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James Durbin, ‘Love Me Bad’ – Song Review
by: Mary Ouellette

James Durbin, the ‘American Idol’ heavy metal castaway, has released another single, ‘Love Me Bad,’ from his debut album on Wind-Up Records, ‘Memories of a Beautiful Disaster,’ due out on Nov. 21. The tune is being promoted as Durbin’s pop single, as it follows the rock single ‘Stand Up.’

‘Love Me Bad’ starts off on the softer side with a simple guitar melody cascading around Durbin’s heartfelt lyrics painting a vivid visual for the listener of a lovelorn rocker with his heart torn to pieces. Picture if you will a downtrodden Durbin riding down highway anywhere gazing out the window at objects unknown, “A cigarette fills an empty room / Smell of heartbreaks and cheap perfume / Photos scattered across my wall / Maybe someday I’ll take them off / But I miss you / Yeah I still miss you.”

That’s right about where the song breaks wide open. The full band chimes in behind Durbin’s soaring chorus of longing and regret, creating a sonic boom of broken hearts, “In the middle of the night / When I feel you by my side / Well, it’s nothing but a memory / What if we never said goodbye / If I never made you cry / Baby this is killing me / So love me bad / Love me bad / Again.”

The song shows off the versatility of Durbin’s vocal range, blending the softer verses with interludes of bombastic choruses set to a tapestry of delicious melodic rock riffs. And what’s any great rock song without a big finish — Durbin’s vocal harmonies combine at the end for a beautiful vocal crescendo.

Durbin said that the title of this album was a way of looking back on events in his life to see the beauty within the pain, and this song seems to fit in perfectly with that sentiment. ‘Love Me Bad’ is pegged for Top 40 but packs enough punch to please rock enthusiasts as well, giving Durbin cross-genre appeal with his debut release.