Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
James pays homage to a great song with a great performance!
Technically, James does a good job throughout. He stays true to the original and sings it almost straight from the songbook. His diction is good and he showcases his vocal ornamentation skills and his tremendous range. His vocals are all well supported and there is smooth sailing through all the passaggios. He also creates effective contrasts with straight tone and vibrato. His final arpeggio climb to the high E has me jumping out of my chair. It is glorious. He soars and the high E rings with beautiful vibrato, and in perfect pitch. Just wow!! 10+++
Emotionally, James exudes pure joy as he sings. His smile is infectious and his eyes appear to dance. He doesn’t have to continue to sell this song for me. He sold it straight up on the stairs!! 10+++
This performance showcases James’ total confidence on stage and in his own skin. He moves so freely and smoothly and interacts very well with the band. It is a good choice to have them on stage with him. He ends as he did in Uprising with a victory stance – legs spread apart and left hand and fist raised above the head. A powerful visual to end the performance. 10+++
Believe it!! 10+++
Love Potion No. 9 – Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller for The Clovers
Total Rock Star – James begins the season as a total rock star with “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and ends it the same way with “Love Potion # 9”.
Technically, James absolutely soars with these vocals. They are pitch perfect, and strong in every register. He has total control with strong support and great breath – even when jumping, running, bending and taking the stairs. His rocker wails are well placed mid-way and at the end. He just soars to those high E’s so effortlessly. He gives nice homage to Robert Plant with the ending – superb melismatic / scatting skills – and digs deep to support the powerful final phrase down in his mid to lower registers. Just amazing!… 10 to the power of infinity!
Emotionally, this is just pure energy. James’ ability to shade and shape the melodic line is pure genius. He exudes total confidence. …10 to the power of infinity!
In this performance James gives a master class in showmanship, and creativity – taking any song and making it his own. There is passion, power, high energy movement, confidence, connection to and participation with the audience, and pitch perfect vocals. All of this makes an oldie but goodie a work of art and brings it current, something I hope he will continue to do in the future as he records!! Just magnificent!! …10 to the power of infinity!
10 to the power of infinity!!
What a perfect way to end a perfectly spectacular run on American Idol 10. There is no doubt in my heart and mind, James, that you should have been the last man standing. NO DOUBT!! But it wasn’t to be. And there should be NO regrets. Now you begin a musical journey for a lifetime!! Rock on, James! We will still love you tomorrow!!! And the day after that and the day after that…….!!!! The music world and your fans are shouting from the mountain tops “COME ON BABY, LIGHT MY FIRE!!”.