Picks and Pans Review: Daughtry's Solid Second

updated 07/20/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/20/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Leave This Town |

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After the multiplatinum success of 2006's Daughtry, this band's pop-rock is about as polished as leader Chris Daughtry's chrome dome. A well-rounded effort with layered musicianship, Leave This Town finds Daughtry exploring both familiar and fresh territory. Where he previously sang about going "Home," Daughtry now sings about leaving his hometown behind on "September," whose lyrics spawned the album's title. His voice has never sounded better, giving you a sweet chill on "Call Your Name," the dreamy highlight about yearning for all-consuming love. But the guitar can get monotonous, and the lyrics are occasionally dull. It's good to hear Daughtry stretching out, though, adding sweeping violin and a touch of country on "Tennessee Line," a ballad featuring Vince Gill.

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