It is a rare thing, but as they move into their second album, a strong argument could be made that Daughtry's sound is definitive in today's mainstream rock. When you think contemporary rock, it's likely that you think of something sounding like Leave This Town. That means the band has the danger of sounding too familiar, but they do incorporate just enough variety that Daughtry's sheer competence is what will likely cause rock radio and fans alike to turn to this collection frequently in the coming months.
Chris Daughtry's Voice Carries the Day
It is not always instantly recognized but one of the fundamental keys behind Daughtry's phenomenal success is the voice of group leader Chris Daughtry. He sings in a similar style to the vocalists of a wide range of other post-grunge rock bands. However, it is Chris Daughtry's pipes that tower over the noise when necessary and hit full, round notes on target song after song. Listen to the current single "No Surprise." It was co-written by Nickelback's Chad Kroeger so the song bears more than a passing resemblance to that group's multi-platinum material. However, Chris Daughtry's voice, with its resonance and warmth, carries the song past most of Nickleback's efforts in musical quality.
A Bit of Stretching Into New Territory
There are places on Leave This Town where Daughtry does stretch beyond the territory covered on their debut release. "You Don't Belong" roars into a Linkin Park style arena crunch. "Supernatural" has a beat that would not be out of place in a rock-oriented dance club. "Tennessee Line," featuring a guest appearance by Vince Gill, gives a nod to country music even if it remains twang free. All of these new sounds provide just enough variety to keep Leave This Town from being a retread of the first album.
Top Tracks on 'Leave This Town'
- "You Don't Belong"
- "No Surprise"
- "Open Up Your Eyes"
- "Learn My Lesson"
- "Tennessee Line"
Mainstream Melodic Rock Today Is Daughtry
For the first Daughtry album, studio musicians ruled the recording sessions and a band was quickly pieced together primarily as a touring unit. On Leave This Town the band is fully involved in both playing and writing on many of the songs as well. The result is a more cohesive sound than the first time around. Arguably, this sound is the sound of mainstream melodic rock. Chris Daughtry and his bandmates, after only two albums, are not likely to be following any other artists. They are the band that will be followed. That is a compliment. If you want to be more familiar with contemporary rock, look no further than Daughtry's new album Leave This Town.
Released July 14, 2009 on RCA Records.