Olly Murs – ‘Please Don’t Le Me Go’
You have to give credit to the people advising Olly Murs. Instead of going the easy route and rush-releasing a record of the cover versions he swaggered out on last year’s X Factor, they’ve taken their time to recruit some established and respected songwriters for his upcoming debut album. There’s plenty of sonic pensmiths on the liner notes for the record: John Shanks, Claude Kelly, Steve Robson, Trevor Horn, Wayne Hector, Matty Benbrook, and my favourite pop songwriter Eg White. A lot is expected of Murs, and of this record, due in September. He’s even signed a joint deal between Epic Records and Simon Cowell’s Syco Music.
Involved in the first single from the album, ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’, which comes out physically in August. Responsible for writing this one are Steve Robson (best known for one half of Jo O’Meara/Cascada’s ‘What Hurts the Most’) and Claude Kelly (who lists Kelly Clarkson’s ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ and Miley Cyrus’s ‘Party in the USA’ among his credits). The pair have a good pedigree of writing radio hits, but sadly everyone has an off day now and then.
This is exactly what Olly Murs’ debut single is. It’s an off day for everyone involved. We know Murs has the ability to be the new Robbie Williams, his covers of Stevie Wonder, Queen, the Jacksons, and George Michael were particularly impressive. On ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’, it’s not his voice or performance that’s the problem. It’s the song.
The tune starts out with an ice-cream-van jingle intro that sounds distinctly like a rip-off of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’, and this murky backing track keeps going for the entire song. They’ve tried to give it a fuller sound with Mark Ronson-esque production, but it sounds too smooth and contrasts far too sharply with the dodgy melody. At other points, ‘Your Woman’ by White Town sneaks in to the mix. The press release quotes the Sun saying it has a touch of Lily Allen and Paolo Nutini, as well as some UB40 for the older listeners. They’re right, it does. But combined, these influences give the song a very dated feel. What Murs needs to launch his solo career is something fresh, and this is not it.
However, I’m still confident he can use his style well on the album itself. If he has songs of substance, it could be a classic pop album. As long as Eg White can deliver the goods once more, it’ll be fantastic. For now though, we have to hope this is just a missed opportunity, and the rest of his songs are far, far better.
Stream Olly Murs ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’: