Being a listener of the group, it was interesting to find American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry's self-titled debut album on the shelves of Christian retail stores. "Home" and "Crashed" are among a few songs that Chris took a timeout in his musical journey to express his perspective of Heaven and his faith in the Lord. Even while collaborating with Christian musicians such as Day of Fire and Third Day, it has become interesting to see what the band will attempt to do next for their sophomore effort. After three long years of waiting, Daughtry has finally released their second studio record, titled Leave This Town. With the wait finally over, devout fans are finally able to hear the progression of a promising rock group that is here to stay.
Much like the self-titled debut album, Daughtry offers a couple of Christian-based rock ballads that stand out the most. "Open Up Your Eyes" talks about a woman of faith who waits for the day when she will reunite with her husband in Heaven, "Seems it's only been a moment since the angels took him from her arms, And she was left there, …A single lifetime lays behind her, As she draws her final breath, Just beyond the door he will find her, Taking her hand she softly says, For the first time you can open up your eyes, And see the world without your sorrow." The final song on the album, "Call Your Name," speaks about a man crying out for help from God, "There's gotta be a better way for me to say, What's on my heart without leaving scars, Can you hear me when I call your name." And, as always, Chris Daughtry gives praise to God in the "thank you" notes for inspiration and His son Jesus Christ for loving him even when he does not deserve it.
However, Chris primarily writes songs about love, the end of broken relationships, mending broken relationships and learning from mistakes in life. An unexpected curse word appears on "Ghost of Me," which deals with a man trying to offer comfort to his wife who has dreams and visions of his death, "You sounded so d*mn worried, You've been tossing and turning, Don't look over your shoulder, That's just the ghost of me you're seeing in your dreams, There's no rhyme or reason, Sometimes there's no meaning in the visions when you're sleeping, So don't wake up and believe them." The hit radio single "No Surprise" recalls a bad relationship that was destined to fall apart. However, Chris turns things around on "Life After You," not realizing he made a mistake by breaking off the relationship, "I must've been high to say you and I, Weren't meant to be and just wasting my time, Why did I ever doubt you, You know I would die here without you, …Without you, God knows what I'd do."
All in all, Daughtry has crafted a good sophomore album that lives up to the hype of its predecessor. However, it would be great for the band to be aware of the road they are traveling and branch out on future efforts so they will not be categorized as musicians who write the same songs over and over again - much like Nickelback. Other than an unnecessary curse word on "Ghost of Me," there is not necessarily anything negative regarding Leave This Town. Chris Daughtry uses the same formula that made his self-titled debut a huge success and he never allows his Christian faith to dominate the lyrical content. Let's just hope and pray that he does not lose sight of the God who gave him the gift of music.- Review date: 8/6/09, written by Fred Keel of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: RCA / Provident
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