For those of you who don’t know the name Chris Daughtry, let me introduce you. Last year he was part of the American Idol semi-finalists caravan. He was the ‘rocker’ dude who was picked to win the whole kitten-caboodle from the beginning by giving stunning, well crafted rock machismo performances. He obviously pulled off the other genres as well. After all, he couldn’t have gotten as far as he did if he wasn’t good. He was also the one who was voted off, much to the amazement of the Idol judges, the public, and just everyone on the street. So much for ancient history. As in the case of Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) whom was also voted off prematurely, it’s turned out to be a good thing. Whether you love or hate ‘American Idol,” it’s hard to ignore the fact that these releases from the winners and runner-ups alike are a driving force in the music industry. Kelly Clarkson, the first crowned ‘Idol,’ has been nominated for 2 Grammy Awards and has previously won. She’s certainly the front runner of the bunch to break away from the ‘Idol,’ mold. Carrie Underwood has a phenomenal country career going. Taylor Hicks, last years “Idol,” has also just released his solo effort. Jennifer Hudson (who was not a winner) just received a Golden Globe for her breakout performance in the film ‘Dreamgirls,’ and Oscar buzz, is well, buzzing. The show has incredible appeal all across the board.
In short, Chris Daughtry’s sophomore CD release, “Daughtry,” is an excellent rock CD. There are no pretentious songs on the CD and certainly no ‘industry polished’ pop songs written by music industry elite songwriters. All the songs are penned not only by Chris himself but also his band mates. Rock guitarist guru Slash appears on the song “What I Want”. For Chris’ first effort, he’s hit the bull’s-eye. These are genuinely well crafted songs, and prove once again, Daughtry’s talents are no fluke. His vocal performances are as strong as they always have been. There is angst and passion in his voice that isn’t fake or pushed. When a musician is truly living for their craft there’s no denying it. Chris is certainly living in this moment.
The best tracks on the cd for me are: “Crashed,” (my personal favorite), “It’s Not Over,” and “Home.” “Home,” as a song itself is quite telling if you’re the type of person who reads between the lines when it comes to lyrics – “I don’t regret this life I chose for me / But these places and these faces are getting old / Be careful what you wish for / ‘Cause you just might get it all / You just might get it all and then some you don’t want / Be careful what you wish for / ‘Cause you just might get it all / You just might get it all.” So maybe the all fame and adulation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
Howard Benson was done a great job producing the cd. Chris’ band is a tight well oiled machine: Josh Freese -drums / Paul Bushnell – bass / Howard Benson – Keyboards and programming / Phil X – guitar . Pick up ‘Daughtry” and give it a listen. You will be pleasantly surprised especially if you’re a hardcore rock fan. This isn’t the usual “Idol” fair flair. Also note, “Daughtry,” had the best showing on the charts of any ‘Idol,’ debut release. Proof once again, a rocker is a rocker, no matter how he gets here.