The Other Side of Down – Another Side of David?
By Grace Cunningham, Grade 8

It was October 5, 2010 – exactly one year, ten months, and twenty-four days after David Archuleta’s self-titled, debut album was released. On that day, nearly two years later, David’s second full-length album, The Other Side of Down, was launched into the waiting hands of millions of fans worldwide.

The album is full of optimistic pop, with a certain twist of David’s personality that he himself has dubbed “dorkiness.” However, even with that comment, The Other Side of Down features much of David’s musical maturity.

As you listen to the beginning title track, the bouncy, energetic seeds of the album are planted. With uplifting lyrics about seeing things from a new, more positive perspective and an upbeat tempo, “The Other Side of Down” makes for an encouraging starter.

“Something ‘Bout Love”, the second track, is another bubbly tune. More electronic influence can be heard in it than in the first song, but it isn’t too much.

Strong tastes of acoustic guitar can be heard in the third track. A song revolving around confusion, “Elevator” provides a whimsical view on rolling with the punches, so to speak, throughout uncertainty.

“Stomping the Roses” cheerfully explains one's frustration with somebody who is immature and careless; somebody who doesn't seem to mind if they ruin something beautiful (hence the "stomping" of the "roses") or hurt someone else.

An account of self-searching is made in "Who I Am" - yet another buoyant tune. If you listen closely, you can hear David singing, "I don't care if Jeff Fenster is calling." Interestingly enough, Jeff Fenster is the former executive of Jive Records, and that line, most likely, is referring to David's eventual departure from the label this past February. As for the musical aspects of the track, a simple, acoustic piano/guitar rhythm duo lines the song with frequently harmonizing vocals.

"Look Around", the eighth track, gives listeners the album's only techno-esque feel, complete with heavy synth (for David Archuleta, anyway) and 8-bit finale. The lyrics advise someone to stop living in a self-made fantasy, and to see what they really need in the actual world around them.

The ninth track, "Good Place", has the strongest rock influence of all the songs on the whole album. Additionally, strings and a marching beat make for a peculiarly refreshing bridge.

Ironically titled "Complain" discusses contentment, even during trying situations and dissatisfaction. It also seems to musically resemble John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" (especially at the end of the song's bridge), perhaps just with a more electronic sound. This similarity isn't surprising - David has listed Mayer as one of his musical influences.

Promising anthem, "Things Are Gonna Better", takes the album for a hopeful spin. Choral vocals can be heard behind David, adding energy to the song.

Finally, the fantastic album comes to a heartfelt end with "My Kind of Perfect". On this finalizing track, listeners hear of the search for the girl who is, well, "his kind of perfect". Moreover, there's nothing exceptionally fancy about the last track - just a simple piano accompanying David's smooth voice.

Overall, The Other Side of Down proves to be a fun and spirit-lifting album full of mood-brightening lyrics and infectious beats. You definitely cannot wrong with David Archuleta’s latest collection of optimism-infused pop.


Top 10 Movies To See This Summer (Part 1)
By Rachael Britton, Grade 9

If you go to the movies this week, pay attention to the theatrical previews. They aren’t your typical, lame, dull previews about Coke and popcorn selling at the snack bar. Instead, you’ll see action-packed, comical, and dramatic sneak peaks advertising the new films that will soon be at a theatre near you. But not every movie is a must-see, though most of them are. Here are some obvious, and not quite so obvious choices for your next night at the theatre.

10. Cowboys and Aliens - The title pretty much sums it all up. Arizona. 1873.  A strange man with no name and no memory of who he is wanders into the fear-ridden town of Absolution. The only clue to his identity is an abnormal shackle he wears upon his wrist. He’s considered an outcast until a bizarre space craft lands. The residents soon find that their outcast is their only hope of salvation, and it’s up to this man and his posse of the town to rid the Earth of the demon’s from the sky. With a cast that includes Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and a production team that includes the director of Iron Man, Jon Favreau, this movie is sure to be an instant hit. Make sure to mark your calender for opening night, July 29!

9. Super 8 - Coming to the cinema screen June 10, this sci-fi flick is sure to delight adults and kids alike. A group of kids living in the year 1979 find some mysterious things going on after they witness a strange train crash. Soon they investigate, and find it’s up to them to solve this strange intriguing dilemma. Directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, you know it has to be great!

8. Cars 2 -  The sequel to Cars, which made it’s debut appearance all the way back in June of 2006, has got a lot of youngsters talking. While the first Cars was about Lighting McQueen (Owen Wilson), a famous race car, getting stuck in a rinky-dink town, this sequel finds Lighting and his newly-found friends of Route 66 preparing for an adventure of a lifetime; racing across the world against some of the world’s fastest and coolest cars. This film is scheduled to race it’s way into theatres June 24.  

7. Priest - Some might think this is just another vampire movie, and those few might be correct in that thinking. Set in an alternate world where years have been wasted away and ravaged by the constant struggle and wars between man and vampire and the world is ruled by The Church, this story revolves around a famed warrior priest, who now lives ominously in the midst of other humans. His niece is soon kidnapped by a band of blood-thirsty vampires, and he breaks his sacred vow to go on an exciting journey to rescue her, assisted by the niece’s boyfriend and a warrior priestess, who possesses unworldly powers. This is an action/horror/thriller that might not be right for everyone with a rating of PG-13. This film is now showing at most theatres.

6. The Muppets - They’re back with another hit-film, scheduled for release on November 23! The always in control Kermit, glamourous Miss Piggy, wild Animal, comical Fozzie Bear, and weird but lovable Gonzo reunite to save their old studio from a big oil tycoon with the help of three of their fans. This cast is star-studded to say the least, with appearances from Amy Adams, Katy Perry, Emily Blunt, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, Jason Segal, Ricky Gervais, and even more!

There are 5 must-see movies! Check out Part II coming soon!

The Muppets: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1204342/
Priest: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0822847/
Cars 2: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216475/
Super 8: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650062/
Cowboys and Aliens: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409847/

6/9/2011 03:09:42 pm


THE MUPPETS? *fangirl scream*

Rachael Britton
6/11/2011 03:04:00 am

Oh, yes, Christy, I almost screamed when I saw that. I can't wait! I hope they don't let us down with this one. I LOVE the Muppets to death <333


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