No Surprise (Daughtry song)

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"No Surprise"
Single by Daughtry
from the album Leave This Town
B-side "Back Again"
Released May 6, 2009
Recorded September 2008–March 2009 in Los Angeles, California
Length 4:29 (album version)
4:09 (single version)
Producer(s) Howard Benson
Certification Gold (MC)
Daughtry singles chronology
"What About Now"
"No Surprise"
"Life After You"
Music video
"No Surprise" on YouTube

"No Surprise" is a song recorded by American rock band Daughtry for their second studio album, Leave This Town (2009). It was released May 6, 2009 as the album's lead single, and the band debuted the song on American Idol that night.[1] Chris Daughtry wrote the song with Chad Kroeger, Joey Moi, Eric Dill, and Rune Westberg, while Howard Benson handled the production.

An alternative rock power ballad with influences of pop rock, hard rock, and post-grunge,[2] "No Surprise" utilizes layered vocals and distorted guitars to create a radio-friendly rock sound that has been compared to Kroeger's band Nickelback.[3] Its lyrics depict a bittersweet breakup between lovers that has been a long time coming.[4]

The song was a commercial success in the United States, reaching a peak position of 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the group's fourth number one hit on the magazine's Adult Pop Songs airplay chart. It also charted well internationally, peaking at number 13 on the Canadian Hot 100 and being certified Gold by Music Canada, in addition to attaining top 40 positions in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Sweden.


"No Surprise" is a midtempo alternative rock[2] and pop rock[2][5] ballad with a duration of four minutes and twenty-nine seconds (4:29) on the album track, or four minutes and nine seconds (4:09) on the single edit. According to the digital sheet music published by Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., the song was originally composed in the key of E major and set in common time (4
) to a "moderate" tempo of 96 BPM.[2] Daughtry's vocals are double-tracked on the majority of the track and span exactly two octaves, from E3 to E5.[6][2] Distorted guitars dominate the song's instrumentation, while the production employs a Wall of Sound approach.[6]

Lyrically, the song details the overdue end of an unhealthy relationship and has been described as "anthemic."[7][4][3] The narrator appears to have mixed feelings about the breakup, with the chorus alternating between sentimental reflection ("you and I will be a tough act to follow") and relief ("It's no surprise I won't be here tomorrow / Can't believe that I stayed 'til today").[6]


Critical reception[edit]

Bill Lamb from was positive in his review on the song, giving it four out of five stars and indicating that "No Surprise" is "possibly stronger than any of the singles off their four million selling debut album".[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

"No Surprise" debuted at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100 the chart week of May 23, 2009. It is the band's highest debut to date on the chart, fueled by strong first week digital sales of 106,000.[9] It is also the band's fifth top twenty hit on the Hot 100, and their highest charting song since "Home". In addition, it debuted at number 39 on the Adult Pop Songs chart with less than a week of airplay.[10] For the week of August 27, the song hit number-one, becoming the band's fourth number-one single on the Adult Top 40. Only Nickelback has more number ones with five.[11] The song also reached the top 10 on the Adult Contemporary and Pop Songs charts. As of January 2011, the song has sold over 1,201,000 digital copies in the United States.[12]

On the Canadian Hot 100, "No Surprise" debuted at number thirteen, also making it their fifth top twenty hit in that country. The single was certified Gold by Music Canada in July 2009. The song has also charted moderately well internationally, peaking at 34 in Australia, 45 in Austria, 62 in Germany, 22 in Japan, 22 in New Zealand, and 35 in Sweden.

Track listing[edit]

Canadian digital single[13]/US CD single[5]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "No Surprise"   Chris Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Joey Moi, Rune Westberg, Eric Dill 4:09
2. "Back Again"   Daughtry, Adam Gontier 3:38
Total length:
International digital single[14]/European CD single[15]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "No Surprise"   Daughtry, Kroeger, Moi, Westberg, Dill 4:09
Total length:

Music video[edit]

The video was directed by Nathan Cox[16] and premiered June 3, 2009.[17] It follows the story of a couple who live together but are struggling to make ends meet. It begins with the man trying to sign up for a mining job, but fails after the foreman tells him there are no work positions available. Meanwhile the girl works at a diner and is being put off by her irritable boss. Later, she accidentally spills soda on a female customer after being bumped into by another man. The boss yells at her and she storms out, throwing her apron on the ground.

The next camera shot is at the couple's home as their neighbor is leaving for a musical gig. Both argue about their foreclosure of their home. The final segment begins the next morning when the man wakes up and leaves. The girl wakes up and is unable to find him. The video concludes with the girl looking around town (alternating shots between the band and her running through town and bumping into a guy) then, finally, sitting down on the ground, leaning against a big rock wondering what will happen next and the camera pans out and the viewer can see that the couple are sitting on opposite sides of the large boulder, while in the video Chris and his band performs at the mining area.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[35] Gold 40,000^
United States 1,201,000[12]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Australia May 6, 2009 Digital download RCA Records, 19 [36]
Japan [37]
New Zealand [38]
United States [14]
Canada June 18, 2009 [13]
Europe August 6, 2009 CD single RCA Records (Sony) [15]
United States September 15, 2009 [5]


  1. ^ Donahue, Ann (June 20, 2009). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. p. 23. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Daughtry "No Surprise" Sheet Music". Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Fox, Al (2009). "BBC - Music - Review of Daughtry - Leave This Town". BBC Music (British Broadcast Corporation). Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Holz, Adam R. "Leave This Town Album Review". Plugged In. Focus on the Family. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "No Surprise - Daughtry". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c De Sylvia, Dr Dave (July 21, 2009). "Review: Daughtry - Leave This Town". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Chinen, Nate (July 12, 2009). "New CDs From Daughtry, David Berkman Quartet and Miroslav Vitous Group". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Daughtry - No Surprise - Review of the single". Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  9. ^ Ben-Yehuda, Ayala (May 14, 2009). "Daughtry Debuts High On Hot 100". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  10. ^ Trust, Gary (May 13, 2009). "Chart Beat: Sugarland, Kid Cudi, The All-American Rejects". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Trust, Gary (August 27, 2009). "Chart Beat Thursday: Reba, Black Eyed Peas, Daughtry". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (January 19, 2011). "'Idol' track sales: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jason Castro". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "No Surprise - Single by Daughtry". iTunes Store (Canada). Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "No Surprise - Single by Daughtry". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Daughtry - No Surprise". Ultratop / Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "Daughtry - No Surprise (2009)". IMVDb. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  17. ^ Montgomery, James (June 3, 2009). "Daughtry Show They're Working Everydudes In 'No Surprise' Video". MTV (Viacom). Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  18. ^ " – Daughtry – No Surprise". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  19. ^ " – Daughtry – No Surprise" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  20. ^ "Daughtry – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Daughtry.
  21. ^ " – Daughtry – No Surprise". GfK Entertainment.
  22. ^ "Japanese Music: Top Japanese Song Chart" (The Week Of: September 12, 2009). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  23. ^ " – Daughtry – No Surprise". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ " – Daughtry – No Surprise". Singles Top 60.
  25. ^ "Daughtry – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Daughtry.
  26. ^ "Daughtry – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Daughtry.
  27. ^ "Daughtry – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Daughtry.
  28. ^ "Daughtry – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Daughtry.
  29. ^ "Canadian Hot 100: 2009 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Hot 100 Songs : Year End 2009". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs : Year End 2009". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Adult Pop Songs : Year End 2009". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Radio Songs : Year End 2009". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs: 2010 Year End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Daughtry – No Surprise". Music Canada. 
  36. ^ "No Surprise - Single by Daughtry". iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  37. ^ "Daughtryの「No Surprise - Single」を iTunes で". iTunes Store (Japan). Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  38. ^ "No Surprise - Single by Daughtry". iTunes Store (New Zealand). Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 

External links[edit]