Just as Joe McElderry’s fortunes seem to be fading (or uncertain at best), X Factor runner-up Olly Murs is transforming into a pop powerhouse.
Once upon a time, the very mention of Olly Murs would have put me in a murderous rage. His cheesy lad-about-town image and those godawful hats he wears, not to mention his atrocious granddad dancing.
But fast-forward three singles and Murs seems to be undergoing a metamorphosis. Thinking Of Me was catchy enough to get stuck in my head a few times. Although I still can’t look at his face without wanting to drop a piano on it. And with Heart On My Sleeve, we see Murs in ballad territory, dialling down the laddishness and aiming for sensitive and vulnerable.
What the single exposes though is a secret strategy to transform Olly Murs into a one-man Take That. This unashamedly borrows everything from Gary Barlow’s box of songwriting tricks. There are a couple of points (where he sings the “Whoaaaaa” part) that you almost expect the song to change into Rule The World. I’ve heard that for his next video, he’ll be rowing a canoe down the Thames.
Although Heart On My Sleeve loses points for originality, it’s still a ton better than Westlife’s attempts to clone everything successful that Take That ever did.
Another redeeming feature is that Murs – sit down for this bit, it’s a shocker – actually has a good voice. Though his other material to date never really showcased it, this song gives him a chance to break out.
As to the video, well it’s Olly brooding alone in a flat for the most part, clearly styled by the M&S Take That polo neck sweater range. Nothing wrong with that. Although it does feel like he’s auditioning to be Robbie’s stand-in should the TT ever implode again. Have a look for yourselves…
Okay, I’ve never written anything positive about Olly Murs before. I’m off to have a shower. *shivvers*