ETA:  Read some reviews from people who actually get paid to do this.

“This is music tailor-made for ill-conceived radio formatting, music for consumers whose taste has already been well-established if not preprogrammed. But Daughtry sure does sing his ass off.”Billboard

“Daughtry’s debut couldn’t be more morbidly routine, aping any number of post-grunge Pearl Jam knockoffs from, well, Nickelback to Fuel to Hinder (whose producer co-wrote three of the songs).”  —New York Daily News

“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the new Bo Bice.”  —SFGate

, the self-titled album by the band of the same name (the lead singer is AI5 fourth-place castoff Chris Daughtry), will be released tomorrow, November 21.  You can listen to the entire album
here.  Here are my thoughts:

A picture named DAUGHTRY2.jpg “It’s Not Over” has fantastic potential to become a radio single.  It’s got the minor-key guitar strumming that’s so popular in mid-tempo rock these days, it’s got a formulaic musical structure, and most importantly, it sounds very similar to pre-existing acts, just slightly different.  That’s what music is all about these days; familiarity sells because it provides a good marketing jump-off point (“If you like Nickelback, you’ll LOVE Daughtry!”), and besides, anything totally different might make you think, in which instance you might decide, in this digital world, to surf your iTunes and find your own favorite artists, instead of blindly accepting what RCA force-feeds down your throat.  But I digress.  Unoriginal as it is, this is vocally probably the best song on the album.   (EDIT: Upon further review, I’ve discovered that this song is actually a Live cover.  Which speaks well neither of DAUGHTRY nor of Live.)

“Used To?”  Meh.  Boring filler.

“Home” is another song that’s been getting a lot of press.  Could it be because Daughtry’s voice is almost unrecognizable?  Perhaps…and on this track it’s a good thing, because the softer side of this voice is actually quite nice.  I don’t see this one getting a lot of radio airplay, but I do see it becoming more of a novelty song…graduations (where the other choice will inevitably be “Do I Make You Proud”), television sweeps campaigns (replacing that stupid Enya song “Only Time” and KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See”)…maybe it’ll even become the next “Bad Day.”

Don’t confuse “Over You” with Kat McPhee’s “Over It.”  Daughtry’s lyrics actually do have a sense of cohesion.  I’m not a mid-tempo alt rock fan, but trying to look at this album objectively, this is one of my favorite songs.  I like it when my male vocalists growl, and Daughtry does some nice alternating between his Softer Side and the harsh growl of his rawker voice.  I could see this one getting radio airplay, too.

“Crashed” is a loser, as evidence by the opening lyric “I was moving at the speed of sound.”  NEXT“Feels Like Tonight” has a title that bothers me grammatically (feeling is a present sense impression, and tonight is either occurring presently or will occur in the future; so how can something feel like the future?  And if it’s occurring right now, it can’t feel “like” tonight, because “like” implies a comparison, but since tonight is still occurring, it hasn’t been established as a comparison basis…never mind.)  It’s also a bit of a filler song, although I can sense the influence of Live (one of Daughtry’s favorite bands–he performed with them during the finale) in the musical structure.  “What I Want” is the band’s attempt to go hard-core; it’s lame.  “Breakdown” starts off as a lovely ballad, then dissolves into a misplaced mix of guitar crunches and lame cliches, but I would love to hear an acoustic version of it.  “Gone” is more filler.  “There and Back Again” starts off with a strange 80s-style beat and starts off awfully with “Take/take your time/to smell the roses.”

Okay, remember that old Dana Carvey sketch where’s he’s talking about rock singers and how he thinks they just make things up on the spot?  Like “she’s cold as ice….err, uh…hmm…‘paradise’…”?  “All These Lives” exemplifies that theory.  He rhymes “separation” with “violation” in the most contrived of ways, and whines that you’re not a “person,” you’re a “disease.” And finally, “What About Now” is kind of semi-inspirational, and when I lower my anti-cheese shields for a minute, I kinda like it.

The final verdict:  I like Chris Daughtry’s voice, but this is just too processed, too derivative, too unoriginal.  There are a couple of good tracks, but the rest of the album is just meh.  And lyrical genius is clearly not at play here.  I give it 2 1/2 stars (and yeah, I’ll find a better rating system later).

What do YOU think?  Should Daughtry have taken the whole thing home back in May?  Is he YOUR American Idol?  Is the album pure dreck?  Is it worse than “Open Toes?”  Let me know!


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November 2006
    Dec »

What the kids are sayin’

"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."

"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."

"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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