Chris Daughtry said that Daughtry is a band. The first album, has Chris Daughtry on the cover, plus a picture of him in the booklet and on the back cover there is a picture of a band. But all the songs were written by Chris Daughtry and outside writers and the music was played by session musicians.
So after getting some flak about his band, “Leave This Town” has a cover which shows a band, leaving town. And while the songs are written by Chris Daughtry, with outside writers, the music is played by the band members and some songs have the band members as co-writers. Of course contractual issues would come about with this band arrangement ideal, because the label deal with RCA Records is with Chris Daughtry only.
“Leave This Town” was released on July 14, 2009, by RCA Records. I like it better than the debut as it’s a hard rock album done in a style I like.
I’m a big believer that quantity equals quality. 70 songs were written for this album, narrowed down to 19 for recording in the studio and 12 songs made the final cut, with the other tracks made available as bonus tracks for different digital stores.
Daughtry co-wrote the songs on the album with Richard Marx, Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, Jason Wade from Lifehouse, Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace, Eric Dill from The Click Five, and Mitch Allan from SR-71 and Tommy Henriksen, along with the usual suspects of Brian Howes, Ben Moody and David Hodges. No Max Martin or Dr Luke this time around.
The songs written with Marx, Tedder, Gontier and Wade didn’t even make the standard edition of the album, but were released as bonus tracks in the various markets and then as an EP called “Leave This Town B-Sides”.
The band for the album is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitars, Josh Steely on lead guitars, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitars, Josh Paul on bass guitars and drums were handled by Joey Barnes on tracks 1 to 6 and Robin Diaz on tracks 7 to 12.
Howard Benson is back producing and Chris Lord-Alge is mixing. Session guru, Phil X also made an appearance to do some additional guitars. Again, RCA spent a lot of money to make this album a success, but only three singles were released from this album compared to the seven singles from the debut. Regardless it still was a success.
Certified platinum in Canada and the U.S and Certified Silver in the U.K.
For the charts (although the Charts were become irrelevant at this point in time), it was a Top 10 album in Canada, New Zealand and the U.S (also going to Number 1). It was a Top 20 album in Australia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
“You Don’t Belong”
It’s listed as a Chris Daughtry track and it blasts out of the gate with its heavy metal like intro before it moves into a Nu-Metal like riff.
The verses are more relaxed with clean tone guitars and a vocal melody dominating while the Chorus is loud and angry.
The song writing committees begin, with Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Eric Dill, Rune Westburg and Joey Moi listed as writers.
This was the lead single for the album. As a single it is certified Platinum for sales in the U.S.
Lyrically, it’s about a break up that both sides saw coming.
An acoustic guitar starts it off with a catchy vocal melody. It reminds me of the songs that Mutt Lange was doing in the 90’s with Bryan Adams and Shania Twain.
The physical single had the Adam Gontier co-write “Back Again” as the B-side. This track is excellent and hard to believe that it was left off the album.
“Every Time You Turn Around”
Written by Daughtry and Andy Waldeck. Loud drums and grungy like guitars kick it off, but the verses remind me of the Classic Rock era.
The bridge vocal melody, although brief is my favourite part of the song. And like all the songs on the album, there isn’t a verse or chorus or bridge, which isn’t catchy.
And yes, finally we get some melodic leads and outro leads in the songs.
“Life After You”
The second single, which also has a certification from the RIAA for sales in the U.S, this time its at Gold and closing in to Platinum.
Chris Daughtry wrote the song with Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroeger, producer Joey Moi and Brett James.
It was actually Kroeger who offered “Life After You” to Chris Daughtry.
Daughtry wasn’t sure if the song would fit with the band, but the melody was that good and once he wrote the bridge, the song could not be denied.
“What I Meant to Say”
Daughtry and Brian Howes proved to be a good song writing team on the first album, so they are back again on this one.
A rocker, reminding me of Jovi and “Have A Nice Day” album. And a guitar lead is heard, although its less than 10 seconds.
“Open Up Your Eyes”
Written by Daughtry, Ben Moody and David Hodges.
It’s got a Chorus built for the arena.
My favourite song on the album, written by Daughtry and guitarist Josh Steely.
It’s got this Coldplay “Fix You” section in the middle of it. Check it out.
It’s also the third single, inspired by Daightry’s childhood memories growing up with his brother in Lasker, North Carolina.
“Ghost of Me”
Daughtry and Howes are back with a track that sounds like “Bounce” from Jovi.
For me, it’s the back half of the album which really connects.
Check out the Chorus.
“Learn My Lesson”
Written by Daughtry, Mitch Allan and Chris Tompkins.
A ballad which is another favourite with a good melodic lead.
A rocker and another favourite, in the vein of Jovi’s “Bounce” album.
This one is written by Daughtry, Josh Paul and David Hodges.
The lead break echoes Richie Sambora.
Written by Daughtry and guitarist Brian Craddock, this country song is also another favourite.
Country superstar (albeit a very reluctant one) Vince Gill guests. And for Gill to perform is a real coup as he doesn’t just appear as a guest at every invite.
I thought that this would be a single, as it would crossover into the Country charts, but it never was released.
“Call Your Name”
The official closer, written by Daughtry and drummer Joey Barnes. It percolates on acoustic guitar until the 2.38 mark, when the whole band kicks in for the guitar solo moment and the Bridge to Chorus to come.
A perfect way to close the album out.