Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Daughtry – Waiting for Superman

So long as there is crime in the streets, I have no time for nooky…


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Anthony Easton: Sometimes American Idol gives (Fantasia, Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood), and sometimes American Idol takes away (Phillip Phillips), but mostly it’s a minor, neutral deity with a playful spirit. Rarely does its punishing wrath come forth. This is one of those times. 
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Patrick St. Michel: Oh, if only Daughtry had forgotten about us. This does manage the superhuman task of being both overly dramatic — wail, Daughtry, wail! — and cloying thanks to the Fisher-Price My First Owl City electronics set.
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Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Not as bad as you imagine it’s going to be, although Daughtry is not that far off from Creed on the butt-KROQ Joke-A-Meter. There’s a fun metaphor here regarding Siegel and Shuster’s favourite son, and Supes is easily understood as perfection, the embodiment of the good possible in every man. “Who wouldn’t want a guy like Superman?” is what Chris Daughtry wonders, yet his tale of desperate women dreaming of rescue changes the charming narrative to “who wouldn’t want to be saved by Superman?” And would you really want that, laydeez, even after he broke that dude’s neck? Tuck in your idealism and regressive thinkin’, young Christopher. Tuck in those junior Depeche Mode synths of yours too.
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Alfred Soto: Blame EDM for the California-sized synthesizer riff answering the chorus, the terrible poetry and hysterics on the frontman. No “desire” and “fire” here, but rhyming “abyss” and “metropolis” sets new standards of pretension.
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Will Adams: When bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Tegan and Sara bring synths into their guitar songs, they blend them to create sparkling, balanced productions. Daughtry, on the other hand, peppers the synth lines at attempted moments of gravitas and leaves the rest a pile of not-so-Hot AC mush. These moments are the song’s most compelling, hinting at a novel fusion for Daughtry, but even they can’t cover up the ridiculous lyrical conceit.
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Crystal Leww: As someone whose first crush was on Superman, this is downright offensive. The beauty of Lois and Clark is that he needed her just as much as she needed him. Daughtry’s song opens with her being miserable because a cab drove off without her in it. Come on.
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Brad Shoup: He tries to write five Train songs in one, which is a fairly impressive goal by itself. Of course, he enunciates like he’s trying to sing five Train songs at once. (I was wondering how one watches the clowns roll by.) A better song would’ve seen her enter the phone booth, but that synth streak is seeing red, he carries a decent cadence, and the from-the-heels bellow at the end is legitimately stirring. EDM is doing some funny shit right now.
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Katherine St Asaph: Like a good Idol alum, Daughtry’s mastered his moneyed cadences — the hook to “Teenage Dream,” the run from “Heart Attack” — and the Coldplay Number, i.e. what percentage of synths a meat-and-potatoes rock band can add to its sound to be called “artistic evolution” rather than “alienating sellout.” “Superman” is about 33%, which is ideal; the point that M83 synth comes in is the exact point this becomes tolerable instead of plodding, and it’s even better when Daughtry sings at its scale. The lyrics are standard Prince’s Progress stuff, equal parts silly (has she called a cab every day for the past 100 days? Is she at least tipping?), cynical (someone in a boardroom’s waiting for Henry Cavill to heroically stare to it) and icky (she’s dancing with strangers, falling apart, save her before it’s too late tonight — a one-night stand is hardly a Lex Luthor plot, bro.) But any mansplaining accusations are as misguided here as they were for Twilight and “What Makes You Beautiful” — so many real women dream of romantic rescue and even find it, they’ll swoon aspirationally while pinning the lyrics to their Facebooks and hearts, and maybe they don’t need someone to swoop in and say Superman’s a dick. The song swoops better anyway.
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Jer Fairall: The stadium-sized synths feint in the direction of the Killers, but Daughtry’s vocals remain an even staler brand of cheese learned from his Idol days and the earnest anguish of millennial Modern Rock radio.
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Jonathan Bradley: Let us never undervalue how great a singles genre modern rock was during the mid- to late-Clinton years, and oh, I do like the shades of late ’90s Rob Thomas in the verses here. The contemporary quality of the synth streaks only enhances the effect. Yet even such eons of cultural richness also featured their fair share of Five for Fightings and Three Doors Downs.
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3 Responses to “Daughtry – Waiting for Superman”

  1. KATHERINE

  2. WHAT

  3. sorry, I liked your blurb a lot and thought that was obvious from my comment but it came off as maybe a little schoolmarm-y!