Review Summary: As far as mainstream rock goes, Daughtry creates another
record full of superior tunes but sells out with guest writers advice
Odds are this album is going to go over just as well as his first. Chris Daughtry, the fourth place finisher of season 5 of American Idol is back with an album that sounds not so different from the original. Leave This Town is catchy, it sounds good but with many other generic rock albums it is nothing groundbreaking or new. With some of the tracks co-written by some big names as Richard Marx, Adam Gontier and sadly Chad Kroeger, the new Daughtry album has just as much spunk as anything he’ll ever create. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the album; it’s just that every Daughtry song sounds the same. You can’t tell the difference from his ballads to his straight up rock songs.
The album starts out with the only song written solely by Chris Daughtry, “You Don’t Belong.” One thing the listener must know when listening to this album is that if you don’t like Chris Daughtry’s voice then you’re better off not spending time on this one. The first song has the regular anthem, arena rock feel with an oh so tiny snippet of an actual decent guitar hook at the beginning. You might recognize the second song, “No Surprise” from its massive plays on any top 40 radio rock station in the country. This song was co-written by Chad Kroeger and Eric Dill from The Click Five. I thought this song was okay until I read that. Since when should someone with the potential of Chris Daughtry take tips from Nickelback and some power pop band?
When Chris announced they had begun working on the new album, he was quoted saying that it was going to be a very big rock album. I guess in some way that is sort of true but he needs to put something in the music to help the listener decipher what is a ballad and what is a hard rock tune. Had this album been produced solely by Daughtry and Howard Benson it would have had more potential than it ended up with. The guest writing on a majority of the tracks killed it from the start. “September” was one actual decent song. He made it clear with the soft laden guitar from the start that it was going to be a ballad.
“Ghost of Me” was another song that was confusing with the lyrics and the tone of Chris’s voice. I think it is meant to be a hard rock song by the little bits of guitar riffs and his somewhat harsh voice as that goes for him. They even throw in a guest vocal performance by Vince Gill on “Tennessee Line” to possibly show that Chris has a hidden country side to him. All kidding he is most likely a influence on Daughtry as a whole.
The album is decent. Nothing new, fantastic just another album filled with 5 or 6 singles. It works for him so good for him. He set out to make music like this and he is succeeding doing it. I’m sure this album will take him on to support another big name artist like the last album did. It just seems that the best songs are the ones written by Daughtry and his comrades, not the ones by Nickelback, Three Days Grace and The Click Five front men. Some advice for him though, maybe next time drop the guest writers and just write what you want to play not what they think the radio will gobble up.