While I am typically morally opposed to any Christmas music pushing its way into my ears until Thanksgiving evening, I've made an exception for Elvis and James Durbin. Durbin was the beloved, metal-head fourth place finisher on Season 10 of American Idol who released his debut album Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster last year on Wind-up Records.
In the midst of recording tunes for his sophomore effort James and his band started riffing and came up with this version of Elvis' “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” which may be the most popular, if not certainly best selling Christmas song of all time. Many have covered this song – some great, some...not. But, this fun, punk-y high speed with no energy shortage version is fun, fast and an acceptable metal homage to the King. James is back to his best, reminding me while I fell in love with him and was so outraged at his ouster on AI.
We get the classic, but polished, Durbin scream and he's exploring a lower register that's super pleasing to the ear and clearly having fun. Unlike his abysmal debut effort, this song makes me want to hear more. The song was leaked on Yahoo! Music yesterday and the accompanying press release said James and company did the song in one take, with the exception of the backing vocals. He also says you hear the drummer Jeff Fabb say “One take, come on” and Durbin cough but I couldn't hear either of those things. Maybe I need to buy the iTunes version for those little extras... hmm.
Go ahead and drop a guilt-free dollar for this little gem, you won't be sorry, you may even find yourself loving it, too. James' follow up album is slated for Spring 2013, and this song gives me hope for the promise of what's to come whereas his debut album filled me with fear and dread for his musical future. Check back often for more updates and single reviews, Durbinators.