Daughtry, "Leave This Town"

Album Review

"American Idol" graduate Chris Daughtry established himself as a hard-driving rocker with his band's 2006 multiplatinum debut album. After an impressive couple of years, Daughtry and his band -Josh Steely (lead guitar), Brian Craddock (rhythm guitar), Josh Paul (bass) and Joey Barnes (drums)-return with similar aggression on their sophomore album, "Leave This Town." Daughtry's ferocious growl is still the centerpiece of the new songs, but the band has also taken a few creative risks. The singer pulls the reins on his powerful voice for "September," while the acoustic-rock-meets-country ballad "Tennessee Line" features a guest spot by Vince Gill. Daughtry also dials his vocals back on the catchy ballad "Life After You," which was co-written with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. But heavy hitters "No Surprise," "What I Meant to Say" and "You Don't Belong" find Daughtry indulging his rock fans by showing off his gravelly pipes. Overall, "Leave This Town" is a reflective piece about leaving the past behind-a concept Daughtry may have contemplated three years ago while traveling from his home in North Carolina to the "American Idol" stage in Los Angeles.