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Monday, March 5, 2007

Despite Myself

Chris Daughtry is hot. Perhaps the hottest contestant in American Idol history. That much has been established. People thought he was going to win Season 5 of the show, but he was kicked off in the top 4, to everyone’s shock. Check out one of his performances here. You could tell he was going to be huge. In fact, if I have my facts right, he’s already become one of the best-selling Idol alums, creeping quickly up on Kelly Clarkson’s album-selling success. He’s said getting kicked off the show early was the best thing that could have happened. Surprise, surprise.

I made my coworker buy his album, “Daughtry,” last week. His first single, “It’s Not Over,” sounds suspiciously like Fuel’s “Hemorrhage.” So much so, the songs get stuck in my head at the same time. I was, however, impressed that he didn’t try to showcase his fledgling acting skills in his debut video. He did, however, have his bandmates’ pictures blurred on the CD cover. Oh…and the band is also just called Daughtry.

There’s nothing new on the CD. It’s kind of…Mild Hate Against the Machine, if you will. Or…Stoned Temple Cadets. Or…Unleaded Fuel. I could keep going…but I won’t.

A couple songs have cringe-worthy lyrics.
“Used To” includes these: “You used to walk with me like we had nowhere we needed to go/nice and slow/to no place in particular.” Hogwash.
And these: “I used to listen/you always had the just right thing to say.” A little trouble with the meter, there, boys?

About eight songs into the CD, you’re not sure where you’ve heard those chords before and then you realize it was on the CD itself.

Still, I can’t stop listening to it. “Home” is lovely, with a surprisingly beautifully orchestrated bridge and the prophetic lyrics “Be careful what you wish for/cuz you just might get it all.” And I heard he wrote the song right before he left to be on Idol. Maybe he imagined then the show wasn’t the right venue for him.

His falsetto singing in “Breakdown” also made me stop and listen. It was a range we hadn’t heard during his time on Idol. And Slash has a guitar solo on “What I Want.” That’s pretty cool, I guess.

I am especially impressed with the final two songs on the CD, “What About Now” and “Sorry.” They’re pretty and harmless and Chris’s correct pronunciation of the word “me” must be commended. I admit, I expected him to fall to the level of pop stars before him and sing it so it rhymes with “day.”

Despite myself, I’ve listened to the CD on repeat since Thursday evening.
And I am not ashamed.

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