One release that has eluded me is Chris Daughtry's self titled release. I finally got a copy of it and all I can say is "Wow!". This is like a smack in the face that you weren't expecting. The first release from this American Idol contestant is surging towards two million units sold after rocketing to one million units sold faster than any other rock artist for their debut release according to sales based on Soundscan. For the record I want to state that I'm not jumping on any bandwagons here. When I first heard that Chris was going to be releasing his own cd, my first thought was "Oh great. Here we go with the whole corporate spin and marketing him by doing whatever it takes to sell records and please the sheep." Even though this is backed by a major label it is anything and everything other than a corporate product. For starters, I thought the label would bring in songwriting teams and basically make Chris their vehicle for the music that the label thought would sell. Thank God the label didn't stick their noses in this release as Chris wrote or either co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on here. His tracks show a certain songwriting maturity not seen by any of the other American Idol contestants and the sales prove it. The songwriting is a great mix of blues based rock songs with a modern edge to them. This is sure to please any fan of the rock genre.
The opening track "It's Not Over" has been well received at radio and was the initial spark that sent this release into orbit. The swaying and swaggering vocal melodies really drive home this mid tempo rocker. This was co-written by Chris with a group of writers, which inclued his former American Idol contestant - Ace Young. The biggest slam dunk on here is a song Chris wrote himself "Home". This is a song of epic proportions that, with it's slow buildup to the emotionally hitting chorus, launches the mood level to a stratospheric level that is sure to burn into your mind and become a song that sticks with you forever - a hit song that you can look back ten years from now and remember a specific moment from when this song was popular. "Over You" is another solid song that is right up there with the strongest Creed or Nickelback material - really catchy lyrics sung over great melodies. Move over Creed and Nickelback because there's a new powerhouse in town. "What I Want" is a riff based and fast paced dirty rocker fueled by the guitar work of none other than Slash. I bet Slash was wishing he had this song all to himself. It's a song with alot of balls and probably would be the heaviest song if it were to appear on Velvet Revolver's cd. "There and Back" has an underlying fast paced funky bass line that is the backbone of the song. It's another heavy hitting song and it's one of those songs you would turn to 10 while driving in your car.
Even though this cd came out at the tail end of 2006, if I had to put together my favorite releases of 2007 right now - DAUGHTRY would be number 1. The release has a great flow and you won't be skipping over any tracks. It rocks and rocks hard from beginning to end - some songs having the fast in-your-face type approach and other tracks have that slow churning power of a flow of molten steel eating up everything in its way. I think Chris Daughtry has the ability to lose the American Idol tag eventually. The intitial sales of DAUGHTRY were obviously fueled by the American Idol fans. However, I believe that after the hard core anti-American Idol rock crowd sinks their teeth into this, it's going to strike a nerve with them and drive this thing through the roof. If I really like a cd, I'll tend to go with a 8 or 9 rating. For DAUGHTRY I would give this one a 9 and a sidebar that states "Really damn close to a 10!"
For more information log onto www.daughtryofficial.com and www.rcarecords.com