||Memories of a Beautiful Disaster CD (2011)
Aidean CD discography James Durbin was the default "rocker" on the 2011 season of American Idol and played the role well, covering tracks by Queen, Judas Priest, and others. He did not win, but finished in fourth place as a fan favorite for his soaring vocals and faux-hawked, "post-grunge meets hair metal" image. Durbin's post-Idol debut, 2011's Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, is much more pop than rock, and in that sense a fairly true representation of Durbin's rock theatricality and knack for wailing away on tunes packed with radio-friendly hooks. One might have expected him to deliver a dark, post-grunge album à la his AmIdol brethren Daughtry or David Cook, and certainly the leadoff track "Higher Than Heaven" packages Durbin's angelic yawlp with just enough processed electric guitar fuzz and squelch to register as nu-metal dirty. Elsewhere, listeners get a pop-friendly concoction of OneRepublic-esque uplift cuts such as "All I Want," the veritable power pop-infused "Love in Ruins," and the anthemic ballad "Love Me Bad." Ultimately, Durbin does deliver the vocal goods here on material that should appeal to his AmIdol fan base. ~ Matt Collar
Recording information: Bay 7 Studios, Valley Village, CA; Sparky Dark Studio, Calabasas, CA.
Photographer: Michael Scott Slosar.
Personnel: Aidean, Phil X. (guitar); Howard Benson, Lenny Skolnik (keyboards, programming); Frank Zummo, Josh Freese (drums).
Audio Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge.