Who is the most successful American Idol non-runner up or winner? Who sold more albums as a rock debut artist than anyone else in history to date? The answer is Chris Daughtry and his band Daughtry (named after him) . His debut album also hit Billboard’s # 1 spot only 9 weeks after its release. Chris Daughtry is best known for his appearance as a contestant and fourth-place finalist in season five of the top rated American Idol television show. The high point for Chris Daughtry during American Idol was when he performed “Hemorrhage” originally recorded by the rock band Fuel which gave him many accolades from each of the judges. Also, after hearing him perform their song, the band Fuel, who were currently absent a lead singer, asked Daughtry to join their band. Chris graciously turned them down. In my estimation he is the most popular and successful of all of the post American Idol contestants. One last thing to note here is that prior to his appearance in American Idol Chris Daughtry was the lead singer for the alternative Christian rock band Absent Element.
The debut album from Daughtry was released on November 21st, 2006 and has seen much success since its release last year. It peaked at number one on Billboard’s Top 200. It has sold more than 3 million copies world wide. The first track and the first single released from the album is a ballad styled song called “It’s Not Over”. The song starts slow and builds to a full sound in the chorus featuring Chris Daughtry’s powerful vocals. It is a very well made and performed pop-rock song about pushing through the hard times in arelationship. The second track “Used To” is a very well written song about reflection over a relationship and how things “used to” be. The next track “Home” was the second single released from on the album. It is also now played on American Idol each time a contestant is eliminated. They are going home. The song is another well written song that makes you think of home especially when things are not what you expected out of life. “It’s Over” is the next track and like the title says is about realizing for the first time the end of relationship. I especially like Chris’ vocals on this one. The lyrics for the next song “Crashed” could easily be used to represent the beginning of a relationship with Christ:
And then I crashed into to you, and I went up in flames. Could’ve been the death of me, but then you breathed your breath in me. and I crashed into you, like a runaway train. You will consume me, and I can’t walk away.
Knowing that Chris has professed to be a believer in Christ I would expect some lyrics that point to that relationship. In my favorite track on the album “What I Want”, which features the scorching guitars of Velvet Revolver’s Slash, the lyrics implore:
God help me, I never knew I belonged. You’ve taken me and shaped me to become what you want me to be.
The album is definitely radio-oriented hard rock music along the lines of Nickelback, Fuel, Hinder, Three Days Grace, and Metallica. The difference with Daughtry and those other bands who sometimes release positive songs is like one reviewer wrote “they don’t serve as a Trojan Horse smuggling in more explicit material glorifying sexual immorality, drug use, and rebellion.” Instead, we hear the soul of a man who’s determined to endure the hardships of relationship in order to get to a better place. There are many highlights on this album. I do recommend it and give it four and a half stars.
Please watch the video for “It’s Not Over”.