When he was on American Idol, Chris Daughtry made it clear that, unlike the rest of the pansies who compete, he was gonna rock out. He kept at it, even with that persnickety judge Simon Cowell telling him he didn't have the charisma to make it. While Daughtry didn't advance to the final round, his self-titled 2007 debut sold more than a million copies, making him one of the best-selling Idols ever. Who would've guessed it?
The guy's back with another album featuring the same kind of blustery power anthems that Nickelback, Three Doors Down and Creed have made their bread and butter. Album opener "You Don't Belong" is about someone's that's done him wrong. Daughtry's bellowing vocals, and sentiments like "I think you lied to me" and "look what you've done to me," suggest an unparalleled ability to manufacture clichés. The same goes for the power ballad "Every Time You Turn Around" and the heavy-hitting "Ghost of Me." Still, Leave This Town is relentlessly radio-ready so expect to hear it ad nauseum into 2010. — Jeff Niesel