Daughtry – Cage To Rattle
Pop Rock | Alternative Rock
I’m not ashamed to admit I was a big Daughtry fan as a teenager. With Chris Daughtry finding his fame through American Idol, it made the band an easy target for ridicule, but despite never being the coolest band on the scene they had their fair share of bangers. Their first three records (Leave This Town in particular) had some superbly crafted songs that still get plenty of spins from me to this day. With 2013’s Baptized however the band took a more pop approach to their sound, and subsequently floundered and disappeared off the radar completely. For a while Cage To Rattle, their first album in five years, seemed like it could be a return to form. It’s the first record with decent artwork for a start, and some of the songs released ahead of the album sounded very promising. ‘Backbone’ has hints of Gary Clark Jr’s ‘Bright Lights’ and boasts an infectious blues stomp, while the epic closing track ‘White Flag’ is one of Chris and the gang’s finest endeavours.
You can’t judge a whole album on a couple of songs however, and the rest of Cage To Rattle is devoid of backbone and thoroughly waves the white flag. The same under-cooked pop approach that plagued the previous record still hasn’t abated after all this time. Chris’ unique vocals sound best with a more passionate delivery, not restrained in order to appeal to a more commercial audience. The dumbed-down arrangements lack any depth or character whatsoever, making much of the record feel all too forgettable… and the less said about ‘Back In Time’ the better. It’s such an odd position to have a couple of good tracks that stand out so starkly from all the filler. I’m still on the fence about Cage To Rattle; is it the final death rattle of a band about to fall into obscurity, or is there still chance for them to break out of captivity and deliver a properly engaging record. Hopefully I won’t have to wait another five years to find out.