Alistair Griffin - Bring It On
And with the single done, so it is time for the album. Of course, much of what was said about the Double A-Side release of Bring It On/My Lover's Prayer continues to hold true for the album - the music is nice pop but without so much as a hint of grittiness, which belies Griffin's past as a songwriter. Indeed, with this album containing the title track and In Your Smile, both of which were written and performed by Griffin during his time inside the Fame Academy, it should not be too surprising to be told that Bring It On continues this pattern, even to featuring other Fame Academy hopefuls on backing vocals.
As with the single release of Bring It On, the remaining thirteen tracks on the album feature the same mix of tip-tapping drums, keyboards and both strummed acoustic and tasteful electric guitars, over which Griffin's voice gets to the right notes but lacks colour. In Your Smile is probably the best of Griffin's own songs but, being honest, there's little to differentiate them and despite titles like Painkiller and Oblivion, both of which could have come off a Ministry album, Bring It On never really gets beyond Radio 2 niceness.
Then again, as with every other performer to have made it out of a BBC or ITV reality/pop show, there's a fair smattering of covers including David Gates' Everything I Own, The Bee Gees' My Lover's Prayer and John Lennon's Jealous Guy. Whilst the former doesn't end up too badly damaged, Jealous Guy sounds as though what power it ever had has simply evaporated from it, with Bryan Ferry's version sounding dazzling alongside it.
Despite Alex Parks making it onto the release schedules first, Alistair Griffin's debut is much closer to the sound of Fame Academy and despite it be awfully bland, Bring It On is ludicrously catchy. Griffin hasn't excelled himself, which is a considerable fault on its own, but like the millions who listen to Wogan, as inexplicable as that is, there's going to be an audience for this. 'course, that audience might be your mums and dads...