He crooned to thousands during his stint on “American Idol,” and now he can reach even more with his self-titled debut album. David Archuleta was the second place winner after David Cook on the seventh season of the hit reality television show, losing by only a small margin — he received 44 percent of over 97 million votes. Archuleta started performing publicly when he was 10 years old and was also a contestant (and the junior vocal champion) on CBS’ Star Search when he was 12; he is one of the youngest contestants to become runner-up in “American Idol” history. But Archuleta hides his youth well on his debut effort, releasing an album of tracks that Randy, Paula and even Simon would approve of.

Archuleta’s voice and feel of his music reach far beyond his years, giving him an adult sound. While on “American Idol,” he received a considerable amount of criticism for singing songs that weren’t exactly approachable by his age group, but his new batch of tunes appeals to a younger audience. The instrumentals, combined with the lyrics, give the album more of a pop feel, reaching out to those in his age group while maintaining his mature style.

Archuleta’s talent also extends to songwriting; this singer co-wrote multiple tracks on his debut album. Songs “A Little Not Over You” and “Don’t Let Go” offer creative lyrics and verses you wouldn’t expect to come from a stereotypical pop album.

But Archuleta’s songs do have one drawback: The first time around it may be difficult to differentiate between them, but repeated listening produces distinguishable features in each song. This could explain why Cook won in the seventh season — he has the ability to change the sound of his voice in songs. “Your Eyes Don’t Lie,” however, has quite a distinct sound when compared to the album’s other tracks. The 11th track on Archuleta’s album has a fun and exceptional sound, offering a western feel complete with whistling in the background which add to the album’s eccentricity and originality while still weaving in Archuleta’s strong and beautiful voice.

David Archuleta’s self-titled debut album brings to life all the obvious talent the “American Idol” fans heard live, the only downside being they are unable to see the dark-haired cutie in front of them. Archuleta’s vocals in this album are unbelievably heartbreaking, and the lyrics are sincere, mature and powerful, giving him the potential to be a good role model. “Crush,” the first single off the album, made it to the No. 1 position on iTunes within 24 hours of debuting, foretelling more singles to follow with just as much — if not more — success as the first. Archuleta’s jaw-dropping vocals and fun lyrics suggest this will not be the only successful album in his career. Randy, Paula and Simon were right — imagine that.

4 stars out of 5