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Olly Murs

Olly Murs

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Album Review

With his shirt-ripping performances, funky dance moves, and cheeky chappy stage presence, 2009 X-Factor finalist Olly Murs seemed destined to become the talent contest's answer to Robbie Williams. Indeed, the Essex-born singer even performed a duet with the Take That star on a rendition of "Angels" in last year's final, where he eventually finished runner-up to the clean-cut Joe McElderry. But, judging by its first two singles, Murs' eponymous debut album seems to have taken the lead from Scottish troubadour Paolo Nutini's unexpected reggae-influenced career reinvention, rather than the adult-oriented pop/rock of his self-confessed idol. It's a move that pays dividends on the chart-topper "Please Don't Let Me Go," whose scratched vinyl intro, retro-style piano, and laid-back beats provide one of the most charming and effortlessly catchy pop singles of the year. But less so on follow-up "Thinking of Me," whose childlike lyrics ("Remember when that crab came up and pinched your feet?") and rather cynical name-checking of Bob Marley recall Pato Banton and UB40's cod-reggae '90s number one, "Baby Come Back." However, apart from the jaunty "Accidental," the majority of the album falls into the same kind of acoustic pop category reminiscent of the first two albums from former Pop Idol Will Young, who Murs sounds uncannily like on the epic closing track, "A Million More Years." Produced by Steve Robson (Take That) and Future Cut (Lily Allen), it's a surprisingly mature affair that showcases both Murs' impressively soulful vocals and songwriting abilities, having co-penned all but two of the 12 tracks with the likes of Squeeze's Chris Difford (the Craig David-esque "Ask Me to Stay"), Ordinary Boys frontman Sam Preston (the '80s-inspired "Don't Say Goodbye"), and Orson's Jason Pebworth (the ska-fused "Love Shine Down"). Elsewhere, "Change Is Gonna Come" is a rousing gospel-led opener with shades of Primal Scream's classic "Movin' on Up" and "I Blame Hollywood" is the kind of uplifting MOR that wouldn't sound out of place on the current Michael Bublé album, while "Heart on My Sleeve" is a faithful rendition of American Idol finalist Michael Johns' heartfelt soft rock ballad. Like JLS, G4, and Rhydian before him, Olly Murs proves that finishing second can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, and while McElderry has struggled to make the crossover to chart success, this accomplished and self-assured effort should ensure that Murs will have no such problem. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Great beginning

This is a very good first album with catchy songs. Busy, his first single release, is a nice song about not needing anything but the one you love (that has a nicely quirky video). A Change is Gonna Come is an old type rocker that showcases the type of songs he performed on X Factor in England. He obviously enjoys what he is doing. Hold On is personal affirmation song with a nice beat. Don't Say Goodbye and A Million More Years are good love songs that show he has some good vocal range. A double platinum album in the UK, more people should be aware of this lively performer in Canada and hopefully his sophmore album In Case You Didn't Know will be available here soon. You will not be disappointed in this album

Fun and proper with class.

If you're into big band, summer-reggae, pop and soul with a modern twist, then look no further for there's no better man today to offer all that fusion on his appropriately self-titled debut album "Olly Murs".

Singer-Songwriter Murs served as a runner up to Series 6 of The X Factor UK and has since been riding the charts while soon to make his US debut. It is unfortunate how only little know of him here. There's also the question on why Simon Cowell did not treat him as a world wide artist to begin with as there are many gems music lovers missed out the past two years, such as the two UK no.1 singles "Please Don't Let Me Go" and "Thinking of Me", or the gospel-inspired "Love Shine Down" which was co-written by Ed Sheeran with Jessie J. as background vocalist at the time. Olly Murs is the type of artist that is laid back with class and knows how to have a good time. His vibrant personality is something that today's industry is missing among the current auto-tuned "bottle-boozed" dance era. This album otherwise fills that void completely with his genuine passion for music, which is written all over.

All that said, watch out for "Troublemaker" featuring Flo Rida to impact radio real soon (currently available on iTunes). And while I'd recommend people to import the disc (and his 2nd album), it just so happens his first LP is available here on Canadian iTunes, as well as "Dance With Me Tonight". However you choose to buy the album is up to you. Just don't miss this one out.

P.S. You can view all his music videos on his own VEVO channel though "Thinking of Me" is locked within the UK only. Unless you don't mind watching it low quality, buy it here on iTunes. And make sure to check out his live performance of that number on The X Factor, as well as his other performances during The X Factor!

Really good album and singer

While I was in the UK, I watched one of Olly Mur's music videos on the british MTV and I had to buy the album and I am glad I did I love every song on this CD. and now it has released in Canada :-)

Biography

Born: May 14, 1984 in Witham, Essex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a "cheeky chappy" persona to match Robbie Williams and vocals reminiscent of original Pop Idol Will Young, former call-center worker Olly Murs was one of the success stories of the 2009 season of The X Factor, finishing runner-up to Joe McElderry in the hotly contested final. Born in Essex in 1984, Murs showed little interest in singing while at school, focusing his attention on football, where he played for the school team and later semi-professionally for local non-league team Witham Town....
Full bio

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Olly Murs, Olly Murs
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock
  • Released: Nov 26, 2010

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