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[Album Review] Aiden Grimshaw - Misty Eye

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Monday, July 23, 2012

[Album Review] Aiden Grimshaw - Misty Eye

Aiden Grimshaw Misty Eye

UK X-Factor singer/songwriter (and major cutie) Aiden Grimshaw has announced the forthcoming release of his second single, "Curtain Call," on August 12th via RCA Records.  Taken from his debut album Misty Eye, "Curtain Call" will serve as the follow up to Aiden's debut single, the flawless drum & bass-sprinkled electropop ballad "Is This Love."  This is the PERFECT song to follow "Is This Love" because it's completely different.  "Curtain Call" shows off Aiden's range, both as a vocalist and as an artist.

First things first...the new single.  Upon first listen, "Curtain Call" comes off as considerably more folk pop than it's predecessor, easily passing for a more mellow, less dramatic Rufus Wainwright track.  The song starts out with Grimshaw showing off his lower range, singing over some sort of deep throaty chanting in the background.  Fun fact, that's actually Aiden playing piano, banging beer bottles (for percussion) and chanting in the background!  Then the kick-ass, soaring chorus kicks in with featured vocalist Sherelle's massive voice taking over. Amazing!

Aiden Grimshaw Curtain Call

From the sound of it, Misty Eye is a diverse album, sonically speaking, and I think that's a good idea for Grimshaw. Considering his debut single, "Is This Love" only managed to peak at #35 on the UK Singles Chart, Grimshaw definitely needs a variety of musical styles to choose from in the hopes that one of them connects with UK radio and consumers alike. While diversity is important in terms of single selection, the album does need to flow naturally from track to track and from what I've heard, Misty Eye is pretty cohesive.

Misty Eye is the end result of two years of writing and recording, following Aiden's appearance on the 2010 season of The X-Factor.  Following his signing with RCA Records, Grimshaw moved to London and hooked up with producer/engineer Jarrad Rogers (Lana Del Rey, Tinchy Stryder), resulting in a moody, atmospheric masterpiece of an album.  Chock-full of heartfelt lyrics about love and loss, the album features a blend of different genres including dance, pop, hip-hop, folk - all expertly balanced with a modern, slick production style.  I'd go as far as to credit the production with keeping the album cohesive throughout.  That and the fact that the album's underlying theme ("life is worth living but love is worth everything") is evident throughout in the song's lyrics. 

Aiden Grimshaw

Standout tracks for me include the album's first two singles, "Is This Love" and "Curtain Call," as well as the album's title track, "Misty Eye," which, sonically, reminds me of something off of Moby's 1999 album, Play.  Another album standout is a lovely little piano-lead ballad called "Be Myself."  Showcasing a completely raw and vulnerable side of Grimshaw, "Be Myself" is a stunning track.  As the track plays on, vocal layers are added on and then more production, before finally, the song has completely transformed into a fluttery Ellie Goulding-esque electropop ballad. Fantastic and unexpected, all at the same time! Other standouts include "This Island," "Poacher's Timing" and a cover of Sia's "Breathe Me." Really the only song that did NOT blow me away was the hip-hop infused "What We Gonna Be." It's one of those songs that could simply do without the rapper that generically spits rhymes at the beginning of the track. Other than that, Misty Eye is a very solid first effort from Mr. Grimshaw.

Aiden Grimshaw

I've got to admit that I'm a little nervous about Misty Eye's chart performance. Considering "Is This Love"'s underwhelming debut, I'm basically crossing all of my appendages and hoping for the best. It really is a solid album through and through and Aiden's got what it takes to be a popstar. Here's hoping he finds lasting connections, both with fans and with radio airplay.


"Curtain Call" will be released August 12th (iTunes UK), followed by Misty Eye on August 20th (iTunes UK).  Look out for a hot remix package for "Curtain Call," including mixes from Kat Krazy, II Figures, and Rack N Ruin (listen to the Kat Krazy and II Figures remixes ABOVE).  UK fans will be able to catch Aiden on tour starting this September, dates BELOW. Also make sure and catch the "Curtain Call" video BELOW, directed by Charlie & Joe (AKA Charlie Robbins and Joe Alexander) and featuring PLENTY of Aiden, unlike the video for "Is This Love."

Tour Dates:

Sept 19//Bristol//O2 Academy 2
Sept 20//Nottingham//Rescue Rooms
Sept 22//Northampton//Roadmender
Sept 23//Bournemouth//The Old Firestation
Sept 24//Brighton//Concorde 2
Sept 26//Birmingham//O2 Academy 2
Sept 27//Glasgow//King Tuts
Sept 28//Leeds//Cockpit
Sept 30//Manchester//Academy 3
Oct 1//Oxford//Academy 2
Oct 2//London//Scala

"Misty Eye" Tracklisting:

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

Check out Aiden Grimshaw on the web:

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Blogger David Opie said...

I love this album so much! I just wish it had performed better as well. My favourite track has to be Misty Eye though, by far. Great post

November 2, 2012 at 6:38 AM  

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