If lead single 'Is This Love' with its glitches, twitches and skidding bass seemed like an unconventional move for a former reality star, then the remainder of Misty Eye will feel downright strange. We'll admit it; we're not used to X Factor alumni driving off the safe-as-houses pop path that generally includes orchestral indie covers and overproduced chart fluff.
"Well hold on to this," Aiden demands on opener 'Hold On' surrounded by a smorgasbord of grinding beats, stomping piano and trickling percussion that, unexpectedly, has a giant whiff of Moby to it. It's a lofty comparison, but one that recurs on title track 'Misty Eye' and current single 'Curtain Call'. Disjointed thuds underline distorted ad-libs and contained strings, gloriously showcasing Grimshaw's ambitious soundscape and vision.
What's more, Aiden's intense stage persona oozes through his deeply fervent lyrics of heartbreak and despair. "Behind my eyes I'm terrified/ Now you're gone," he admits on 'This Island', before declaring that the solitary space is "suicidal". It's painfully hard stuff, but refreshingly honest. His chances of winning The X Factor may have ended criminally early, but Misty Eye is beyond a winner's album. It's interesting, it's daring and, most importantly of all, it's Aiden's.
Tracks to download: 'Hold On', 'Curtain Call', 'What We Gonna Be', 'This Island'
If you like this, you'll like: Moby, Hurts, Plan B
Watch the music video for Aiden Grimshaw's 'Curtain Call' below: