Chris Daughtry is one of the few artists to come from American Idol that has managed to transform the platform into a long-term career. He finished fourth on the show back in 2006 and formed his band, simply known as Daughtry. Their first album was released that same year and it sold more than 5 million copies in the US alone. Since then the band has toured the world and released three more studio albums, their most recent being Baptized back in 2013, and in 2016 they released greatest hits collection It’s Not Over… The Hits So Far.
Now the band is back with fifth album Cage to Rattle and they continue to evolve their sound. Over the years they’ve moved further away from the harder rock sound of their debut and this album sees them incorporating lots of sounds into the mix. Lead single Deep End is a slow-building track that explodes into a soaring chorus that really showcases Chris’ distinctive and powerful voice. It’s the perfect song to bridge the gap between this album and the previous one.
Cage to Rattle opens with Just Found Heaven, a track that nods back to the sound of their debut album. It’s a surprisingly low-key moment to start the record with but it works. The song creates an atmosphere and it reintroduces you to the band at their strongest. The tempo picks up with the soul-infused Backbone, which was released as a buzz track, and it showcases a completely different sound. I could actually imagine them adding Kelly Clarkson to the track for a single release!
Elsewhere on the record Daughtry aims for the wedding market on the reassuring love ballad As You Are, they borrow a little of Adam Lambert’s pop and falsetto for Bad Habits, and they present an epic soundscape on the stirring Gravity. Stuff of Legends is one of the tracks that sees the band rock the hardest and it’s easily one of the highlights that you won’t be able to resist coming back to.
The standout moment for me comes on the beautiful Death of Me. It’s everything that fans have loved about Daughtry for the last 12 years and then some. Mixing pop and rock, the song is memorable with an urgency that you can’t help but sing-a-long to. Things come to a close on White Flag, a song about refusing to give up and it’s a defiant call-to-arms that turns out to be one of the most rousing moments on the record.
With Cage to Rattle, Daughtry are most certainly back at their best. Their sound may have changed but they’ve kept the essence of what made fans love them in the first place. The album could be the band’s most varied to date and there’s plenty to dig into. It’s a welcome return for the band and it should easily continue their 12 year success streak.
Track list: 1. Just Found Heaven 2. Backbone 3. Deep End 4. As You Are 5. Death of Me 6. Bad Habits 7. Back in Time 8. Gravity 9. Stuff of Legends 10. White Flag Released by: RCA Records Release date: 27th July 2018