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Daughtry - 2013 Baptized

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


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)



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 has fit 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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#1 | englandashes on April 16 2014 23:15:10
Yep, agree with the Train comparison, but maybe not as clever lyrically, however got to agree with Jez, I actually like it, but I am also quite partial to One Republic and maybe thats what Daughtry is also trying to tap into. Amazon were selling it for a fiver and that was also a factor. In saying all this I can understand Jeffrey disappointment, as with Bon Jovi, Michael Bolton the goal of more wider acceptance is much more financially rewarding, and who can blame them!
#2 | gdazegod on April 17 2014 02:43:48
Chris, it's called a sell-out.. lol!
#3 | jeffrey343 on April 17 2014 04:41:27
I haven't listened to this since I wrote this review four months ago, whereas I've played the first three albums a couple of times each. I don't think sales have been strong for this one. I can handle most of the modern U.S. bands in measured doses when listening to the radio (which I seldom do). But an album has to be pretty good for me to listen to it. I'll throw this one on in the next few days to see if my opinion has changed.

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