Daughtry - 2013 Baptized

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ARTIST: Daughtry
ALBUM: Baptized
LABEL: RCA
SERIAL: 88883-79655-2
YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Chris Daughtry - lead vocals * Josh Steely - guitar * Brian Craddock - guitar * Josh Paul - bass * Elvio Fernandes - keyboards * Robin Diaz - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Baptized * 02 Waiting For Superman * 03 Battleships * 04 I'll Fight * 05 Wild Heart * 06 Long Live Rock & Roll * 07 The World We Knew * 08 High Above The Ground * 09 Broken Arrows * 10 Witness * 11 Traitor * 12 18 Years * 13 Undefeated (bonus) * 14 Cinderella (bonus)

RATING: image

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

This is album number four for Daughtry, and it appears they are trying something new and different to hopefully reverse their declining album sales.

Each album has sold less than half of its predecessor. At least the starting point was 4+ million, so they've not totally fallen off the face of the earth. But their hard modern rock formula was not getting the same results as it did in 2006.

Out with super producer Howard Benson, in with a producer-by-committee approach. Chris Daughtry has always been the main songwriter for the group, and that did not change. But the overall sound of the album, well, let's just say it is a bit of a departure.

The Songs

The leadoff single 'Waiting For Superman' was released two months before the album. That's not unusual. What is unusual is that I didn't love it.

Their typical first singles have been more on the hard rock side, and 'Waiting For Superman' is definitely a more subdued affair. I figured the first track on the album would be more to my liking. Wrong again.

Title track 'Baptized' is one of the more mellow songs that Daughtry has released - until this album, that is. As I played the album the first time, I kept waiting to hear rock. I kept thinking 'well, the next song will rock'. That approach quit working when I got to the end of the album still waiting for the first real rock song.

I'll be honest - I've had a hard time picking out highlights on here. To me, this is an album where any of the songs would work fine if surrounded by songs from the first three albums. But stringing together these particular twelve songs (fourteen if you count the two bonus tracks) produces a pretty boring album.

Well, if I gotta pick some songs I like, I'll say 'Waiting For Superman' is one of the better ones. I was just hoping when I heard it prior to the album release that it would be one of the weaker songs on here, not one of the better ones.

'Broken Arrows' is also pretty good and would fit on the earlier albums (although it would be by far the lightest song on the first album).

'Long Live Rock & Roll' is one of those songs that name-drops artists & songs we enjoyed years ago, but it is nowhere as good as what Reckless Love did with 'I Love Heavy Metal' this year.

All of the earlier Daughtry albums had some excellent bonus tracks. Not the case here. I wish I could scratch 'Cinderella' off my disk.

In Summary

Remember the discussion on Bon Jovi's 'The Circle' four years ago? I think some of those same thoughts could carry over to this one.

The timeline is compressed, but this album differs from the debut as much as 'The Circle' differs from 'Slippery When Wet'. 'The Circle' does actually rock, though, unlike this one.

Reviews for this one are definitely mixed. Lots of fans (like myself) feel alienated by this album. Others like it just fine.

I believe it depends on where Daughtry fits on your personal spectrum of hardness. I've seen some folks say that Daughtry has shifted from sounding like Nickelback and 3 Doors Down to more like Train and John Mayer.

It will be interesting to see how this one sells. I don't think this is a horrible album. It works fine as background music - but really I was expecting something that would excite me.

The voice of Chris Daughtry and the fact I like the band give this a higher mark than I feel I should give it. Maybe it'll grow some on me, but it'll never equal the first three.

I had this easily pegged as a top ten album for the year when I heard it was coming out, but it is definitely not in the mix. I hope this doesn't kill a chance for album 5, and I hope album 5 sounds more like album 1.


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