Olly Murs – Right Place Right Time
Record Label: Columbia / Epic / Syco Music
Release Date: November 23 2012
Whenever someone mentions the phrase “pop music,” there’s a good chance that most people will react in a few ways – they’ll either tell you what popular artists or bands they like, they’ll grimace in disgust, while telling you how horrible pop music is, or they’ll just live their lives like nothing ever happened. As for myself, I fall into the first one of those, because I am not afraid or ashamed to admit that some of my favorite bands and artists would be classified under pop music. In fact, one of my all time favorite artists is Justin Timberlake, and he just released his first record in six years The 20/20 Experience in March of this year to rave reviews, and as I write this in April of 2013, that record is my favorite record of the year so far. I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy pop music quite a bit, and why would I be? It’s not all mindless and generic garbage that people make it out to be. There is some enjoyable pop music out there, and I wish people would realize that. One such artist that I’m finding myself enjoying is British pop singer Olly Murs, who rose to fame after being a runner-up on the British version of the Voice in 2009. Now he’s becoming a bit more of a household name, and actually appeared on the US drama 90210 this past week and played a couple of songs on third record Right Place Right Time. I haven’t heard of him until a few months ago when a friend of mine showed me lead single “Troublemaker (feat. Flo Rida),” likening it to JT’s music. I was definitely curious, and I was very impressed. The lyrics were rather cliché, and Flo Rida’s verse was completely unnecessary, but the song itself was very catchy and Murs’ vocals are very impressive. He reminds me of Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars being combined into one person, but then turning British. That probably did not make any sense, but it makes sense to me, nonetheless. I noticed a copy of the record at my local FYE, and decided to pick it up, just out of sheer curiosity, and I wasn’t surprised at what I found when I put it on my iPod – very catchy pop/R&B that’s rather straightforward, but still enjoyable. This record is a pretty standard pop album, at least in the sense that you have a couple guest spots with “popular” artists in the genre (this time, Chiddy Bang and Flo Rida), rather generic instrumentation that’s quite catchy fun, and rather generic lyrics about being in love, dancing, women, clubs, sex, etc, etc. That’s pretty much the gist of the album, and while it’s not terrible, it’s not truly fantastic, either. Murs is a pretty good singer, and he must be if he was runner-up on the Voice in the UK, but he’s no Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars. His voice isn’t on the same level, nor are his lyrics. Songs like “Troublemaker,” “Army of Two,” and “Dear Darlin’” have some great lyrics, while songs like “Dance With Me Tonight” and “Hey You Beautiful” have very cliché and almost cringe worthy lyrics. The album as a whole is enjoyable, but if you’re looking for better pop, you might want to look elsewhere. Aside from that, let’s listen to this record at the right place and right time, shall we?
The record begins with the longest track, “Army of Two,” and this leads me immediately to a problem I have with the record. Not the overall song, and in fact, this is a nice way to start off the record. It’s a very sweet song, but the problem is the lyrics go one of two ways – very sweet and cute songs to sexual/club songs. There’s no variation at all, and that may be hypocritical, coming from someone who loves Justin Timberlake, and his new album was filled with songs about love, but the thing there, is the lyrics were entertaining because they were all about something different, and/or something related to love. Not the same things over and over. This record doesn’t have much to offer in the lyrical department, sadly. They’re not horrendous, although certain points are rather cringe-worthy. As for the song itself, this song is pretty straight-forward, as being a pop song. There’s nothing unique about it, aside from horns and orchestral instrumentation used throughout, but it’s pretty catchy and the lyrics are pretty cheesy, but cute. After that, the two songs that have a guest appearance appear one after the other, which are “Heart Skips a Beat (feat. Chiddy Bang)” and “Troublemaker (feat. Flo Rida).” Both of these songs are rather similar, both in terms of music, lyrics, and the guest appearance. The guest appearances are frankly unnecessary. They serve no purpose, and they appear for a few seconds, and they’re gone. They were not needed, but I do feel as though they were put on the record, so this record would create more American fans, and would give Murs some air time in the States. Both songs are very catchy, but that’s as far as they go. “Troublemaker” is his most popular song, well, from the record, at least. This is the first song I knew from the record, and I was curious to check out the record. This isn’t the best song, though. That title goes to a few others, which I will get to in a bit.
One good thing the record has going for it is that it’s 34 minutes, so it’s a nice burst of pop, and it doesn’t drag on at all. Next song “Dance With Me Tonight” sounds kinda like Justin Timberlake’s “That Girl,” but not totally the same, considering “That Girl” came out months later. Basically, what I mean is, both songs have a very innocent and sweet sound to them, and this song is just about how Murs wants to dance with a pretty girl. It’s not bad at all, and it’s one of my favorites on the record. After the forgettable ballad “Hand On Heart,” “Hey You Beautiful” is one of the more “sexual” songs on the record. It’s fun, enjoyable, but the lyrics are quite sexual, which is odd, just because of the fact that most of the songs are cutesy and sweet, so this is an odd change of pace. The title track comes after, and that makes up for “Hey You Beautiful” being a weird and almost kinda creepy song. Finally last track “Dear Darlin’” is another enjoyable song, and really the only other “memorable” one. It’s another ballad, and its lyrical subject is really interesting. It’s not cheesy, but still cute, at the same time. It’s about Murs writing a letter to a girl he loves or something, and it’s a nice way to end the record, because “Army of Two” starts it off on a catchy note, while “Dear Darlin’” is more stripped down.
Overall, this record is enjoyable; it’s nice and catchy pop music. Murs is a solid singer, but he’s not an artist like Bruno Mars, or Justin Timberlake, who have proven to hold their own in the pop industry, and the genre itself. Murs is still trying to set his foot in the door, so to speak, and he’s three records deep in his career, so it’s pretty interesting how he’s not really as popular as he should be, despite having Chiddy Bang and Flo Rida. Either way, Right Place Right Time is an enjoyable record; if you’re into pop music, and just want to have some fun, or enjoy cutesy songs, give this a listen. It’s nothing really unique, but that’s okay, because not all music needs to be new and unique.