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|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. Poachers Timing|
|9. Nothing At All|
|10. Curtain Call|
When talent show contestants set out to prove their credibility, the results can be unpleasant – observe Matt Cardle's career to date. But in Grimshaw's case, it feels justified, because he's made a very decent debut album. Misty Eye is definitely a collection of pop songs, but these are relatively adventurous and interesting pop songs by current standards. Most of them are catchy, too: Is This Love stalled at number 35, but deserved better.
That single, a soaring blend of electro-pop and drum'n'bass, has relatives on the album, but it doesn't set the template. Elsewhere, Misty Eye mixes folkier moments like the lovely Poacher's Timing with soulful electronica clearly inspired by Moby. It also has some house-style piano parts that probably weren't inspired by D:Ream, but bring to mind the Things Can Only Get Better hit-makers anyway.
The album hangs together better than this suggests, partly because the production is consistently slick, but also because of Grimshaw. Vocally, he can switch between quivering intimacy and a belting falsetto, but his intensity never waivers. He's also brave enough to cover a Sia song called Breathe Me whose chorus goes "I am small, I am needy". That's a lot of vulnerability coming from a 20-year-old lad.
By the album's halfway mark, he's successfully banished memories of The X Factor, but the last two tracks seal the deal. Nothing at All is a rousing trip-hop number with a showstopping vocal hook, and Curtain Call sounds like a power ballad written by Moby. Saving your two best songs till the end – is that called "back-loading"? It's certainly a sequencing choice Simon Cowell would never allow.
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