Released by: RCA Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Chris Daughtry – Vocals
Josh Paul – Bass
Brian Craddock – Guitar
Josh Steely – Guitar
Robin Diaz – Drums
Elvio Fernandes – Keyboard
2. Waiting for Superman
4. I’ll Fight
5. Wild Heart
6. Long Live Rock & Roll
7. The World We Knew
8. High Above the Ground
9. Broken Arrows
12. 18 Years
15. Battleships (acoustic)
Daughtry the rock band formed and fronted by Chris Daughtry, who was a finalist on the fifth season of American Idol return with their 4th album ‘Baptized’. A hugely successful act in the US, their self-titled debut album reached number one on the Billboard 200, went on to sell more than four million copies in the United States, and has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA. The album produced four top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including top five hits “It’s Not Over” and “Home”.
‘Baptized’ has seen Daughtry work with different writers and Chris Daughtry commented on his website about the direction he wanted to take this time;
“I needed a change,” he admits. “I started hearing these new sounds over my voice, and it was so inspiring. There wasn’t just one style either. It was a completely different vibe all around. I really wanted to pursue that to the fullest. This is probably one of the most inspiring records I’ve ever done.”
As if to reaffirm this statement and also keep his Country music loving parents happy, opening track ‘Baptized’ leads with banjo and slide guitar with an underlying beat that could in fact be the stomp of line dancers behind him. By the first chorus however Chris’s powerful vocals open up and a heavy drum beat beefs everything up.
First single ‘Waiting for Superman’ follows and new keyboard player Elvio Fernandes makes his mark with some very neat electronic work, with elements of The Killers ‘Somebody Told Me’ coming through. Soft acoustic guitar work adds to a song that will be sung back to the band at concerts for many years to come. Again the power in Chris Daughtry’s voice stands out in the chorus proving why he did so well on American Idol.
‘Battleships’ is driven by a solid bass drum beat and uses acoustic guitars to drive the verse before switching styles in the chorus that will find favour with fans of Imagine Dragons.
Three songs in and three markedly different approaches in style and content. Something that Chris had identified was key to him in the writing process this time. The feel of the album is certainly less about straight ahead rock and neatly mixes indie music, rock and pop seamlessly to deliver something that will appeal to a wider audience this time round.
‘Wild Heart’ with its’ simple beats and rhythm draw the listener in to a strong vocal performance on the chorus and repeats the slide guitar of earlier to great effect.
Everyone likes a track that name checks all and sundry and in ‘Long Live Rock & Roll’ with its’ infuriatingly infectious foot tapping beat we get just that. A walk through someone’s life from birth when “disco died” and “U2 was in high school” through debates about whether Kurt Cobain wrote the songs Courtney Love sang in Hole. Clearly a Roth fan as well when Chris laments about how “Van Halen turned into Van Hager”. Repeat listens are advised as there are so many small comments and thoughts to pick up on.
Sometimes, when working with new writers and delivering songs that fit within the current music scene, an artist can almost try too hard to ‘belong’ in the moment. Not so on this album. Yes, it’s a different approach, yes, the styles are mixed, yes, they sound familiar to several popular chart topping acts of the moment but collectively it all gels together very well and presents Daughtry in a fresh light, something it’s clear from interviews that Chris was trying to achieve.
“I always wanted to call the album ‘Baptized‘, because it felt like a new chapter,” he declares on his website.
There are tracks on the album to appeal equally to a broad spectrum of listeners. There are songs for date nights, there are tracks that will appeal to aforementioned Killers and Imagine Dragons fans and the remainder neatly cross over mainstream pop and rock music and even a little bit of Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ on ‘Cinderella’.
A new chapter indeed for Daughtry. It’s a bold move to mix in so many styles but it’s well worth repeat listens to get everything from it.
Written by Adrian