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Olly Murs – Never Been Better album review

Olly returns with his fourth studio album ahead of Christmas.

Olly Murs

Olly Murs has emerged as one of the most successful artists to come from The X Factor. Since his appearance on the show in 2009, the singer has enjoyed huge success in the UK with two million selling number one albums and a debut that sold over 800,000 copies. 2012 album Right Place Right Time is his best-selling album to date and it entered the US Billboard 200 at number 19 off the back of Troublemaker which climbed to 25 on the Hot 100. Two years on from that album and Olly is back with fourth album Never Been Better.

Never Been Better is off to a strong start thanks to lead single Wrapped Up featuring Travie McCoy, which has so far peaked at number 3 on, the UK singles chart. The funky slice of pop is Olly doing what he does best and it’s a serious contender for pop song of the year. Fans will be pleased with the familiarity of the track and it’s definitely one of the safer hits on the album that pleasingly bridges the gap between Right Place Right Time and Never Been Better.

The album opens with the superb electro beats of the uptempo Did You Miss Me? a song that was intended to be the first single from the album. The horn loop on the chorus is seriously catchy and we definitely think this one should be a single in the months to come. The next single off the album is the folksy Up that features Demi Lovato. The track will be out next month and is one of the early highlights on the album. It’s sure to help Olly’s profile in the US and solidify Demi’s here in the UK.

Elsewhere on the album Olly delivers surprising variety and Never Been Better is his most cohesive album to date. Title track Never Been Better makes a bold statement of where Olly is in his career, Who Do I Love You packs in big beats for a frenetic near 4 minutes of pop, and Stick With Me borrows the melody from Avicii’s Wake Me Up. Olly proves he has the chops for a big old ballad with Tomorrow which is one of the highlights of the record as Olly reflects on the sometimes fleeting and fickle nature of fame.

Our favourite moment on the album comes on the acoustic riff-filled Seasons. The song isn’t quite as pop as some of the others on the album but hints at a more mature direction that Olly could tread in the future. Album closer is another highlight with Olly stripping things back for a live acoustic feel and he’s never sounded better.

Olly Murs doesn’t really get the respect and recognition he deserves as an artist. For Never Been Better he’s co-written the majority of the songs and he’s made serious steps forward as a vocalist. He’s one of the most successful British male solo artists in the charts today and he’s achieved impressive international success. Never Been Better should easily be another huge hit for Olly and it could finally properly break him in the US. This is easily Olly’s finest album yet.

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