Friday, January 24, 2014

DAUGHTRY - “Baptized”

Rating: RRRR
Review By: Alan Holloway

A while back I gave a glowing review to Chris Daughtry’s “Break The Spell” album, using the phrase “Nickelback meets Bon Jovi”, and I still stand by that as pretty much the flavour that was achieved. It’s two years later, though, and either Daughtry or the powers behind him have decided that he needs to go in an even more radio friendly direction, hence the poppy delight of “Baptized”.

This album has received plenty of criticism for being wet, and it certainly is damp to the extreme, but that doesn’t stop it being highly enjoyable, especially if you are a teenager or an older person who loves the idea of The Goo Goo Dolls and Pink doing an album with Sandi Thom and Fun, which is sort of the direction Daughtry has pointed himself in now.

Although Daughtry himself co writes all the tracks here, he has utilized the talents of the likes of Sam Hollander, who has had plenty of success with songs for Train, Good Charlotte, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship, and also Martin Johnson, frontman and writer for Boys Like Girls (plus many others).  So what we get is an album that’s very squarely aimed at the teen demographic, full of light, catchy music that doesn’t really rock all that hard. The thing is, it still works incredibly well.

My own favourite track is “Long Live Rock & Roll”, which is as far removed from the Dio classic as it’s possible to be. Instead it’s a similar track to “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker”, with Daughtry going on about growing up and loving eighties rock music, basically. It’s got a similar vibe, also, to The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Rebel Sound”, and it helps that that was one of my top tracks from last year.

So whilst Daughtry is turning into a wimp, musically, he’s at least surrounding himself with people who know how this shit should be done. The ultimate saving grace is, of course, his superb singing voice. Some songs that would have been average by anyone else end up being soulful purely because he sings them. Fans of the previous albums may balk at the dilution of his signature sound, but there’s still a lot to like about Chris Daughtry. 

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