Santa Claus Is Back In Town James Durbin did very well as a rock god on American Idol and proved he could sing any genre from heavy metal to the plaintive music of Carol King to the angry social commentary of Stevie Wonder. "Livin' For the City" was my personal favorite of his in performance, followed closely by an amazing staging and rendition of Muse's "Uprising". In my opinion, his greatest vocal performance came during the contestant selection process where, accompanied only by a guitarist, he blew the judges (and me) off our seats with "A Change Is Gonna Come." showing an incredible vocal range and a soulfulness rarely heard even from the rare voices capable of handling the tonalities and atmospheric, prayerful reaching. Durbin is a rare artist who needs to be shown a good deal more attention than he gets.
So now, after releasing a commercially fairly successful album full of good music, Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster, James is letting his (often- differently-styled) hair down, throws everything out the window, and makes Santa growl a welcome holiday message: baby, your sugar-plum daddy is back (in his black Cadillac)! James is all rock and blues while he bangs your head in his rendition with Jeff Fabb beating the Hades out of his drums and Blake Bunzel wailing away on guitar. Best version of this song I've ever heard in this genre (apologies to Elvis and his great take on it, but we're talking different worlds here)! There is a ton of fun in this track, and I'm not talking about Santa! When James gives us his "HO! HO! HO!" at the end, we know we've been told!
Brilliant job, James. Keep it up. You are a nova waiting to happen.