The first Daughtry album wasn't bad. It was better than what fans outside of the TV show thought it was going to be, even myself. I actually used to be a bit of a fan of his. I still kind of am but... there's something almost too commercial about the whole thing that's driven me crazy since the first album. Not Daughtry in particular, just the whole thing. American Idol can find talent but what it does to that talent just kind of ruins the whole process. I'm not saying there's no legitimacy to the whole thing, although I've definitely had my doubts , I'm saying that it gives off a stigma that's really worth paying attention to. This is a Daughtry review, I promise... hang in there.
The stigma that I'm talking about... every band lots of bands out there, both independent and signed has worked extremely hard to get where they're at. Even the contestants who appear on that show have worked really hard to get to where they're at. The way American Idol portrays the auditions of its talent- the initial auditions- is a joke. All of these people lined up 90% of them can't sing at all and are just there for the attention that TV gives them, and a lot of the times they get it. This makes getting signed and succeeding at music a joke, and it belittles the music that it features with commercialism and corniness. People who watch that show weekly look at what other artists who have nothing to do with the show and kind of scoff... it's a stigma. There are parts of it that demean what so many people are working so hard to achieve. You have to work hard to get lucky and get your break everywhere outside of that show... on that show a lot of the time, you just have to be marketable. That's the stigma I notice with American Idol. An album after getting away from the show I pay attention to it with Daughtry more than I did initially.
This album is what you would expect from a second album from a mainstream act. it's got a lot of great work on the record, great collaborations with some big names in song-writing; including Mitch Allen, Brian Howes, and Chad Kroeger. It's also doesn't have any real cohesiveness to it. There are odd fades at the end of songs and different parts of different songs feel a little rough around the edges. Still the songs are more about the hooks because that's the audience it's demoed for and it's going to be successful with that group of people because the songs are all pretty catchy. There are a couple of songs that I liked, and there are songs you'll probably like to, but the album just doesn't ebb and flow like you'd like an album to do. A good example on what you can do right with an album when you have similar circumstances is what David Cook did. He made an album with lots of catchy songs on it yes, but everything was blended and joined really well on that record. This one... not so much. Scroll through your iTunes previews and find out what you like and what you don't like and buy the song are two you enjoy and move on.