Daughtry’s fourth studio album, Baptized, is one that seems to show the band’s true sound. It’s a mixture of the heavier rock from Break The Spell, the pop rock with a country twang from Leave This Town, and it far surpasses the newcomer zeal they possessed in their debut album. The theme of love is here to stay with this band, as their new album takes the same concept of a beautiful southern girl that steals hearts. But to throw us for a loop, they compare the love for a woman to religion.
The title track lives up to the hype, with a faint banjo loop playing in the background and namesake Chris Daughtry’s vocals bringing a presence to the song. The lyrics in the song, at first, seem like Christian alternative music, but by the time you reach the chorus, you realize that it’s not. In the song, Chris sings “Take me down / take me down by the water, water / Pull me in until I see the light / Let me drown, let me drown / In your honey, honey / In your love I wanna be baptized.” And since there has never been any mention of God having honey, well, you fill in the blanks.
“Waiting for Superman” is one of the album’s singles and begins with a cute pop melody and vocals that up play Chris’ North Carolina roots. The lyrics tell of a common mindset in young women; the mindset that, one day, the perfect man will come. Next, in “Battleships,” a man demands a relationship with longevity and no fighting, except for the fight to stay together. “And the cannon goes / bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb.” It’s a bit cheesy, but it works somehow.
Apparently, the battle never ended, because in the next song, Chris says, “I’ll Fight.” The song has a great melody with simple lyrics that make a point about faithfulness without being too wordy. “Wild Heart” has the largest country presence out of the whole album, but the chorus keeps it in the rock genre. This song is the perfect example of why people love the band. In the song, the lyrics say “ You were beautiful in blue jeans / holes on the knees / you were smoking like a cigarette / I couldn’t breath / used to rock around the ballroom / dance on the bar / Baby nobody could tame your wild heart.”
In the next song, “Long Live Rock and Roll,” the love theme shifts from a love for a woman to the love of rock and roll music. The band refers to the genre as ‘music for the soul’ and Chris Daughtry sings it with a folky melody that makes you believe that statement. In the “The World We Knew,” the lyrics continue to reminisce on the past. Then, a guy meets a girl from the other side of the tracks in “High Above the Ground.” In the song, the lyrics say “You and I both, we come from different worlds / I’m a small town kid and you’re an uptown girl / We’ve both been hurt, we got a few scars / But it don’t matter now, we’re staring at the stars.”
“Broken Arrows” is a lovely ballad with background choral vocals that sing along to Chris’ celebrated vocals. Songs like “Witness,” “Undefeated,” and “18 Years” are basic album tracks that stay true to the album’s theme of love and memories, but aren’t very special alone. “Traitor,” on the other hand, is very upbeat, and starts with a soulful melody that transforms into the hardest rock song on the album. It’s quite amazing. The band goes folk in “Cinderella,” just before ending the album with an acoustic version of the second track, titled, “Battleships-Acoustic.”
Overall, Baptized is a great album that takes you on a journey through your own memories. Those memories are not just of love, but also of friendship, loss and every rock song that acted as the soundtrack to your life during those moments. Daughtry has lived up to their reputation of not selling out and keeping rock alive in a contemporary way.