* Prices may differ from that shown
I have never been nor will I ever be a huge fan of American Idol. So for me liking an artist that got their big break on the show is a huge thing. I usually avoid them like the plague as I know that they have not had to crawl in the gutters like most other artist before making it big. How ever Daughtry is one in a million. He actually has talent that you cant cover up or hide. He is all in all a great artist.
I was very lucky to come across a great deal to get his whole first album for a cheap price. Sorry I cant remember how much I paid or where I got it from. It may have been Itunes or Amazon as that's where I get most of my music. So now I am going to review the album.
The album has many good songs on it. There is a mix of soft ballads and songs that have a hard beat and really rock.
1. Its not over
This song is a good song it has a hard beat that really rocks. The lyrics are well composed. The vocals are just amazing. Hard to believe that before American Idol this guy was not even heard of yet.
I have to say that all the songs on this album this is my least favorite. It does not have a bad sound, it just is not something that I enjoy. However it's a decent song that sounds great.
This song starts out rather slow and soft. This song would be a ballad. What I really enjoy the most about Daughtry is his voice. He has a rather rough around the edges voice. Very sensual.
This has to be my favorite song on the album. The song really sings to the heart of any one that has ever been hurt. The vocals are like always amazing. The blending of this song is very good it seems that the whole song is really well composed and just a perfect fit.
This song is a different sounding song. Its got a catchy beat and you cant help but to sing along. This song really draws you in making it hard to sit still while its playing.
6.Feels like tonight
This was the song that was first released from the album. It was this song that started everything for Daughtry. This song is not the best song on the album in my opinion but it's a great song.
7.What I want
This song features Slash formerly from Guns N Roses. This song is the hardest song on the album and it really rocks. I like this song as it really says how people change their minds on a daily basis. I have say that this is great song that is under rated.
This song starts out very slow with a kind of bluesy sound to it. Not a bad song at all. Rather slow compared to the rest of the music.
I am not really sure about this song. It seems to start out with a rather weird beat. However it really only adds to the song.
10.There and back again
The intro to this song is one of the best I have heard in a long time. It really draws you in and has you moving to the beat. Great song.
11.All these lives
This song is another ballad type of song. The lyrics are rather sad but it really fit's the album. I like the sound of this song. It starts out slow then sort of moves to a faster beat. Good song.
12. What about now
This song starts out very slow with a piano. It really shows you just how talented Daughtry is. This song really shows you the scope of his vocal talents. Great song
This album is approximately 45 minutes long and its filled with great songs. I don't think that there is a song on this album that I cant stand. I would have to say that this album was a great purchase.
I don't watch reality TV at all, so it wasn't through American Idol that I came across Chris Daughtry. I saw an advert for this CD on the TV, and since I had liked the work he did with his previous band, Absent Element, I decided to try his debut album.
At 13 songs long and 45 minutes long there's a decent amount of music here for you money. All of the songs are fairly good quality, but for the most part this album is just generic pop rock stuff; nothing special, but nice to listen to. Chris Daughtry has a good voice that suits the music very well.
The best thing about this album, in my opinion, is the lyrics of the songs. Most of them are very moving and uplifting. Some of the songs tell stories. Although, given the mass produced pop rock feel that pervades the album, I don't know to what extent the band members actually had a hand in writing the wonderful lyrics.
One thing that did surprise and slightly disappoint me about this album was the presence of the song Breakdown. For this song what Chris Daughtry has done is take two of his old band's songs, mashed them together and put them on his new band's album. The song 'Breakdown' on Daughtry is Absent Element's song 'Conviction' with the chorus from their song 'Breakdown' and packaged it all under the title Breakdown. Yes the overall effect is to produce a good song, but it does upset me slightly that his previous band are not getting credit for this.
Overall this is a pretty good album. The songs are high quality and catchy with good lyrics. It is very listenable and I have spent many days at a time just listening to this album. I do enjoy this album, even if it is a bit generic and samey after a while.
Whilst I've never liked the way it short cuts artists to chart stardom, I have found myself liking quite a few of the acts made famous by "Pop Idol" and the like. But recently I got a bit of a shock when I heard an artist I would have liked no matter where he had come from and it turned out he had been in "American Idol".
Even more surprising, at least to me, was that he didn't even make the final, although he was given a record deal on the strength of his performances on the show. He's coming to the attention of some fairly major people as well, having had his music used on a later series of the show and being tipped as once of their acts to watch in 2008 by the MSN Music website.
Of course, being tipped for success by music journalists is no guarantee that the music will be any good. Nor is being plucked from nowhere by the record companies based on a TV appearance, as many a reality show winner and loser has subsequently discovered. TV may get an artist to the top, but the quality of the music is the only thing that will keep them there.
The album starts off in a promising fashion with "It's Not Over". It's a mid-tempo soft rock number which reminds me of Nickelback or Creed. There's nothing particularly original or ground breaking here, but it's certainly a change from most of the standard pop music that reality TV musical acts seem to produce.
There's a little more of a pop/rock influence in the opening to "Used To", which sounds a bit like The Calling. Once the song gets going, the chorus reminds me of Nickelback once more and whilst this is another decent track, there's not a great deal of variation from the opening track, as it's another mid-tempo soft pop-rock number.
"Home" is the song that was used on "American Idol" the season after Daughtry had been on to say goodbye to the acts who had been voted off. It's an expansive number with a bit more of a pop-rock influence than earlier tracks and reminds me of The Calling again. It's the kind of song made for American TV, with a big chorus and a soft rock feel, but it's nothing new and the same kind of thing that TV shows have been using as theme tunes and interludes for decades.
The next track seems to bring us full circle to the album opener. "Over You" is pretty much the twin of "It's Not Over", with a Nickelback influence to both music and vocals, running through a soft rock-pop track. Once more, it's nothing bad, but it's nothing new, either.
"Crashed" opens with what sounds like a sitar, which gave me brief hope that this might turn into a "Living on the Edge" era Aerosmith track. Once the song kicks in, however, it proves to be more of the same, with a Nickelback influence to a pop-rock track.
It seems that the only variation in the album is when the influence switches from a Nickelback sound to The Calling. "Feels Like Tonight" starts of seeming like the latter, with a slightly more pop influenced song, although the chorus is a little more expansive with more of a rock sound. However, apart from the fact that the guitar riff is a little more interesting and it's a slightly more up tempo number, there is nothing particularly different here.
With Slash of Guns 'N' Roses and Velvet Revolver making a guest appearance on "What I Want", I was a little more hopeful of some variation on the track. Fortunately, that was what I got, as the Velvet Revolver influence is obvious in the guitar and the song has a far more rock sound and is more of an up tempo number than any of the others previously. Given that I normally prefer Velvet Revolver to Nickelback, this is enough to make this my favourite track on the album.
Unfortunately, this isn't a change that was to last long, with Slash only performing on the once track. "Breakdown" takes us back to the standard mid-tempo rock-pop songs, this time sounding more like The Calling, although it does cut loose a little towards the end and there's a fairly decent rock bridge, but that doesn't last and it's only towards the end of the song.
There's perhaps a little more of an up tempo feel to "Gone", but apart from that, it's more of the same. It's a Calling influenced number through the verses and has a little more of a rock feel through the chorus, but this is again nothing new.
There is a rare rock influence to "There and Back Again" which elevates the song against what has become a fairly mundane album. There's a slight hint of a Velvet Revolver influence and there's a touch of an Audioslave sound in here as well. It's a slightly more up tempo number than most on the album and it's certainly a rock song as opposed to a pop-rock song like most on the album, which means it will always find favour with me.
Again, the variation seems to be short lived and "All These Lives" drops the tempo and returns us to the Nickelback influence. This does seem to have a little more of a rock feel than most of the songs here, but the sound is more or less the same as most of the album.
I'm sure that the piano introduction to "What About Now" has been borrowed from Heart's "Alone". The song as a whole is a big rock-ballad which manages to remain true to all the soft rock ballad clichés and sounds a little like Hoobastank and The Calling. As with pretty much everything that has gone before, it's nothing new, although it's nothing bad, either. It's only the attempt to make this the album's big ballad number that really sets it apart in any way.
The supposed bonus track is an acoustic version of "Breakdown", which adds very little to the album as a whole, or the song in particular. Given that the original version wasn't one of the more rock influenced tracks here, having an acoustic version was largely pointless. To be fair, this would have been true of most of the album, although an acoustic "What I Want" might have been interesting.
As someone who has been a fan of Nickelback and The Calling for a while, as well as a recent convert to both Audioslave and Velvet Revolver, this album contains everything I would want from a decent rock album. Unfortunately, the album is essentially a one trick pony and it insists on repeating the same kind of song over and over again.
The overall sound here is one I'm a big fan of, but when it is repeated with only brief and minor variations over 13 tracks and 47 minutes, it does become a little dull after a while. This is an album that is best suited to be put on a music player with several other albums and played on a "random" setting. That way you can still enjoy the songs individually without becoming bored with the repetition. Given that this is how I tend to play my music, this means the album works quite well for me, as I'm a fan of this kind of music.
This is really only one for fans of the soft pop-rock genre of music. If you like Nickelback and The Calling and possibly Creed and Hoobastank, you'll be able to listen to the album all the way through and enjoy it. The one problem with the album is that it's not easy to find cheaply, with Amazon's prices of £11.99 new and £6.81 second hand from the Marketplace being the best, although copies do appear on eBay for as low as 99 pence. If Daughtry is going to be your kind of music, then this is a well crafted album and well worth a listen and it's only the lack of variation in sound that lets it down for me. Daughtry certainly proves here that he has the talent to go a long way in the industry; he just needs to develop a wider range of sound to ensure that people don't get bored of him too quickly.
I'm not sure if it isn't sad that I actually went out and bought the debut CD by Chris Daughtry, the American Idol contestant who came in fourth place in their 5th season, but bought it I did. While I'm not totally disappointed with this purchase, I'm also not unconditionally thrilled with it, either. And now that he's had a concert in London (at the Scala, on November 27), I thought you'd like to hear my opinion of this disk.
While most of the American Idols don't perform in genres that I would ever buy CDs in, I did favour Chris' rocker style during season 5. With a voice that can be both strong and gentle, he surprised everyone with his versatility during the contest, which pointed up his natural musical talents beautifully. During the contest we heard him sing all sorts of genres, and he showed us that he could rock up almost any of them, as well as adapt his voice to those songs that didn't lend to being rocked. It was this changeability that I was looking for in this album.
Unfortunately, I didn't find this, and this was the main reason for my disappointment in this album. While I appreciated the ability he showed here, both vocally and artistically, the overall feel of this album was somewhat two dimensional for me. Song after song here had basically the same beat and level of heaviness to their rock sound. In addition, he seems to have kept to a formula in his songs where they start out slow or slightly quiet, and then get beefed up and heavy soon afterwards, with only a couple songs lapsing back into the gentler mode in the middle. While some of the songs are better than others, on first listening you may feel as I did, that one track blends into the next, with only the subject matter of the songs differing. This reminded me of what I call the "Dido Syndrome" - meaning, once you've heard one of her songs you've basically heard them all (and we have heard zilch from her in the last four years). If this doesn't change, Daughtry might end up being a one disk wonder. That would be a shame after getting three American Music Awards and four Grammy nominations for his debut album.
Of course, we can forgive this somewhat for several different reasons. Firstly, Daughtry's claim to fame was via the TV show, and it is possible that without it, we wouldn't have heard of Chris and his band just yet. Sure, many artists struggle as he did to get to where he got, and neither his singing ability nor his writing ability is being judged here. However, one wonders if getting so close to winning didn't push him into the limelight a touch too soon, as well as take away from the other members of his band. If so, perhaps this detracted from the possible roundness and variety of his band's sound that some more struggling experience might have given them. One also wonders if his shooting to fame made him less of a mature enough artist to release an album so quickly. Perhaps if they had needed to woo their audience one single at a time they might have been forced to find other sides of their music to present, which would have made a more interesting collection when they got to putting a full 12 tracks together.
Lyric-wise, this album seems to concentrate on love and relationships. There's nothing wrong with that, but being a listener to singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon who can paint pictures with their words has raised my bar a good deal when it comes to the poetic possibilities in singing about everyday things. In this, I have to admit that Daughtry is no poet, but so few rockers ever seem to be, so I suppose he's just about average, in that area.
That said this isn't actually a bad album. In fact, on a song-by-song basis, I can't find any that aren't quite good songs. The singles are quite memorable, and since his first one "Home" ended up being used as the goodbye theme song for American Idol's season 6 eliminated singers, he couldn't help but jump to the top of the charts with it. This song is being released as a single in the UK right now, and is one of the songs up for a Grammy, which on his official website has a female vocalist doing the song, and is a far more low-key version than the one on this CD (and which I personally prefer to the version I have). The other hit from this album, "It's Not Over" isn't actually my favourite here, since I find the vocals a touch on the shouting side, but it does have its merits, especially with some of the instrumentals.
In the CD that I bought (which is the version available in the UK), there is an acoustic version of the song "Breakdown" which isn't quite as acoustic as I would have liked, but it certainly does give us a touch more of Chris' voice and less throbbing background instrumentals, and this was a lovely change of pace for this collection, and a nice concluding song - and is probably my favourite of the collection (and too bad the American's don't get to hear this).
In general, this isn't the best CD I've ever purchased, but it is certainly far from the worst. The songs - taken each on their own - are actually quite good, and when Chris is using his beautiful voice, especially in the bits where his band doesn't drown him out, you can feel there is a great deal of talent here. That I found the collection to be a touch too monotone in regards to beat and overall sound, is probably just a matter of immaturity on the band's part, and if a second CD comes about, I would hope that we could hear some quieter tracks from Daughtry in the future. I'll give it three stars, although it deserves about three and a quarter. As for recommending it, if you like some nice rock music, a good voice and aren't too concerned that the lyrics are simple and there are no rock ballads to balance the collection, you might find several songs on this album that you'll like.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © December 2007
Chris Daughtry has his own website where you can hear samples from this album, and you can find that at www.daughtryofficial.com
You can buy this album new on Amazon for £10.98 or through their marketplace from £4.80.
The tracks on this album are:
1. It's Not Over
2. Used To
4. Over You
6. Feels Like Tonight
7. What I Want - Daughtry & Slash
10. There And Back Again
11. All These Lives
12. What About Now
13. Breakdown (special bonus track, acoustic version)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 It's Not Over
2 Used To
4 Over You
6 Feels Like Tonight
7 What I Want - Daughtry & Slash
10 There And Back Again
11 All These Lives
12 What About Now
13 Breakdown (1)