It has been a year and a half in the making, but the wait has been worth it. World, meet Aiden Grimshaw:
As I type this, I realize many already know who Aiden is. He appeared on the 2010 edition of The X Factor UK, and was a surprise elimination early in the semi-finals, leaving before lesser competitors like Paije Richardson and Katie Waissel. The fact that Waissel was saved over Grimshaw was a glaring reminder that while talent competitions need talent, they also need drama. No matter. As of today, Aiden is in a much better place than Katie, as his first single for RCA Records (UK) is unleashed upon the world. “Is This Love” (out 3 June in the UK) finds Grimshaw in his element, matching his angsty yet ethereal vocals against a drum-and-bass track that places him right in the middle of a dance-primed pop market custom-built for the track. While his US prospects might not be as solid, you never know, as Alex Clare is currently climbing the Billboard Hot 100 with “Too Close,” thanks to a Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 advert.
So rather than talk about what “Is This Love” is like, let’s talk about what it is not like: anything on Syco Music. Being ejected from the The X Factor appears to have been a blessing, as he is not saddled with the formulaic common pop track that other acts like One Direction or JLS appear to be more than happy to record. That’s not to slam them, because there’s a place in the marketplace for that, and based on sales it’s a big place. Here’s hoping that Aiden Grimshaw blazes his own trail and defies the odds stacked against X Factor alumni who don’t finish in the Top 3.
Aiden Grimshaw’s full-length debut Misty Eye arrives on 13 August via RCA Records (UK). If Misty Eye is as solid as “Is This Love”, it will be ranked among the best albums released by an artist from any talent show, not just The X Factor.