Chris Daughtry shifts gears on his fourth record by stepping away from the arena guitar rock that made him a star. Daughtry strips his sound to more acoustic textures and even ventures into electro-pop. At times, the change is refreshing, yet too often he seems to think the world needs more songs evoking Train or Lifehouse. Only the powder keg rocker “Traitor” diverges from the new approach. Luckily, Daughtry has one of the more expressive voices in rock, so he still breathes some life into the overload of corny lyrics. The appealing electronic-based “Waiting for Superman,” regrettably, features a woman “talking to angels.” “18 Years” laments the passing of youthful restlessness as if “Night Moves” or “Cherry Bomb” never existed. The most egregious misfire is “Long Live Rock and Roll,” with its Mumford-like strum and stomp that does nothing to honor the genre. Reinvention is always admirable, but it has to be done more imaginatively than this to succeed. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Waiting for Superman”
Ken Capobianco can be reached at email@example.com.