Originally published on Popped Culture
Just Drive is the latest single from Alistair Griffin, taken from his forthcoming album entitled Albion Sky.
The 33-year-old Middlesbrough born singer-songwriter found initial fame in the second series of the BBC reality show Fame Academy, a competition in which he eventually finished second place.
The song itself has all the basic components one would expect of a decent pop song—a simple, repetitive guitar riff, lyrics bursting with inspirationally profound metaphors and a powerful chorus oozing with raw emotion. But I can’t help but feel disappointed. There was no eventual climax and I felt left slightly hanging, waiting for the final punch.
To top it all off, the single’s cover features a fashionably dishevelled Griffin pictured in, what appears to be, a seemingly irrelevant post-apocalyptic wasteland—lovely.
In some respects, I think that this ‘instant pop song recipe’ that Griffin has opted for has given the song a very wooden and regimented feel. It’s catchy—don’t get me wrong—but it doesn’t grab me. Griffin was given 2 minutes and 45 seconds in which to impress me, but I’m actually left with very little understanding of the song itself and what it’s about.
Five years ago, I have absolutely no doubt that this song would have gained greater chart success. But the music industry is constantly evolving and artists such as Alistair Griffin are now competing with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Adele—in my opinion, he needs to ‘up his game’ in order to remain relevant and appealing to modern listeners.
Just Drive is Griffin’s first charting single in 6 years, though stumbling in at No. 38 on the UK Singles Chart. Although achieving a good chart position is definitely not the be-all and end-all of a song’s success, it’s definitely a good indicator as to the artist’s presence in the music industry. Alistair Griffin no doubt has a large fan-base, having had a top-ten hit with his 2003 single Bring It On and further success with You and Me the following year.
To give him credit, it’s refreshing to find an artist who isn’t best friends with their auto-tune feature. His voice has soul, depth, and it’s easy to see that he’s a passionate musician.
Alistair Griffin is a good vocalist, however I think his talents are wasted on this mediocre song, his voice being worthy of far better material.
You can find Alistair Griffin on MySpace, his Twitter page and his website.