As true fans of Archuleta know, he is currently doing missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, reportedly in Chile. But that didn't stop him from working up until the time he left on new music for his fans, because while he might not be around to personally promote a new album, he wasn't reluctant about recording and releasing it in his absence. BEGIN., which contains both cover material and an original song, was made available on August 7, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
BEGIN. is the "American Idol" alum's fifth studio album and his fourth released in the United States. (His actual fourth studio album, Forevermore, was released solely in the Phillipines.) The album contains covers of some of music's most memorable songs, such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan, "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper, "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, and U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)."
"Broken" is the album's one original song, co-written by Jon Hunt and Archuleta himself, and appears as the seventh track on the 10-song offering.
"There was so much to do in such a short time," Archuleta posted to his website Tuesday, "but I have to let the fans know how much this album means. This was definitely an album done against the odds, but done for the people who have meant so much to me, and a way to bring them on the journey I’m currently on right now to an extent. These songs have a reason behind them, and I hope that through this album you will understand better why I am out here on my mission."
Archuleta, a veteran vlog (video log) poster, said on his website that he wanted to show his appreciation to his fans and supporters who have encouraged him with his music and his decision to do missionary work. "And while I will be gone for a couple of years, I know that it is something that will also affect my music when I get back. And it will give me a new light on things and a new perspective -- musically with my writing, who I want to be, what I want to express. And I'm really excited to share that with you guys, whatever it may be. I hope you guys will enjoy the music that will be out once I'm gone."
BEGIN. is available through Archuleta's new label, Shadow Mountain Records, at Deseret Book. It is also available via iTunes and Amazon.
David Archuleta rose to fame by placing second on "American Idol" during Season 7. Although he ultimately lost to David Cook that season, he has gone on to singing and acting success. Although he had his first chart success with songs from his run on "American Idol" (including his first Hot 100 Top 40 hit, his cover of John Lennon's "Imagine"), his first single as a major recording artist, "Crush," would peak at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and go on to sell nearly 2 million copies. The self-titled album from whence it came debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, his highest charting album to date.
Archuleta has sold over 1.1 million albums in the U. S. and has the second-best selling holiday album among "Idol" alumni. His 2009 Christmas From The Heart offering has sold nearly a quarter of a million copies to date. The 21-year-old singer admits to loving holiday music and was featured on six tracks from the 2011 recordingGlad Christmas Tidings: Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring David Archuleta.
After acting in a television mini-series in the Phillipines that aired in February and March, Archuleta released the Original Pilipino Music album Forevermore near the end of March, making BEGIN. the singer's third album (counting the holiday album) released inside of a year.
"Broken" will be the lead single from BEGIN.
"American Idol" will return to Fox Television for Season 12 in January.
(photo credit: Meleah87, Creative Commons)