Verdict: 3 / 5
Nearly everyone has agreed, in the face of subsequent success, Chris Daughtry’s dismissal in 4th place of American Idol in 2005 was a poor choice. However, it definitely hasn’t seem to have held him back, and with this, his 4th album, him and his surname titled band seem to be definitely still going strong, as their legions of fans would agree. However, with this attempt to break out of their traditional roots, will they alienate said bands, and will the success they have with a more mainstream audience be worth it?
Daughtry has always typically been in my mind: “Rock for people who normally listen to Pop entirely.” It’s not a bad way to be, what they do works for them, with catchy hooks, easy to listen too, power ballad style rock tracks, and a generally rock-ish, but still unassuming and safe atmosphere, Daughtry was the kind of rocker you could bring home to your parents. Again, none of this bad, but it does mean his lyrics and themes are somewhat innocuous. Good, but safe. Wholesome, but repetitive of theming. And this doesn’t seem to have changed for this album.
An effort has been made to expand somewhat into other genres, including electro, synth, country and so on, and this does provide a range to the tracks. However, the lyrics and music soon pull it back, as the range seen in the background has repetition of sound and message placed in the foreground again. Daughtry has a good voice. But he does the same thing with it, on the same level pitch, until it doesn’t mean much anymore. And in my opinion, the exploration into alternate genres was a bold move, but simply placed them more in the generic “Pop” side of things, than the rock side.
It’s a fun album, and the band shows a sense of humor on tracks like “I Love Rock and Roll,” but the same messages of love and goodwill delivered in the same crooning voice doesn’t manage to sustain me for long. One for the fans.