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Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster

4.5 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Produced by Grammy nominated Howard Benson (Daughtry, My Chemical Romance, Three Doors Down), Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, the debut album from American Idol finalist James Durbin reveals why he was such a fan favorite on the hit show. Known for his live performances, the 11 tracks demonstrate Durbin's vocal prowess and hard-charging musical style.
"I tried to make the album as much like a real, live experience as possible," Durbin says. "You can't get everything from a live show onto an album, so I want people to enjoy the album and then come see the show.
Durbin's powerful vocals are best heard on the opening song, "Higher Than Heaven" and "Love Me Bad," both showcasing his reach and lyrical sensitivity. Durbin recorded the track, "Stand Up" for the NFL and it has been used in team promotions for the 2011 season. In addition, the U.S. Army has licensed "Right Behind You."
Adding in Durbin's strength to overcome both Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome, it's no surprise that over 30 million viewers of American Idol felt impassioned by his performance and helped led the way in discovering this breakout star. Memories of a Beautiful Disaster is full of varying moods, tempos, and tones. As he says, "It's my take on rock, which is all about having a good time. It's who I am and what I listen to."
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Digital Booklet: Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster
Digital Booklet: Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: November 21, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: WIND-UP RECORDS
  • Run Time: 40 minutes
  • ASIN: B005OUE53Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,615 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
While Haley Reinhart slowly grew on my during Idol's latest season, I was a James Durbin fan from the early auditions. With just the right mix of charm, humility, swagger and power, this kid was likely born to a chorus of deafening stage pyrotechnics. As the episodes played out, I secretly hoped James would eventually deliver the hurricane rocking, arena leveling, metal album that Adam Lambert could have, but didn't. I just picked up James' debut and I am loving every blistering note.

The early reviews made me fear James played it safe with a bunch of over-produced, middle of the road, Daughtry-esque cow pies - but he didn't - this album ROCKS! I can see how those hoping he would deliver a true metal album along the likes of Anvil, Slayer or Metallica would be disappointed. But my favorite metal albums of all time are Appetite For Destruction (G&R), Dr. Feelgood (Motley Crue), Mechanical Resonance (Tesla), Big Game (White Lion), Long Cold Winter (Cinderella), and Extreme (Extreme) - and if you like those albums, you will likely love this. Big guitars - monster choruses - great vocals - and a groupie-filled busload of just plain fun. James is not the Prince of Freaking Darkness - he's just a kid who loves to rock and his enthusiasm resonates on each track. This is an album for aging metalheads and their kids. The Crue's Mick Mars shows up on one of the album's hardest rocking numbers and sounds more shockingly-still-alive than ever.

My only beef - that some other platforms were given bonus tracks - and that you would have to patronize said evil platforms to get them. To make things worse, one of these bonus tracks is already out of print.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is way, way, underrated. Don't be thrown off by negative reviews by the fans of other contestants that James competed against in that silly thing called American Idol. This album is legit, James is legit, this is an outstanding first effort. Every song on here exhibits James's versatility in some way, hard rocking songs like 'Deeper', 'Outcast','Higher Than Heaven','Stand Up', mid-tempo melodic songs like 'Love in Ruins', 'Love Me Bad', down to a touching pure ballad called 'May', it's all there for his fans to enjoy and they are all good. Download his bonus songs off of itunes, 'Crawling Home',the anthemic 'Liberate', and 'Back for More' - I have know idea why these were not regular songs because they are among his best.

I've re-written this review because since I purchased the CD in November it is still my favorite one to play, I never tire of it. Highly recommend.
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I just fell in love with this young man when he was a participant on American Idols. I was devastated when he was voted off, and was very excited when he announced that he was recording a CD. I bought the CD as soon as I was able, and I can assure you, I was not disappointed at all. The genre of the music is what I would term 'soft rock' with a combination of driving rock and ballads. His voice is fabulous, and his range amazing, and this talent is clearly showcased in the selection of original music on the CD. I particularly enjoy the track 'Love me Bad'. I can heartily recommend this CD for anyone looking a good solid rock album with all that goes with that.
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THE CD IS REALLY GOOD.. NO IT IS NOT HEAVY METAL. IT DOES HAVE METAL VIBES ON SOME SONGS. I KNOW BETTER THAN ANYONE JAMES WAS INTO GIVE METAL A CHANCE!!! BEING REAL I HAVE NOT PURCHASED A CD IN A LONG TIME THAT I ACTUALLY LIKED ALL THE SONGS. WHICH I AM SURE MOST WILL AGREE. IF YOU LIKE HALF THE SONGS ON A CD YOU ARE LUCKY.. EVERY SONG ON HIS CD IS GOOD.. I HAVE SEEN HIM IN CONCERT 2X'S HE HAS MAJOR STAGE PRESENCE.. IF YOU LIKE JAMES BUY THE CD OR DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES WITH BONUS TRACKS WHICH ARE REALLY GOOD.
HE NEEDS EVERYONES SUPPORT...BUT IN ALL FAIRNESS IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR HEADBANGING METAL PROBABLY NOT FOR YOU.. I ENJOY ALL HIS VOCAL RANGES SO THIS IS A GREAT CD FOR ME...
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I have to say I love James Durbin - his look, his sound and his charisma. What I don't like is that they bridled him. The music was good - some fantastic guitar licks in there, too - but it did NOT meet my expectations because it sounded like someone held him back. I'm betting he sounds 100 times better live. Would I buy this again? Yes. Would I recommend people buy it? I'd preview the songs first and pick out the ones you like. :)
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of IDOL for many years, but have yet to completely love every song on my favorites CD until this one. James rocks! I can honestly say I don't fast forward over any of the songs here. There is a great variety of rock on this album. James vocals are outstanding, and the instrumentation is top notch! Love this CD!
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I am an older "classic" rock listener and not an AI fan - until I heard James Durbin cover "You've Got Another Thing Coming" on AI this year. Up until then, I had never watched AI. The legendary Alan Parsons (producer of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," and Alan Parsons Project albums) has worked with James (find the video on youtube) and James is the real deal. "Higher Than Heaven" is written by James, is the first song on the CD and blew me away - it is only 2:45 long but it totally rocks with heavy guitar and drum tracks and James just nails this song. James' vocal range is wide and he clearly demonstrates it on all of the songs - but especially "May" - track 7 on the CD - in the middle of all of this great rock is a wonderful, sincere and touching ballad about young love lost. James sings this song with great sincerity and feeling and it helps that he is a young dad in real life. "Screaming" - Track 8, is the other song written by James and the depth of the words he is singing is what is so incredible to me. "Outcast" just kicks it and "Love In Ruins" is a great rock love song of struggling love with a great line - "...surrender is the key...." "Stand Up" has already been picked up by the NFL as a stadium theme song and is a very fun, rock song where James shines as well. The entire album is well done, primarily rock and hard rock, but James has amazing control of his vocals and I truly appreciate that he's willing to sing what he wants to sing - rock and heavy metal. Buy this album and I can hardly wait to see James on tour, I'll pay top $$ to see him perform live.
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