Break the Spell

by Brad Washington

8 January 2012

cover art


Break the Spell

US: 21 Nov 2011
UK: 21 Nov 2011

The one thing you can never say about rock music is that it is never a genre in which singers or groups are gimmicks. They are true to their craft, and in order to be successful in this particular craft you have to be smart in terms of music IQ and really care about your music. If you look at the great artists, many of them have come from the many sub genres rock has produced over the past 60 years. Elvis, the Beatles, Little Richard, and Led Zeppelin come to mind. Even recently, acts such as Nirvana, U2, R.E.M., Coldplay etc are appreciated because of their great musical abilities and productivity.

Rock music still has a core audience that respects its authentic sound. Rock group Daughtry, is an example of that. Front man Chris Daughtry has been pretty consistent in terms of making music since his American Idol days. And in 2011, the group released their third album Break The Spell.

It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to a rock album outside of my leisure that came together musically and lyrically. Besides Coldplay, there aren’t many rock groups today that can pull it off. With Break The Spell, Daughtry combines terrific songwriting and clean, polished production engineered by long time producer Howard Benson.

The album is mostly mid tempo tracks in which the lyrics are introspective, emotional and personal. You can tell that Daughtry wanted to deliver music specifically for their fans. Only two of the tracks are geared for radio, and of those two, one of the tracks, “Renegade”, is actually a standout on the album.

“Start of Something Good”, the title track, “We’re Not Gonna Fall” and “Rescue Me” are a few songs that come to mind when considering the terrific one-two punch with which Daughtry seems to excel on this album. With Chris Daughtry, the group creates their most all-around effort to date in terms of songwriting.

Group members Josh Steely, Brian Craddock (guitarists) and bassist Josh Paul each contribute their equal share on this album. The likes of Marti Frederiksen and Brett James help out on songs such as “Crawling Back to Me”, “Outta My Head” and “Start of Something Good”, which are all good in their own right.

Daughtry really struck it with this album. One minor flaw is that while the production as mentioned is good, some of the songs can tend to slightly sound the same. But other than that, it should be considered their best work or even one of the best alternative rock albums released in 2011. It’s a true gem that will be enjoyed by their core fan base.

Even a non-rock-music fan will enjoy the pleasant musical combination that Break The Spell brings to the table. It’s like an album by Common, or Raekwon for hip-hop. Daughtry may not be acknowledged by the radio heads like they were a few years ago these days, but their core fan base will treasure a fine record in their hands.

Break the Spell


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