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Album Review: Aiden Grimshaw – Misty Eye

Photo: Gay Times

Nobody told Aiden Grimshaw that it isn’t the nineties anymore. Poor Aiden Grimshaw. Thankfully for the rest of us, he has produced one of the best pop albums of the year. It’s exactly that 90’s feel that elevates ‘Misty Eye’ onto a new level; sonically, it sounds like the morning after an intense night out in Ibiza – all the melancholy and euphoria amalgamated into one divine audio collection.

Lead single ‘Is This Love’ might not have set the charts alight as many predicted it would, following Aiden’s popularity post-X Factor, but it’s beauty is unharmed by the fact and it teams up with the Lana Del Rey styled ‘Hold On’ to introduce the record as best it can, without ruining some of the surprises that lie ahead.

‘This Island’ opens like an electro-inspired Brit-pop anthem and the chorus, as with almost all of the tracks on the album, is infectious and unforgettable. In fact, the only reason you won’t be singing these contagious hooks over and over is due to the fact that there are so many stadium-sized choruses to compete with one another.

Respect has to be afforded to the immense vocal talents of Sherelle ‘Labrinth’s sister’ McKenzie whose killer vocals dominate the stunning closing track and sophomore single ‘Curtain Call’, but are undoubtedly at their best during the sensational standout track ‘Nothing At All’ that manages not only one but TWO magnificent choruses that juxtapose Aiden’s relentless melancholia with the vast heights of the soaring arrangement that accompanies him.

‘Poacher’s Timing’ sits awkwardly, sounding like an unreleased Ellie Goulding track, intimidated by the majesty of the rest of the record and ‘Breathe Me’ sadly suffers a similar fate, struggling under the flawless original version by Sia. Aiden can be proud, however, that the two worst tracks on ‘Misty Eye’ are still more than decent.

So without even mentioning the stunning strings in the title track, the strangely fitting rap-spot on ‘What We Gonna Be’, nor the striking honesty of ‘Be Myself’, we’re working with a stellar debut that has an amazing amount of excitement to invoke amongst it’s listeners. ‘Misty Eye’ is pop, but it does pop very differently to it’s peers and that is why it deserves a listen – which, conveniently, is all it needs to make you realise the many talents of Mr. Grimshaw.

Photo: Gay Times
Words: Simon McMurdo

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