Is it just me or is putting the word "disaster" in the title of your album just begging for trouble? James Durbin is on the verge of learning that lesson the hard way as he releases a second single from his upcoming album as well as unveiling the complete tracklisting and artwork for the record.
He might have thought finishing fourth on American Idol was the worst thing to have happened to him. I think his debut album Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster will take that title.
On Idol, James was heralded as the first person to sing a Judas Priest song on the show, the sole, lone patriot bringing metal back to the masses, the poor soul being forced to trudge through Idol’s heinous themes when metal is coursing through his veins, just dying to get out. Remember that? How ‘bout James’ battle cry: “Give Metal A Chance,” remember that?
After seeing the track listing and cover art as well as now hearing two singles off the album, I realize I’ve been duped. Was all the metal nonsense a gimmick I totally fell for? Is that why James finished fourth? Did America see through James before I did?
“Love Me Bad” is being sent to various radio formats, excluding “rock” stations and the NFL compilation single “Stand Up” is being sent to more rock-oriented stations/ I am still grappling with whether this is brilliant marketing, ridiculous, or the ol' “throw a bunch of shit at the wall and something’s likely to stick” method.
I reviewed “Stand Up” and wasn’t impressed with it; I dismissed it because I viewed it as filler for the NFL compilation and not at all indicative of what his album would be like- what he promised us it would be like.
After hearing “Love me Bad” with lyrics like: “A cigarette fills an empty room / Smell of heartbreaks and cheap perfume / Photos scattered across my wall / Maybe someday I’ll take them off, but I miss you” it really couldn’t be more generic if it tried. I honestly thought the second line was “Smell of hot breath and cheap perfume” and I wasn’t even surprised, I accepted it. That’s how off his vocals and enunciation are, it just felt so fake. Then I flash back to a YouTube clip I saw of James where he was singing “Black Velvet” because he had won some country-singing contest, I even posted it here on BBS. Another quick flash of James at Karaoke doing Dio, then a memory of James singing Bon Jovi on Idol and feeling bad because I thought it was beneath him. I don’t know what’s beneath him because it turns out after watching him for nearly five months and hearing two singles off his album, I have no idea who James Durbin is. I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be whatever he needs to be to be famous and make money and a kid who loves metal music but is not a metal singer. Maybe we were duped, or maybe it was obvious all along.
Say what you will about (American Idol winners and Runner-Up) Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina and their All-American blandness but at least they have been who they were all along: kids who love country music. It’s in their hearts and that’sall they want to sing. James loves metal music but sings like Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry’s love child. Which is worse?
Here is the track listing for Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster, which will be released on November 21:
1. Higher Than Heaven
2. All I Want
3. Love In Ruins
4. Right Behind You
5. Love Me Bad
10. Everything Burns
11. Stand Up