By Mikael Wood
Updated September 29, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Judging by the metaphors David Archuleta employs on his sophomore studio disc — see ”Falling Stars,” ”Elevator,” and ”Parachutes and Airplanes” — life after reality TV has been an up-and-down ride for this fresh-faced Idol finalist. Yet his vocals still gleam with so much dewy naïveté that the music never succumbs to the bitterness it seems to circle. Maybe state-fair meet-and-greets are what the kid was born to do? B

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