Incorporating The Music Fix
21st August 2012 06:00:00
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Aiden Grimshaw - Misty Eye

Musical credibility is not often something attributed to X Factor contestants; those who attempt to escape from the shadow left by the reality show often alienate anyone interested enough to vote for them in the beginning. With the exception of Will Young, few have gone on to shake off the Cowell seal of approval. However, two years on from his stint on the show, Aiden Grimshaw has released a debut album which sets him in good steed to do just that. Keeping the air of eerie vulnerability that made the Blackpool pretty boy appealing on the show, Grimshaw has taken an electronic edge to give his sound a fresh slant.

Gone are the weaker aspects of his TV performances: opening track ‘Hold On’ has a robust chorus which shows not only has his voice grown in two years, but his confidence has too. Grimshaw is still awkward, bordering on uneasy listening, but it’s a combination that works. Angular slants to his word pronunciation and a reliance on the quiet verse/loud chorus combination creates an unsettling vibe which is enough to differentiate him from the usual reality show crowd.

Lead single ‘Is This Love’ didn’t do as well as anticipated in the charts, peaking at number 35 but it is a great example of the vocal range Grimshaw posseses. Whilst the falsetto chorus is slightly too full on at times, this is one of the more upbeat moments on an otherwise dark album. In complete contrast is a cover of Sia’s ‘Breathe Me’, a haunting piano led take on a song which is given a lease of new life with Grimshaw’s quivering vocals.

Aiden Grimshaw is obviously good at the vulnerable slow pace thing, but with few memorable melodies or structure to his songs he runs the risk of monotony. It’s fine on percussion-heavy tracks such as ‘Is This Love’ and ‘Hold On’, where the dance inspired beats change tempo with no prior warning. However on the slower songs, it can leave them sounding like group of demos which blur into one emotionally laden mess.

Whilst he may still be ‘that guy off the X Factor’ for now, Grimshaw has taken his first step towards severing the ties that bind, and we suspect his own brand of gloomy dance-infused pop is going to earn him a new set of fans far removed from those Saturday night TV viewers.

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Same Difference - Pop
Track List
1 Hold On
2 Is This Love
3 What We Gonna Be
4 Misty Eye
5 Be Myself
6 This Island
7 Breathe Me
8 Poacher's Timing
9 Nothing At All
10 Curtain Call
-- more --
About Holly Newins
I am resident "New Kid" around these parts. I have an unhealthy obsession with pop-punk, androgynous frontmen and Rihanna. You can usually find me either on a chairlift up a snowy mountain, or lost somewhere in a muddy festival field.