Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hear the radio blast all the worries from my head

Alistair Griffin is a UK singer-songwriter who first became famous when he took second place during the second season of Fame Academy. However, he'd had several near-brushes with fame before that--he was a member of boyband Ultra (not during their peak popularity) and he auditioned for the boyband Blue. As a solo artist, though, he makes amazing music (generally pop with strummy guitars), a fact which, unfortunately, seems to be often ignored by the general public. His first single, "Bring It On," hit #5 on the UK charts, but his followup, "You And Me (Tonight)" only made it to #18, and he's no longer signed to the same record company. He spent a while gigging around on his own, but apparently he's now performing as part of the band Albion. I haven't really listened to Albion's music, but Alistair makes amazing solo songs. The Alistair Griffin special will last two days, with today's focus being on songs from his album Bring It On and tomorrow's being some non-album songs.

Bring It On--Alistair's debut single and a really catchy piece of happy, guitar-strummy pop. It's got inspirational, keep-going lyrics, but even if you couldn't understand what Alistair was saying, the music does a perfect job of communicating what he's talking about. It's really a perfect mood-lifting song (and I love the little edge he puts on the "on" of "turn it up, turn it on"--"turn it awn").

You And Me (Tonight)
--Alistair's second single, and it's a ballad, but it's a very good one--simple though not really minimal backing that sweetly accompanies Alistair's heartfelt-sounding (almost as if he's pleading; "heart-tugging" might be a better word) delivery.

Painkiller--I love "Bring It On," but this might be my favorite Alistair Griffin song. It's mid- to up-tempo, catchy and just generally great. The chorus is really what seals that preference, but even the verses are really good. Alistair's songs always seem deceptively simple, and they're never overwhelming--though they could easily work for getting yourself pumped up or reenergized, they could also be work as something soothing. Plus, how can you not love a song that has "doo doo doo"'s in it?

Hungry For Love--a Dutch band covered this, and (though I haven't heard their version) for good reason--it's a great song. It's a little rockier than "Bring It On" and "Painkiller" (though that doesn't mean it has annoyingly loud guitars) but it's really great, too.

To buy Alistair Griffin's debut album Bring It On (and I really recommend it--choosing just a few songs to post was very difficult; you might not love every song on it, but the good songs [that is, the vast majority of songs] are very good--Alistair is clearly a great songwriter and performer--"Something About Her" and "In Your Smile" are definitely songs to check out, and The Calling's "Wherever You Will Go" fits Alistair so well that it was must have been meant to be covered by him), go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: Alistair Griffin, part 2--some non-album songs (a B-side and some demos).


Paul said...

viva la griff! He came and played at a gay nightclub near my house once and if i hadn't been hideously sloshed it would have been brilliant. I was very excited but in my drunken monkey state i got very confused and during a nice quiet moment at end of You and Me Tonight shouted out "play stop living the lie"... alistair stopped, glared directly at me and clearly and audibly stated "I'm not David F***ing Sneddon"... I mean really, there is no need for that language is there??

Poster Girl said...

Awww! That story is pure class. I love it--I mean, poor Alistair and poor you, but that's really funny! (and worth waiting to hear)

(You may like David Sneddon just a little too much then, but I have no right to speak on the issue of liking artists too much ;) )

Anonymous said...

Alistair has hit the headlines recently with his "Mark Viduka" song!
(Check out his Myspace page to read all about it :))

There's a link on there to Albion's page too - their new song Naked is one of Alistair's, I think you'll like it.