on how you're feeling, they might even make you cry. The songs sound so genuine that they make this album a work of art.

One that is especially good is "Don't Give Up," featuring singer/songwriter Libbie Linton. It is so inspirational and incredible. The song, originally by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, is so lovely that I played it on repeat for hours. It never gets old, and it gives me a little bit of hope to deal with life's curveballs.

His cover of "Somewhere Only We Know" was hard for me to like at first because it is different from both the original and the version that Lifehouse did. After hearing it a few times, though, it became one of my favorite arrangements of the song. It's unique and really shows off Archuleta's vocal abilities.

His cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has beautiful music to go along with the delightful lyrics. I haven't heard the original version, so I can't compare it, but Archuleta's version is a great song for any mood you may be in.

My least favorite song on the album is his cover of U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)." There's nothing really wrong with it; I just don't think it suits him, and I don't care for his arrangement of it.

"Broken" is the one original song on the album, co-written by Archuleta and Jon Hunt. It is a beautiful song with enchanting lyrics and an incredible vocal range. It really shows how far Archuleta has come the past few years.

No matter what age you are, this album may just give you some hope to help get you through hard times. Archuleta has really done well selecting his songs because this album will tug on heartstrings around the world.

Before I listened to "Begin," I wasn't sure if it could compare to his debut, but I was wrong. If anything, I think it will be the best liked of his albums. It will keep you thinking of Archuleta and wanting to hear to more of his music for a long time to come.


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