Review: Daughtry – Break The Spell

Written by: Sion Smith

Chris Daughtry may not have walked away with the American Idol deal during the fifth season of the show but he is a prime example of how to take some seeds and grow yourself a kick-ass garden while everybody else is still crying in the dressing room.

Come to think of it, I have no idea who won that year. There’s no need to remember. Following the show, Chris Daughtry came out swinging with the fastest selling rock album in history, thus proving the power of television and a show that many deride as killing the business.

Daughtry - Break The Spell album coverNow on their third album with this release of Break The Spell, Daughtry are showing no signs of decay. Fully embedded in the system, a household name across radio-America and with nothing to prove to anybody, how does it all fit together in the big scheme of things?

Much like the new Nickelback album, there’s nothing here to disappoint fans of the band. It’s business as usual with some great songs, each and every one capable of taking on US radio with the best of them… yeah, you can feel the ‘but’ coming in the air already…

But (there she blows!) if I have one criticism it’s in the production department – and this stands for their entire catalogue. Everything seems far too under-produced which gives the impression that the best is yet to come when the best is already here. Sometimes I wonder if the band even have a bassist. What Daughtry need is a producer capable of pulling out what is so obviously buried in these songs. Kevin Churko maybe, who really did the business on Hinder’s All American Nightmare, or Rob Cavallo who laid out the beautiful Shinedown’s Sound of Madness – somebody that knows what it means to have these albums on while you’re driving… or is the whole schematic purpose-built for that aforementioned US radio audience?

Much as I love Daughtry, I’m not sure Break the Spell has enough depth to take them to a ‘safe place’ for the future. What will presumably be the lead single in the shape of Renegade (which I just found out is the official WWE:TLC song), will do OK for sure, but Break the Spell really needed to be their Slippery When Wet – and it’s not.

Apparently, Chris tweeted earlier in the year that this album would sound nothing like the previous two. Go figure. Maybe one of us needs to get to the hospital for a check-up… but it wasn’t me who thought it would be a good idea to release it on the same day as Here & Now.

Buy Daughtry – Break The Spell now

Author: Sion Smith

My name is Sion Smith. I write about rock music, books and pop-culture – kind of like a rock n roll Nick Hornby or maybe Hank Moody with hair. Sion is pronounced as in Sean Connery/Shawn Michaels – take your pick. If you’re interested, it’s Welsh. I'm also the editor of Skin Deep, the biggest selling tattoo magazine in the UK and harbour designs on writing for Doctor Who – these two things are not related. Aside from that, I’m currently working on a TV screenplay called Fox On The Run and also contribute articles to The Void - which you know already because you're here. You can jump on the feed of my own blog at

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