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Former ‘American Idol’ hopeful James Durbin drops solid sophomore LP in ‘Celebrate’

James Durbin (Wind-Up)
3.5 stars out of 5

With his family-friendly take on hard rock/heavy metal, James Durbin made a bid for the 2011 “American Idol” crown before ultimately placing fourth. He capitalized on his success a few months later with a solid (if not spectacular) “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” full-length debut and returns with his sophomore effort “Celebrate.”

This 11-track release finds the 25-year-old Durbin moving in an even poppier direction and the results are pretty solid.

He has a strong tenor voice and he puts it to good use on the anthemic “Parachute,” “Fool for You,” “Louder Than a Loaded Gun,” and the title track. It’s still not an essential album, but Durbin is getting closer. (Jeffrey Sisk)