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'Baptized' [Deluxe Edition]
(RCA Records)
Release Date: Out now

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


I have reviewed albums that exhibit a solid grasp of their Pop sensibilities, but this album takes the biscuit!

The band centres on Chris Daughtry who came fifth in the 2006 edition of American Idol. To be fair, Daughtry did state that this fourth studio album was going to be poppier than the previous studio outings, but this was still a bit of a surprise.

I'd heard the leadoff single, 'Waiting For Superman', which evidently embraced the sort of studio sound that a lot of chart fodder possesses, but somehow I hoped for something with a bit more 'Rock' in it.

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Song-writing credits are noted to include an array of names like Martin Johnson (Boys Like Girls), Sam Hollander, Claude Kelly, John Lardieri, Antonina Armato, Tim James, Busbee, Elvio Fernandes, Jake Sinclair, Scott Stevens, Toby Gad and Kara DioGuardi. With an army of talents behind you, it's hardly likely that you're going to present a weak collection of songs.

Whenever I observe so many song-writers associated with an album of material, I instantly become a little suspicious. It might suggest that the main artist wanted more sides of their music to be explored which is just fine. On the other hand, it may suggest the artist needed a lot of help, or is focussed on merely producing an album collection full of commercially viable music that will sell.

Let's be straight here, 'Baptized' is the epitome of saccharine-soaked music that is ever likely to grace the content of the mighty and may not be most readers' cup of tea. You'll find great irony when listening to a song like 'Long Live Rock & Roll' with the Rainbow classic playing in your mind, and then witness how Daughtry with acoustic guitar strumming, play their own idea of what a song with this title could sound like.

Do not worry; it isn't a cover version, just a totally different perspective on a song that shares the same title.

Even including name-checks of Mötley Crüe, Bob Seger, Kiss, Van Halen, Guns N'Roses and the Rolling Stones with mentions of Kurt (Cobain) and Hole cannot save the integrity of the song.

It is more lightweight than most things that pass for commercially accessible Rock music these days but that's not to say 'Baptized' is a load of rubbish. If you're partial to Pop music or the most accessible moments from the universe of rock, then this album has a lot of appeal.

I'm a sucker for some cheese occasionally, and thoroughly embrace melodies in various musical environments, so I can appreciate what has been achieved on this album.

But for most readers of this offers very little. I suppose 'I'll Fight', 'Wild Heart' and 'Waiting For Superman' have a hint of something that my ears enjoyed.

With the crisp production values still prominent, amongst the three bonus tracks tucked on the end of this deluxe version there is 'Undefeated' (no relative of the Def Leppard track) and 'Cinderella'. Both of these offer upfront beats and polished studio-based instrumentation associated with music you'd expect to hear on mainstream radio.

There is an arena-sized "whoa" part in the former whilst the latter rides a quirky softly bouncing strummed song. On this deluxe edition of 'Baptized' there is an acoustic rendition of 'Battleships'. Complete with some piano and acoustic guitars and that clinical production, this is enjoyable.

I'm not entirely sure how to rate this. I suspect that if you're open to commercially crafted music, 'Baptized' will sit easily amongst your favourite radio-friendly inoffensive titles. It might be feasible to say that if you like your Metal and Rock music with more balls, then you would be best advised to avoid this at all costs.

In an age where downloading one or two tracks from an album seem commonplace, there are some infectious highlights to break up the running order of your personal playlists. It is very safe to the point of being stale and dull. If this album was a colour, it would be beige.

Waiting For Superman
I'll Fight
Wild Heart
Long Live Rock & Roll
The World We Knew
High Above The Ground
Broken Arrows
18 Years
Battleships [Acoustic Version]

If this website was Pop music orientated...


It isn't, so...





Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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