Like much of last night's American Idol audience, I was riveted by Chris Daughtry's performance of Johnny Cash's classic "I Walk the Line" giving it the thoroughly contemporary, sobering, dark take that it deserves. I even commented at home last night that it went well beyond his strong version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers interpretation of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." It looked like I had finally seen the most stunning originality yet on the show this year. The judges echoed those sentiments, and much of today's press does as well.
Unfortunately, it seems that Chris Daughtry's version of "I Walk the Line" was as much paint-by-numbers as Bucky Covington's version of Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy," which Simon called karaoke. The real originality for this version of "I Walk the Line" lies with the rock band Live.
Listen to this brief clip of Live performing the song. It was originally included on the tribute album Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records. Live's version is indeed powerful, and Chris Daughtry did a good job of echoing it. Originality? We're still waiting for Chris Daughtry's originality...he knows himself as a performer, and so far it is as a faithful cover artist.
What's your opinion?
- It's great - he's great - end of discussion
- He's still one of this season's best performers
- I'm disappointed
- I think he was deceiving the judges and the audience
Album cover © Sire Records.