2005 – UPROOTED
In 2005, a North Carolina rock band called Absent Element released their debut album. Lead singer, Chris Daughtry’s vocals reminded everyone of bands like Live, 3 Doors Down, and Fuel. Their modern rock sound was intense but with no major label promotion, the debut went unnoticed. Chris even tried out for INXS: Rock Star but didn’t make it to the finals. The best song on the album was “Conviction”, a powerhouse song later reworked into “Breakdown” on his future multi-platinum self-titled album.
2006 – DAUGHTRY
It’s almost a blessing that Chris didn’t win American Idol. The pop music factory would have pushed the rocker into a top 40 career that didn’t reflect his true passion. Adding in members from Absent Element and the bassist from the Suicidal Tendencies, Chris’ debut album set sales records with multiple Top 10 anthems. “It’s Not Over”, “Home”, and “Feels Like Tonight” pushed the album to become the fastest selling debut in Soundscan history. My favorite track is the hopeful, energetic power ballad – “Feels Like Tonight” which became the 4th single from the five time platinum CD.
2009 – LEAVE THIS TOWN
Unlike the quickly produced debut, Leave This Town was a true big budget production. Chris co-wrote the songs with artists like Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, Richard Marx, Jason Wade of Lifehouse, and Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace. Critics took exception to the pop/rock direction which could be justified given his collaboration partners. “No Surprise” and “September” became the biggest album tracks but the deeper cuts like “Tennessee Line” with Vince Gill, “Ghost Of Me”, and the power ballad, “Call Your Name”, proved that Chris hadn’t sold out on his Southern rock roots. On the latter song, Daughtry starts out softly and builds intensity to the furious finish, a great album closing track.
2011 – BREAK THE SPELL
Like many artists, Daughtry’s debut album remains his biggest seller and the most beloved in his catalog. His third CD, “Break The Spell” just barely cracked the Billboard Top 10 album charts at #8. The four singles, “Renegade”, “Crawling Back To You”, “Outta Of My Head”, and “Start of Something Good” have been successful but in comparison to his debut CD, a disappointment. Chris’ material has become more commercial and he’s been losing his core rock audience with the new material. He’s working on his fourth Daughtry album and I’m hoping for a return to his Alice In Chains/Fuel styled hard rock. Yet, despite the decline, “Gone Too Soon” is the greatest Daughtry song to never be released as a single. The song’s highly personal and deep meaning has the power to affect many lives.
BTH: Check out Chris’ most recent picture after his 90 day workout challenge: