Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dear Nigel, Can Chris Be the Winner?



That's probably the only review I need to write when it comes to today's release, Daughtry. I wondered what it would be like when I bought the CD. Would it be a half-hearted pop-rock effort like Bo Bice's first? Or would it be a true-to-his-roots labor of love like Kellie Pickler's recent disc. I listened to the CD. Then I listened to it. And just for a change of pace, I listened to it again. Ladies and gentlemen, the verdict is in. It's a slam dunk. I love it. Call the American Idol votes back in, people, we have a new winner.

Seriously, after the fabulous albums that Daughtry and Kellie Pickler have released, Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks are going to have to REALLY knock it out of the park to be better. Taylor's CD is going to have to heal the sick and raise the dead before I call it better than Daughtry. I'm actually curious if this might be the year where both the second AND first place winners fall by the wayside. I certainly don't wish that on them, because they're both talented people. But they are going to have to really bring it home to beat the CDs that have already been released.

My thoughts about Daughtry's CD are pretty simple. It rocks from start to finish. There is not one track on it that I dislike. It's one loud wall of sound from the time your CD drawer closes to the time when the final track cuts. If I had to pick a couple of tracks that really stand out, I guess I'd say "It's Not Over" and "Over You" probably gave me the biggest kick in the head. "Home" is also pretty good. But honestly, I could love every single moment of this CD without hesitation.

Of course, the insufferable rock music snots are already poo-pooing it, which you should expect, because, well, they're insufferable snots. And their musical tastes are more valid than yours. And they're cooler than you, which is only slightly obscured by how much they were constantly made fun of in their youth and the length the stretch marks around their butt cheeks from having their underwear pulled up somewhere around their adam's apple by people who were, in fact, cool, and not insufferable music snots. If I've heard the word "overproduced" once today, I've heard it a million times. Of course there's no such thing, as quality is highly subjective, and what might be overdone to one might be underdone to another. What these people mean by overproduced is that the music has a lot of help from the people recording it, as opposed to just some unwashed, smelly hippie like themselves playing it in front of nobody on a broken Fender knock-off. Well, let me amend that: most music critics aren't actually capable of creating music themselves, so that should be some OTHER unwashed, smelly hippie playing with a broken Strat knock-off. These critics are by and large unhappy when something comes along that is actually commercially successful. They're the same people that helped Kurt Cobain commit suicide.

But the truth is this: the music is good, no matter how it was produced, and the lyrics are thoughtful. There's really no reason to compare him to Nickelback or Fuel, as many are doing, because while they're in the same genre, Daughtry has their own unique sound, and they're doing what they love to do, which is rock it and rock it hard. And they're cooler than the critics, which just drives them batty.

In any case, ignore those idiots. These are good tunes. Chris had a hand in writing all these songs, with the exceptions of "Feels Like Tonight" and "What About Now," the latter of which was penned by Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence. "Breakdown" was one that he did with his former band, Absent Element. The fact that a guy, who is as new to the business as Chris Daughtry, can pen these tunes is mind-blowing. Are they mainstream? Yeah. Will they rock your world? If you let them. Musically, the band is tight. I've rarely heard guitars sound this nice, and Paul Bushnell on bass just makes me want to cry tears of joy.

Chris' voice on this album is better than it ever was on Idol. He has help in the form of Howard Benson, who also produced the All-American Rejects and My Chemical Romance. On the mixer is Chris Lord-Alge who has worked with Green Day, B.B. King, No Doubt, Bad Religion, and many others. Extra special is a guest appearance on "What I Want" by Guns N' Roses guitar legend Slash.

All told, this album is quite solid. You will never hear me say this again, but I recommend purchasing the album through Wal-Mart, as their discs (and only theirs) contain two bonus tracks (an acoustic version of "Home" and "Crashed.") It's worth a buy, and it will be a mainstay in your car's disc changer.

What are you still reading for? Go get it!


At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your review...it was as kick ass as the Daughtry album. Not a bad song in he pile...I fully expect to see some major sales and awards in Chris's future...isn't it great?

At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous review...for a kick ass album.
Not one bad track...this man deserves to be at the top of the tree and winning awards ...watch this space..Watch out World....Chris Daughtry is well on his way to domination!!!!!

At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DYNAMITE ALBUM! I am a big Bo Bice fan and I was rather disappointed in his first album and I worried about Chris's but Chris did what Bo should have done.
Chris IS the American Idol 2006!
Totally rocking album and I look forward to more by this fantastic fellow!

At 1:00 PM, Blogger bad kitty said...

You've totally sold me - I will definitely purchase that album!

Buuuuutttt not at Wal*Mart because I refuse to set foot in that store. So it really sucks to learn that they hold a superior added-tracks version. I'm all down for props for the art, but I'm also super careful about where I spend my hard-earned dough (especially when it comes to companies who are guilty of things I find most reprehensible...which I won't get into here because this is your blog and not my blog).

I'll let you know what I think of think of Daughtry once I get a chance to run down to my in-danger-of-running-out-of-business local indie music store where the oowner is a good guy, treats his employees well, hires knowledgeable people to work for him and makes merely a modest living. (Political much, Bad Kitty?)

At 1:03 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Well, if you're not inclined to purchase at Wal-Mart, I suggest purchasing through iTunes, since they carry an exclusive track entitled "Sorry." The Target version does not have any extra tracks, but it does have a fold out poster.

I'm not a big fan of the Wal-Mart music machine either.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, JD! I know it has been a long time since I stopped by, but I just wanted to say that I TOTALLY agree with your comments on Daughtry! I downloaded it yesterday from iTunes and have listened to the whole thing...oh maybe 15 times while preparing for Thanksgiving dinner! GREAT ALBUM!!

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree. I think there's nothing wrong with comparing Nickelback to Chris. Even Chris himself said that he was going to have "Nickelback type" songs on the CD.

I was looking forward to Chris' CD. People at his record label claimed that Chris' CD would 'shock the world.' After listening to the CD I don't understand why they would say that. This CD is bland, uninspired, and unoriginal. And this is coming from someone who likes Chris. He does have a great voice but the album is lacking for me. Every song sounds the same and I didn't see any standouts.

Just my opinion. I'm glad everyone else seems to like it though...

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

JD...AWESOME! I love this CD too. Chris is by far going to out *Shine* Taylor and McPhee. He is the winner and always has been. Now, just a note, there are a few points that he does sound a little like Nickleback and the beginning of one song (can't remember which) that sounds like one of Bo's from his CD. But all in all, it is Chris all the way and I haven't stopped playing it since I received it from Amazon. :)

<3 Gidget


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