Debuting at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart is no easy feat, yet it has been managed quite nicely by the in-your-face rock of Daughtry, with their sophomore effort, Leave This Town. Selling 269,299 copies within the first week of the album’s release — as well as managing the top spot on the Digital Albums Chart and the Rock Chart — signals a promising future for the band.
Indeed, this is a group that dares to be ignored, combining the talents of lead vocalist Chris Daughtry, bassist Josh Paul, guitarists Brian Craddock and Josh Steely and drummer Joey Barnes. Not only do the instrumental talents of the group shine, but also the vocal work of Chris Daughtry is warm, sensual and quite intoxicating. This album grabbed me from the very first note of “You Don’t Belong” until the closing, strummed reverberations of the final track, “Call Your Name.“
In all honesty, I feel that Leave This Town blows the band’s first, self-titled album clear out of the water in every way. The vocals are stronger, the lyrics are richer and the overall performance is mind-blowing. Every track is rockin' and unforgettable.
Leave This Town opens with the aforementioned “You Don’t Belong“, a total kiss-ass track that showcases Chris Daughtry's uniquely deep and crystalline voice while also illustrating his talent as a songwriter. “Everytime You Turn Around” starts out heavy-pounding and continues throughout the entire song. Haunting visions are stirred within the lyrics of “Open Your Eyes”: “A single rose left to remember/ As a single tear falls from her eye/ Another cold day in December/ A year from the day she said “goodbye”/ Seems it’s only been a moment/ Since the angels took him from her arms.”
The theme of finding a forever and long-time-committed love shines through in “Live After You” with the lyrics, “You and I, right or wrong, there’s no other one/ After this time I spent alone/ It’s hard to believe that a man with sight could be so blind/ Thinking’ ‘bout the better times, must’ve been outta my mind/ So I’m runnin’ back to tell you.”
Chris Daughtry's writing ability is diversely displayed throughout, as he lends a hand in composing each of the album's twelve recordings. Songs of love lost, regrets and strength are expressed in such ways that will not only draw current fans into their embrace, but are sure to reel in new ones as well.
Each track has a “move and groove your body” beat, that will linger long after the final chord is played. With hard-hitting grooves and slower, tender songs, Leave This Town is perfectly rounded out and will leave listeners with a smile on their face and a finger reaching for the replay button.
As an aside, one fascinating aspect of Daughtry is that despite their rock edge, they appear to be five very clean-cut and down-to-earth young men. Sadly, that's a rather rare commodity in today’s society.
Overall, I commend Daughtry for Leave This Town and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this very talented and promising band.