Tuesday 27 November 2012

Olly Murs - Right Place Right Time

'Right Place Right Time' is the third album from Murs in as many years, all since reaching the final of X-Factor in 2009 and in addition to becoming the public's favourite cheeky chappy as co-presenter of the Xtra Factor.  Yet whilst his persona shines on-screen, it's missing from this latest release.

Musically, Murs has created a template of upbeat, funky, soul inflected pop and 'Right Place Right Time' is no different.  It lacks originality though, sounding like a concoction of Robbie Williams, Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz amongst others.  With such a likeable personality, it's disappointing that his music lacks distinction.

What is different is the emphasis on ballads - from the Coldplay/Florence + The Machine drama of Loud & Clear, to the industrial Massive Attack beats of Dear Darlin' and the title track, and the soaring Hand on Heart, which together form the core of the album.  Yet Murs isn't the strongest of singers and certainly doesn't excel at ballad singing - his upbeat tracks have been his most commercially successful.  Perhaps this change of emphasis hints at a desire to be seen as a more serious and mature artist.  That, however, is difficult to take when the lyrics are so obviously aimed at young teenage girls: the pathetic One of These Days especially.

There remains a handful of upbeat tracks that retain his usual flirtatious and cheeky demeanour, even if they too are pinched from other artists.  Opener Army of Two is pure Robbie Williams with its horn and and string inflections; current single Troublemaker is the catchiest tune of offer, even if the chorus sounds like Britney's Crazy; and Hey You Beautiful is essentially a reworking of Moves Like Jagger.  What these tracks do have, though, is a sense of fun that is sorely lacking from the rest of the album.  Murs may be trying to grow as an artist, but he also needs to recognise his strengths.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Army of Two
* Troublemaker
* Hey You Beautiful

Listen: 'Right Place Right Time' is available now.

Watch: Murs will be supporting Robbie Williams on his arena tour next year.