James Durbin Era 3
07-26-2016, 02:39 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-26-2016, 03:29 PM by Tusk.)
#45
RE: James Durbin Era 3
Well, I listened to the whole album end to end, so here are a couple random thoughts...

I expected it to be 'harder'? I guess I haven't followed James that closely, so I'm not quite sure what his target style is, who his target audience is? The vocals on the overall album remind me of Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day, although obviously Billy Joe can't hit James' notes.

Having been at the show, I wasn't expecting the more toned down sound of album. Also, I'm not sure there was a theme, sound or plan when the songs for the album were put together. A bulk of my musical influences comes from 'back in the day' when musicians put an album together with the thought of the songs adding to the personality of the album. You hear one song, you think, oh, that's from this album... Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Beatles' Rubber Soul, Pink Floyd were masters of putting together songs that would inform the album's personality, The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here...a time in the '70s through the '80's where albums were as important as the singles they spawned. I Never got that sense of connection, one song to the next on James' album. It could be that I need to listen to it more for my brain to recognise what 'pattern' he was going on, songs he chose, the order he put them in.

Like for instance, although I do like Riot, the sound effects on his voice at the beginning put a difference on the song I didn't hear when I heard it live, I liked, but I think it might have been a mistake to lead the album off with it. It's not often you start an album off with a Lead Single. Riot is a good song, but leading your album off with it, it kind of informs what to expect for the rest of the album and I'm not sure that it was effective doing that. Then again, again, I'm unsure what direction or genre of rock James wants to go to. I think he should have switched tracks number one and two, start of big, then slip down to the more intimate Riot, then back to the more upbeat, Judas Priest/Iron Maiden guitar (circa 80's-90's) tinged 3rd track, Beautiful.

Casey's vocals on "Scratchers and Cheap Beers" was a welcome addition to the album... I mainly enjoy listening to female vocals, going back to Olivia Newton John, to ABBA, to Blondie, to Dixie Chicks, even the Bangles, then to Haley.... There are few male singers I really enjoy listening to outside of the Beatles and Eagles. Casey Abrams falls into the sub category of male vocalists I truly enjoy listening to in almost anything he sings.... even his rough, and off the cuff performances, I enjoy. So this might be my favorite track off the album.... I think Casey's vocals adds a sense of 'legitimacy' to the track and as with anything he's involved with, you can sense he brought the fun to the recording session.

Smackdown, is more along the sound that I expected James to be chasing, and I enjoy the song, it's a very good song to perform live too..., probably my 2nd favorite and real head banger from the album IMO, even on the CD he sounds like he's having fun singing it.

There are confusing tracks on the album too (leading to me not being able to pin down the personality/sound that James wanted for this album) a good example of this is the 4th track, Mustang Livin', has almost a country music, Eagles, 'Take it Easy' feel to it. This track follows the previously mentioned Judas Priest guitar influence song like, Beautiful... an incongrous gear shift IMO

Ultimately, I think it's a good album, but it lacks it's own personality, it could have been better. Strong tracks are Riot, Smackdown, Scratches n Cheap Beers and N1n9teen.

I think James needs to find where he wants to land in the spectrum of hard rock to heavy metal. He seems to be in between with this album, which might make it hard to find it's audience, especially a couple of the songs are tinged w/ some country music influence.

Perhaps part of the problem is James needs a partner in crime, someone with a strong personality who knows himself, I'm talking a strong guitarist or bass player. I know it might be a difficult sell because James sees himself as the lead, but IMO, sometimes the best music comes from different worlds collaborating, coming together and making something new. Some talented people simply need someone or something to bounce off, something to challenge and push him.

That was an underwhelming part of his live show. I've seen Judas Priest, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Motley Crue They all have an obvious front man, but they also have others that carry the load for the band as well, a full meal deal. On stage, although it was a lot of sound coming from the stage, only James stood out, his lead guitar did yeoman's work, but never really 'stood out'... didn't give any pyrotechniques for James to work with, react and respond to.

Again, this is coming from someone that doesn't follow him intently (supporting Haley takes 98% of my attention as far as music goes Tongue) so I could be completely off in my assessments. I do have a background of listening to alot of Metal and Hard Rock, but it's been some time since I've been submerged into it...even before Haley, I started slipping into the memory miasma of my past favorite songs, easy listening, pop and some country music. So my reference points in the genre are severely outdated.

In conclusion, it's been a long enough time, I think James should consider partnering up with some up and coming, guitarist w/ some song writing chops, and fire in his fingers. I don't have the feeling he's found his musical identity yet. It's like when you're by yourself all the time, you can't have a perspective of how and where you can improve. You need a comparison or challenge to bring your game up. I think it's time for James to give up a bit of control and look for someone with like personality and vision but with a different energy, someone for him to bounce off.

I really like James the person, I want him to succeed and be able to support his family, realise his dreams, but I think he ought to see what he's capable of as part of a core group dynamic, before he can find what he is or has as a solo act
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Messages In This Thread
James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-16-2016, 04:53 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-21-2016, 08:06 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 03-28-2016, 08:57 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-29-2016, 01:57 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-29-2016, 07:25 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-27-2016, 02:49 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-31-2016, 01:39 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-31-2016, 03:03 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-01-2016, 10:32 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-02-2016, 10:12 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-06-2016, 04:07 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-17-2016, 07:37 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-26-2016, 04:16 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-27-2016, 03:44 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 04-28-2016, 04:27 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 05-02-2016, 03:00 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 06-01-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 06-03-2016, 12:03 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 06-10-2016, 02:10 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 06-11-2016, 01:31 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 06-27-2016, 01:28 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 07-06-2016, 06:35 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-10-2016, 12:19 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-11-2016, 04:13 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 07-12-2016, 09:15 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-12-2016, 11:49 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-13-2016, 01:22 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-15-2016, 03:00 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 07-17-2016, 10:44 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-17-2016, 11:47 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-17-2016, 03:45 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 07-19-2016, 03:36 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-20-2016, 12:55 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 07-20-2016, 04:19 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-20-2016, 04:38 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 07-20-2016, 12:59 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-20-2016, 01:33 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 07-20-2016, 08:30 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 07-21-2016, 03:50 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-21-2016, 06:11 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by john - 07-21-2016, 02:08 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-21-2016, 03:02 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 07-21-2016, 05:56 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 07-26-2016, 05:17 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 07-26-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 08-05-2016, 12:22 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 08-13-2016, 03:32 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 08-29-2016, 03:27 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 09-01-2016, 09:11 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 09-08-2016, 05:33 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 01-07-2017, 02:27 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 03-03-2017, 02:41 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by john - 03-03-2017, 08:47 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 03-03-2017, 09:38 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-06-2017, 04:50 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 03-10-2017, 08:10 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-12-2017, 03:34 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 03-12-2017, 04:46 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-13-2017, 02:40 AM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 03-13-2017, 01:46 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-13-2017, 06:37 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 03-13-2017, 07:32 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-22-2017, 12:14 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-22-2017, 02:06 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 03-22-2017, 02:11 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-22-2017, 03:39 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Outcast - 03-23-2017, 04:29 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 04-24-2017, 01:18 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 06-16-2017, 11:19 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Tusk - 07-25-2017, 10:29 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 08-13-2017, 04:31 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Himm2 - 09-21-2017, 11:10 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 11-19-2017, 03:58 PM
RE: James Durbin Era 3 - by Miguel - 02-02-2018, 11:27 AM

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