Greyson Chance, ‘Hold On Til the Night’ – Album Review
The release of Greyson Chance's debut album is finally upon us. The teen vocalist, who turns 14 in two weeks, officially releases 'Hold On Til the Night' tomorrow.
It was less than a year and half ago that Chance delivered his moving, solo piano rendition of Lady Gaga's 'Paparazzi' at his sixth grade talent show. The performance went viral and caught the attention of record company executives, who quickly raced to sign the budding star.
The resulting debut album is a 10-song collection that sounds a lot more grown-up than you might expect from such a fresh-faced youngster. "I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people," Chance told PopCrush back in May. It looks like he was right.
As 'Hold On Til the Night' hits retailers, PopCrush is ready with a track-by-track review of the album's ten songs.
1. 'Waiting Outside the Lines'
This track is a good choice to introduce Chance to a wider audience. The mid-tempo pop song urges listeners to think outside the box and take a few chances in life. He recorded a remix of the song with Charice, but we're glad to see his solo version on the album. While Charice has a great voice, Greyson is probably better off achieving success on his own first.
2. 'Unfriend You'
With pulsating fake strings, 'Unfriend You' opens with an urgent energy that never lulls. At 13, Chance is barely old enough to legally have a Facebook account, but here he's singing about ending a relationship rather than any sort of social media drama. He stretches himself vocally and at times even sounds like a soulful crooner. (Listen Here)
3. 'Home Is in Your Eyes'
"My heart beats a little bit slower / These nights are a little bit colder / Now that you're gone," sings Chance on this acoustic ballad. The teen displays impressive vocal command, including bursts of falsetto that would make Chris Martin envious.
4. 'Hold On Til the Night'
String effects pace the title track, an up-tempo tune featuring a chorus surprisingly dominated by electric guitars, with flourishes of piano. An infectious hook makes 'Hold On Til the Night' another worthy contender for release as a single.
5. 'Heart Like Stone'
Chance moves beyond adult contemporary for a dance-influenced pop sound on 'Heart Like Stone.' This feels like a glimpse into the future, as it's exactly the kind of style we'd expect from Greyson on future albums as he grows up and, presumably, incorporates more of an edgy, rhythmic element in his music. (Listen Here)
6. 'Little London Girl'
We're loving this one. 'Little London Girl' is paced by an acoustic guitar and a hand-clapping beat that makes it one of the most memorable tracks on 'Hold On Til the Night.' It also tells a cute story, as Chance sings about sharing with the world his affection for a girl: "It doesn't matter if the sun's goin' down on me / You light my world, my little London girl." (Listen Here)
"Please don't break my heart, Cheyenne," Chance pleads on this downcast ballad. Powerful drums help carry the track, but the unconvincing narrative and somber tone, with minor keys and dark-sounding strings, make 'Cheyenne' one of our least favorites on the record.
'Summertrain' is an up-tempo song featuring a variety of instruments and some subtle studio effects. Thankfully, they never overpower Greyson's voice, which is the star of the song, particularly during his vocal runs over the final chorus. We're not exactly sure what a summertrain is, but it sounds like a great way to escape the bad weather, literally and figuratively: "And the windows are crying, but this train is flying us all through the rain I feel / And the sky's getting brighter with every mile and it all seems clear."
Like 'Little London Girl,' 'Stranded' falls into the "simple, but fun" category. The basic love song features a beachy acoustic guitar riff and what sound like maracas providing an additional punch of percussion as Chance sings, "I wanna be stranded on this island with you." Wait a minute, isn't Greyson a bit young for that sort of thing? Don't worry, it's a metaphor. "I hope it's somewhere far, where only we are stranded on your heart," he adds.
10. 'Take a Look at Me Now'
Finishing off 'Hold On Til the Night' is 'Take a Look at Me Now,' a soaring pop song with keyboards that give it a bit of a 'Bittersweet Symphony' vibe. 'Take a Look at Me Now' caps off a solid album that is much more musically diverse than we might have expected.