Will You Still Love My Tomorrow – Carol King for The Shirelles
This is another 180 degree turn for James. He is standing in place – say it ain’t so. But he is and he gives a spectacular performance, revealing yet another aspect of his talent by playing a gorgeous electric guitar. I have to admit that he looks just as gorgeous as his guitar, and the guitar even compliments the color of his hair and his outfit. Nice touch!! Playing the guitar clearly emphasizes what a big man James is. He is very tall and lanky!! It is amazing how freely and effortlessly he is able to move.
In the opening package Baby Face states that “James came in and sang the song straight down and blew me away!!” High praise indeed from one so gifted himself!! But James shows us what Baby Face already knows in the opening section of the song.
Technically, James seals the deal and sells the song in the first 15 seconds. It is an acappella section so soulful, so expressive, so haunting, so achingly beautiful that I do not want it to end. And when it does, James ends in perfect pitch with the band’s entrance music – breathtaking!! For me it is one of the most memorable musical moments in Idol history. James rocks the beat with his pitch perfect vocals and rocker screams that are judiciously used and well placed. I especially like the vocal ending into the high register!!! 10++++++
Emotionally, with his acappella beginning, James reaches in and grabs my heart and wraps it around his finger forever. Durbination is complete. The acappella is just so beautiful lyrically, tonally, expressively, and visually. James’ creative melodic sensibility is also front and center and he puts a magical James twist on a timeless classic! 10+++++
This performance is a master class in selling a song and making it your own. James can do this with any song. Deciding to begin acappella is a brilliant move. James grabs the audience from the first note and keeps them there even after the song ends!! 10++++++
James if you are reading this evaluation there is something that your performance of this song has reminded me that I want to say to you. I hope you will record all of the styles of music that you do so well. Please some metal (old and new) and hard rock. I love your studio version of Heavy Metal – the ending in which you climb the arpeggio to the last stratospheric note is pure bliss!), some ballads (you have such a beautiful, pure, lyrical tenor sound when you sing ballads), and one more request that you may not have considered, but I hope you will. I am part of the boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964. We are the biggest demographic in the country and we love our rock and roll. Having grown up outside of Philly – Doo Wop – was sung on almost every street corner – so cool!! There are soooo many wonderful, soulful and hard driving songs from the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s that are not played nearly as often as they used to be – Wolfman Jack was King of the DJs in Philly “in the day”. What I heard you do with Will I still Love You Tomorrow, Without You and Love Potion # 9 is phenomenal. Please consider taking some of the rock and roll oldies and putting the James twist on them. You would make a very large demographic VERY happy. There are so many to choose from Roy Orbison’s Crying being one of them – perfect for you I think!! Ultimately, I realize that you must do what you are passionate about, what you will enjoy singing day in and day out and this idea may not move you at all, but like I said in your Heavy Metal evaluation – “ You can never have what you are not willing to ask for”. So I am asking!!