Snap Judgment: Chris Daughtry's 'It's Not Over'

15519__cd_lChris Daughtry is a brave soul. Not just because he’s dropped his first name to record with the creatively titled band Daughtry (such a move is all the rage, or so I’m told*), but rather, because the former American Idol finalist’s first single, "It’s Not Over" (now streaming at AOL Music and Daughtry’s MySpace page) opens him up to potentially cruel taunts from haters who’ll inevitably suggest that "it," in fact, is over — "it" referring to Daughtry’s recording career, his 15 minutes of reality-TV-derived fame, and his status as America’s sexiest baldie, among other things.

To my ears, however, Daughtry may end up with the last laugh. "It’s Not Over" is far from revolutionary, but it’s the kind of steady, straight-up-the-middle pop-rock you’d expect to find on the iPods of both the MTV and VH1 set. (Okay, okay, and maybe mine, too.) It’s got a pleasing melody that Daughtry doesn’t muck up with indulgent caterwauling (his Achilles’ heel), and perhaps most importantly, it’s a considerably better lead single than, say, "Miss Independent" or "Jesus Take the Wheel," neither of which seem to have slowed down the respective Idol alumni who recorded them. Not only that, with lyrics that could just as easily be about Chris’s premature ejection from Idol‘s fifth season as they could about a tortured relationship ("I was blown away what could I say… You’ve taken away everything"), there’s a little preaching to the nation’s Daughtry-obsessed speed-dialers for good measure.

What do you think of "It’s Not Over," PopWatchers? Does it have you filing Daughtry alongside names like Clarkson and Underwood (believe it or not, I’m actually digging her latest!), or are you reserving a place in the bottom drawer next to Guarini and DeGarmo?

* For the record, "Michael Slezak" is retiring from PopWatch; starting tomorrow, I will begin acting as the frontman for "Slezak," a band of scruffy, soulful pop-culture pundits. That is, if I can successfully grow out the soul-patch I started working on this weekend.

Comments (127 total) Add your comment
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  • Karen

    He sort of has the sound of Ari Hest

  • nathan

    I thought we were getting over that “every guy band sounds like Nickelback thanks to the singer’s rough but tender voice, helped along by a lot of studio production” thing, I guess I was wrong.

  • Christina

    Of the 4 tracks that leaked “It’s Not Over” was the weakest of them. Should have went with a different lead single. But if Nickelback can sell over 3 million albums of their middle of the road rock, Chris can probably sell a few records too.

  • Dominique L.

    I stopped watching AI regularly ages ago, but I did catch one of Daughtry’s performances last season and I was impressed. However, this song just sounds like a bad Nickelback rip-off, and Nickelback is bad to begin with… Oh well.

  • Sunny

    Does anyone else think this sounds A LOT like Fuel’s Hemmorage (especially the beginning)? Kind of ironic since he turned down the Fuel gig right after he got kicked of Idol!

  • brandonk

    I just discovered that I’d rather watch him than listen to him! Ha!

  • brandonk

    PS: Hate Nickleback. Maybe that’s the problem.

  • Alex

    I can’t believe that Brityney’s divorce was announced about 20 minutes ago, and it still hasn’t been blogged yet.

  • Alex

    O ya, as for Daughtry’s new music, not that great, which is a shame because I was such a fan during AI. ‘A Moment Like This’ kicks all those songs’ asses.

  • Elizabeth

    Yes – I was going to say . . .more important things to talk about. Britney Spears is un-doin’ her marriage!

  • John

    Slezak! We need Britney info…stat!

  • JakesBoy

    Should have won – NOT Taylor Hicks. He’ll always be the “AI” winner for Season Five to me.

  • bma

    Uh, who cares what he *sounds* like. He *looks* like sex on a bun, and I’m HUN-GRY.

  • Carmela

    Very average, disposable rock. His vibrato sounds like a sheep’s bleat and it annoys me. As for his looks, he looks like what Dave Attell would probably look like after about 10 beers.

  • Ellipsian

    Slezak! Don’t ever post the words “Michael”, “Slezak”, “retiring” and “PopWatch” together again. My god, man, my heart can’t take it!
    You threw me off so much that I was momentarily befuddled and stupified by the phrase “premature ejection” (I’m a read-ahead-er). Here’s me: “He wrote a song about WHAT?!”

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