2009 X-Factor runner-up, Olly Murs offers a fusion of different styles and genres on his sophomore effort.
Release: 25th November 2011
Genre: Pop, Soul, Reggae, Hip Hop
Label: Syco, Epic
1. “Heart Skips a Beat” (featuring Rizzle Kicks) 3:26
2. “Oh My Goodness” 3:05
3. “Dance with Me Tonight” 3:23
4. “I’ve Tried Everything” 3:25
5. “This Song is About You” 3:46
6. “In Case You Didn’t Know” 3:26
7. “Tell the World” (featuring Bayku) 3:47
8. “I’m OK” 3:46
9. “Just Smile” 3:45
10. “On My Cloud” 2:24
11. “I Don’t Love You Too” 4:05
12. “Anywhere Else” 3:25
13. “I Need You Now” 3:27
The album starts with the hip-hop and reggae sounding, ‘Heart skips a beat’. It has a fair but cheesy sounding back beat and generic piano stomps-so loved by contemporary producers these days. Olly is expanding his musical palette, so included in the song is a lame, obligatory rap segment to top things off. The lyrics on the album are neither interesting nor the most in-depth and this is not overcome when Olly stirs up his inner soul on, ‘Oh my goodness’, an indirect tribute to British soul legend Gabrielle. It features a perky melody in which the backup singers add most of the intrigue.
Curse Bruno Mars for doing 50s Doo Wop so well that every soul-pop singer hanging around wants to emulate it or show they can do it too. Olly, not to be upstaged, lays the hair gel on extra thick on ‘Dance with me tonight’ and ‘I’ve tried everything’. One Republic is conjured on the confessional and cathartic ballad, ‘This Song is about you’ in which Olly shows more of his vulnerable side. ‘Tell the World’, is another reggae tinged effort while ‘I’m Okay’ has one of the more interesting moments on the album courtesy of the bass line and tremolo guitars. Doo wop returns on ‘Just Smile’ and this just may be the best track on the record. The piano progression is catchy and the song has a captivating chorus, the lovely horn section also gives warmth to the track.
Murs has to be commended for mixing things up and exploring different genres. He should have mixed it up some more though as the fusion becomes generic and clichéd fairly early on. The lyrics could have been more in-depth and thoughtful. The album feels unoriginal and lacks freshness and seems to mimic what most audiences seem to be listening to. This is an album suited for a get together with friends but if you want something with more grit or flavour, don’t hold your breathe when listening to this release.