James Durbin Takes Second Bite At Bad Apple "Love Me Bad," Offers Free Download

"Love Me Bad" gets unplugged: can stripping the song save it?
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James DurbinJames Durbin just can’t leave well enough alone and has released an acoustic version of his first single “Love Me Bad” off his post-Idol debut album, Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster. My first go ‘round reviewing this song, I was really rough on it, but not unjustly so. It’s a bit of a mess, his voice sounds like anyone doing Adult Contemporary Rock for any band, which is a shame for someone who possess as much raw vocal talent as Durbin does.

If I thought the vocals were disappointing, the lyrics were actually far and away the worst part of the entire song. The opening line “Cigarette fills an empty room/Smell of heartbreak and cheap perfume” still sounds like “smells of hot breath and cheap perfume” to me. So I guess I can’t blame that on distractingly loud guitar and drums anymore.

The best thing “Love Me Bad” has for it in this stripped down version is James Durbin’s voice, which has a chance to shine without competing with the whining and screeching of guitars or any manufactured sounds. It’s pure and beautiful, despite the garbage coming out of this beautiful voice that I love. While we’re on the topic of crap lyrics, what the ever-loving hell does “promises like fake tattoos” even mean? Anyone?

Bottom line, while the song isn’t drastically improved in any discernible way, the fact that we can hear the nuances and changes in James’ voice elevated the song by miles in my eyes. He’s special, his voice should be legendary, and I’m still hoping against hope James grows a pair and makes an album worthy of these talents, the next time around. 

If you're curious, you can download the track for free through James' web site by signing up for his mail list. You can also check out the videos for his single "Stand Up."