Sweet, but no threat to Bieber
Greyson Chance, the singer many view as the new Biebs, came to attention with an awesome, gutsy, slowed-down piano cover of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi. Both boys started their careers on YouTube; both were only just teenagers when the world sat up and took notice.
But where JB released R'n'B-tinged bubblegum pop, Greyson's minders decided he needs a near-middle-aged sound for his debut album Hold On 'Til the Night. Lead single Unfriend You may take its cue from Facebook, but the choppy strings could've come straight off a Coldplay album. Cheyenne could've been written by someone on his fourth marriage. And the title track would be more convincing from Kelly Clarkson (she's far from old, but she's twice his age).
It's not all bad. Little London Girl is filled with summery, feel-good 60s beats, and Stranded, a track about being on a desert island, is a perfect holiday ode.
The problem is that Greyson is singing about emotions and experiences, and in a fashion, way beyond his years. Yes, of course you can fall in love and have your heart broken in your teens. But the way he sings, you'd think he'd been experiencing these things for decades.
The best offering is bonus track Fire, a song with a country vibe, where he doesn't sound like he's trying, or singing, too hard. It's just a really heartfelt, simply arranged number (that borrows a lyric from Meatloaf) that proves why Greyson has a bright future.