David Archuleta, "Something 'Bout Love"

64 Billboard Rating

David Archuleta recently told Billboard that his next album would contain more "lively grooves" than his 2008 debut, and the lead single from the record, "Something 'Bout Love," delivers on the 19-year-old's promise. Blippy synths (surely inspired by Owl City and its forebears) set the stage for a surge in tempo, and Archuleta's sweetly naïve tenor is now awash in power-pop production and even some obvious vocal effects. The result is double-edged. Fans who followed his "American Idol" journey might miss his unadulterated tone that was best showcased by ballads, but there's no question that "Something" is a more radio-friendly vehicle for the 2008 runner-up to grow his base. The sophomore album is the true test of any "Idol" graduate's ability to fulfill his or her potential, and Archuleta's latest shows he's up to the task.