Thursday 23 August 2012

Aiden Grimshaw - Misty Eye

When Mr Grimshaw dropped his debut single Is This Love a couple of months back it was a pleasant surprise.  Far from the usual X-Factor bubblegum fair, it's an alternative pop track that failed to light up the charts.  But, as he sings on Be Myself, he's got himself.

The acoustic tracks at the end of the album are testament to the fact Grimshaw has some decent songs here underneath all the electronic production.  And a decent voice too - vibrato is minimal and the falsetto is a little breathy, but it's both powerful and fragile when it needs to be.  The songs also feel similar to Adele's work, his beautiful cover of Sia's Breathe Me features an oscillating piano figure reminiscent of Hometown Glory, whilst This Island is as overblown as Set Fire To The Rain.

In fact, the lyrics of much of 'Misty Eye' veer on overblown, from Is This Love's "fiery eye in the middle of a dark sea" to the "give me a line, give me some rope which I can hang with" of Poacher's Timing.  It's all very emo and mournful, but fits with the youthful, teenage image of Grimshaw singing Mad World on X-Factor.

Yet not one to be pigeon-holed, the production follows the same template set out by Is This Love - dubstep beats, swirling electro and epic strings.  Even the slower songs eventually incorporate pounding beats.  The overall effect of lyric and production might be a little overly dramatic, but it's certainly a complete package.  As he sings on What We Gonna Be (surely the next single), "it hurts but it's worth it".

That said, we've already heard the best the album has to offer with Is This Love.  Despite this, 'Misty Eye' is still a cut above the rest of the X-Factor crap and proves that Grimshaw is aspiring to real musicianship rather than just fame and fortune.  It might not be love, but it's far from the curtain call.


Gizzle's Choice:

* Is This Love
* What We Gonna Be
* Breathe Me

Listen: 'Misty Eye' is available now.