Daughtry dropped a new album recently and it’s great to hear the hard rock side kick back in after a couple of albums that lived in a popular rock/beats area. Even the metal sites are reviewing the new album.
A review of the new Daughtry will come soon, but it did get me in the mood to listen to earlier Daughtry and so let’s kick off the next Record Vault series with the debut album.
Daughtry is the debut album, released in 2006 by RCA Records. He came to fame by competing in American Idol, but he didn’t win Idol, however he’s had a bigger career then the actual winner Taylor Hicks. I guess the kiddies voting don’t really purchase records.
It’s Not Over
The Bm to A to G chord progression is familiar (think “Kryptonite” from Three Doors Down) but it’s the tone of Chris Daughtry’s voice which hooks me in.
Chris Daughtry, Gregg Wattenberg, Mark Wilkerson and Brett Young are listed as the songwriters and what a song they wrote, sitting at 90.325 million streams on Spotify. But it’s not the most streamed from Daughtry. That goes to “Over You”.
And if the songwriter names are familiar, well, if you own a Train or John Legend or Goo Goo Dolls album, you will see Gregg Wattenberg listed as a producer and writer. Mark Wilkerson was the lead singer and guitarist for Course Of Nature, a rock band which was also known as COG. The Chorus was written by Brett Young, a singer in the same season of American Idol as Daughtry.
It’s also certified 2x Platinum as a single in the U.S. Back in 2007, it got a Gold certification for CD physical sales of the single in the U.S.
Daughtry, Howard Benson and Zac Maloy are listed as the songwriters.
A simple drum and bass groove start the song, but it’s the repeating guitar arpeggios in the verse which moves the song along.
Another infectious chorus.
We used to have this figured out / We used to breathe without a doubt
So what changes as we get older. As we learn more, do we fear more.
Sitting at 76.8 million streams on Spotify. Certified 3x Platinum in the U.S as a digital single, with its most recent certification happening in September 2019. Back in 2008, it got a Gold certification for CD physical sales of the single in the U.S.
And as an artist, this is exactly what you want. People still consuming your songs, many years after they’ve been released.
It’s written by Chris Daughtry.
My favourite song on the album. It crosses over to so many different styles and genres. If you like Southern Rock, you’ll like this. If you like Country Rock, you’ll like this. If you like Hard Rock, you’ll like this.
And the message of returning home after been away for a while is a message that everyone can understand and relate to.
This is the most streamed Daughtry track, at 116.8 million streams. And it also has a 2x Platinum in September 2019, for digital sales in the U.S.
Written by Daughtry and Brian Howes it could have appeared on a Jovi album at the time.
It’s a mid-tempo rocker and Daughtry’s vocals are excellent.
And Brian Howes is a Canadian songwriter who has written songs with Adelitas Way, Airbourne, Caleb Johnson, Halestorm, Hedley, Hinder, Nickelback, Rev Theory and Skillet to name a few. A lot of chart cred right there. So if the song sounds familiar, I’m sure some of the melodies from Howes would have been reused.
Written by Daughtry, Nina Ossoff, Dana Calitri and Kathy Sommer and the Chorus is catchy.
Feels Like Tonight
Max Martin, Luke Gottwald and Shep Solomon are the writers. These guys wouldn’t come cheap. I would be surprised if Daughtry is listed as re-couped for this album. I am sure the record label creative accountants still have him in debt, even though its 6x Platinum in the U.S.
It starts off like “Chasing Cars”. That’s what writers of hits do. Take what came before and tweak it.
And of course, a Max Martin /Dr Luke song, isn’t a song without a massive Chorus.
What I Want
Written by Daughtry and Howes and features Slash.
Just by featuring Slash, the song already has a hard rock swagger to it more like the “Velvet Revolver” swagger. But it’s short. Just over 2 minutes long.
The songs which are solely written by Chris Daughtry highlight his skills and style as a writer. “Home” showcases his story telling and use of simple chords to deliver an emotive vocal melody.
“Breakdown” is also written by Chris Daughtry.
It’s actually a rewrite and combination of two songs “Conviction” and “Break Down” previously recorded by Daughtry’s former hard rock/alternative metal band, “Absent Element”.
This one percolates, living in the grey area between soft rock and hard rock.
Check out the head banging riff at 2.30.
Written by Chris Daughtry, it starts off slow, ballad like but by the end of it, it becomes a great melodic rock song.
There and Back Again
Written by Daughtry and Brent Smith from Shinedown who also plays guitar on it.
It feels like a track that would appear on “The Sound Of Madness”. It’s heavy and it rocks hard.
All These Lives
Written by Daughtry and Mitch Allan, it’s in the soft rock domain moving between acoustic verses and distorted choruses.
What About Now
Written by Ben Moody, David Hodges and Joshua Hartzler.
Moody and Hodges had a certain style of writing. They both came to fame via the “Fallen” album from Evanescence and when Moody left the band mid tour, he became a songwriter for other artists. Kelly Clarkson recorded a few of their songs, I think, “Because Of You” was written by Moody and Hodges.
Well this one follows in that vein. It has a piano riff which at the start reminds me of “Alone” from Heart.
Written by Daughtry, Alexander Rethwisch, Christopher Langton, Konstantin Rethwisch and Matthias Weber. A lot of writers.
It lives in this acoustic Fuel/Alice In Chains space because it reminds me of Fuel’s “Something Like Human” album and “Sap” from Alice In Chains.
For a debut album from an American Idol contestant who came 5th, every cent was spent by the label on getting the correct songs as evidenced by the different songwriters on each song.
And he had a lot of musicians on the debut album. Phil
X who performs with Bon Jovi now, is on lead and rhythm guitars. The excellent Josh Freese is on drums. Paul Bushnell plays bass except on “What About Now” which is Chris Chaney. Producer Howard Benson also plays keyboards on the album and Chris Lord-Alge is mixing. These guys and production team don’t come cheap.
In an era of low sales, Daughtry also showed that great music can still sell. In Australia and New Zealand it went Gold. In the UK its certified Silver. In Canada its certified 2x Platinum and in the U.S, its certified 6x Platinum.
The album produced 7 singles. Yep, 7, but then again, every song on the album could be a single, hence the different writers.
And Daughtry sings for most of the album so his voice is left, front and right.
Critics did write, what is the point of having Slash appear on a 2 minute track. Or what would have happened if music took the lead in a song instead of Daughtry singing over everything.
But then again, critics don’t normally sell 6 million albums in the U.S.
Crank it folks.