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Olly Murs - 'Please Don't Let Me Go'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:26 UK time, Saturday, 21 August 2010

Olly Murs

What's that expression about poking a sleeping tiger? In the wake of last year's Christmas Rage Against The Machine campaign, news reports are trickling out that this year's X Factor innovation is the ability to download that week's performances immediately after each show.

This will have an immediate impact on the chart, of course. The show already tends to boost sales of the songs the contestants perform, with high chart placings for at least one old classic every week: in much the same way that Glee basically stapled Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin' to the Top 30 and left it there all year. Now, rather than give that money away to people who just happen to have recorded those songs in the first place, the show is going to make sure they get it for themselves.

Sorry, that's too cynical. What I meant to say is this: now the show is offering fans the chance to buy recordings of the performances they love, rather than having to try and recreate the magic, puppet-style, using a hit from the olden days and a printout.

The knock-on effect could be disastrous. Middle-ranking pop and indie performers are going to struggle to get their traditional No.19 hits, because they'll be knocked down to the low 20s. And what of the people who actually prefer to go and buy the original versions of songs they've seen on the X Factor, especially if those songs have been badly mauled. So there'll be even MORE of a bunfight in the lower 30s, with two versions of the same song battling over the coveted No.35 spot.

In short, it will be just like Glee all over again. And the Rage people are going to be all "oh no you didn't!" and the X Factor people are gonna be all "you'd better believe it, buddy!" and the everyone else people are going to be all "oh man, I am MOVING TO THE MOON."

(Here's the video. In summary: it's summery.)

Of course, poor Olly here is a veteran of the old school X Factor, and as a result has had to go the long way around the houses. He's had to wait until now to release his debut single because now is the time people are thinking about the show again. He gets to stand in front of it, pointing at himself and grinning furiously while yelling "HEY! REMEMBER ME? IT'S OLLY! YOU LOVED ME LAST YEAR!"

AND he's got his own song, a light reggae-tinged thing about love. It's a sweet song, crossing the enormous void between Travie McCoy and Peter Andre with some warmth and skill, and naturally boasting a great big choir to beef up the chorus. It suits the man well, and should see him having a little chart moment of his own, assuming the show doesn't juggernaut all over his chances.

He's lucky he didn't make any enemies in the X Factor production office, mind. Imagine how galling it would be if some new contestant performed this song, and leapfrogged over Olly's version to have The Hit with it. That would be horrific.

Sometimes the modern world is almost too much to bear. *sigh*

Three starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Swear I'm Not Paul says: "What Murs needs to launch his solo career is something fresh, and this is not it."

Beehivecity says: "it's well paced middle-of-the-road pop music, inoffensive and perfect stuff to ensure that Olly sells as many records as possible in the incredibly crowded post-talent-show market which sees many a hopeful crash and burn."

Not Another Music Blog says: "I just find this song and video bland"


  • Comment number 1.

    Great review Fraser, and 3 stars from me too.

    It may be all 'heartfelt' and sweet and summery but my problem is this (it's not exactly a mystery): When Olly was doing a little karaoke on the Excrement Factor, he was very much one of the very good acts; one that didn't have the greatest set of pipes but one that had his own voice y'know?

    So tell me this: Is Simon Cowell (Olly has a joint contract with Syco and Epic) so insecure or just plain dumb that he can't think of an original corner for Olly to stand in? I mean, since when have any of the acts from any Simon Cowell reality show (with the exception of Lemar and Will Young, who were brought to fame when his shows were just additional entertainment for Saturday nights) ever actually been original.

    Any act that has ever been signed to Syco has been marketed as someone else far better than the 'new talent'. Shayne Ward was a new Justin Timberlake, Leona is a Mariah Carey, Leon was marketed as Michael Bublé, and Alexandra is being compared to Beyoncé (though Alex's songs just don't match her standard).

    But of course the people who stood up against Simon's marketing shemes are nowhere to be seen these days, namely Steve Brrokstein. But Rhydian, Paul Potts... all these people are people who stood up against him, or just weren't marketed in the way he wanted because they weren't 'mainstream' enough, so now they've disappeared into obscurity, leaving dry, emotionless numpties to make it big.

    THing is, Simon only sees marketability, not an artists - he will never spawn anything vaguely original from THAT show because once they win, he won't let them be themselves - he doesn't consider the fact that the person he's holding a contract for might actually want to have a lot more input than he let's them have. And if their style isn't marketable enough, he will change it.

    And now, Simon's gunning to squeeze all the juice he can from Olly Murs and market him as the next Will Young.


    I love Will Young, he has a quality to his voice that no other mainstream singer can emulate, so you can imagine my horrified expression upon listening to 'Please Don't Let Me Go' because Olly had never actually used falsetto before, and as far as I'm aware his performances were always quite growly, like he'd had a little whisky every night when he was younger, so why is he crooning like he is Will Young when clearly Will Young is more attractive. *blushes*

    The worst part is, of course, the unforgivable swagger jacking of Will Young. Since when did Olly wear a hat? When did that strategically placed pair of glass appear and wear did that feather come from? More to the point, since when did Olly ever have this 'indie'/Will Young-esque tone to his voice?

    But with that aside (:L) the song is annoyingly inoffensive, dreary pop music that, without the breeze block of the Excrement Factor, would be blown away in the wind and never given a second look in.

    Sorry for the essay, but after Leona, Olly is the most annoying Excrement Factor alumni in like EVAAAA.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's a nice enough song and should secure him a top 10 hit but it does sound a lot like Will Young and is incredibly bland, not terrible like some of JLS's output but nothing to interest anyone really. 2 STARS

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    YASSS!!! Not Another Music Blog is my blog! Thanks for the shoutout, Fraser!

    Yeah, I despise this song, it's so bland and soulless. 1 STAR

  • Comment number 5.

    Better than most X-factor trash... But it's just so underwhelming and cliché...

    2 stars

  • Comment number 6.


    Please bring it back Moderators. The only reason it could possibly have gone was because I may have called a certain ITV shows 'Excrement Factor' and I apologise.

    Either that or some Olly fan got annoyed I called him a numpty.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with that gorgeous dog called Harry .
    Down boy !
    This should be a hit , and could trouble the top 10 , due to it's high profile radio airplay on commercial stations .
    Radio 1 have had the heart to bypass it .
    It is a catchy , sweet , inoffensive kinda song with a memorable chorus .
    It is incredibly easy listening , but by the same token is extremely bland and magnolia , and could be sung by any number of other singers.

    Olly has not stamped his personality on it , and in places , it can be mistaken for a Will Young singalong .

    On a sidenote though , there is no doubting Olly's charisma and sex factor with the ladies . This will be a huge bonus when it comes to aiming at the target song buying market , many of whom will lap this up .

    I expect this to shift at least 40,000 copies in it's first week .

    The only problem is , he is up against the likes of Katy Perry , Kanye West and Brandon Flowers in the race for number 1 .

    I put my money on Katy a month ago , but the Murs Man will give her fierce competition , I'm sure .

    And if you look West , you might see some Flowers wanting some considerable chart action .

    Should be exciting !

    What do you all think ?

  • Comment number 8.

    I must say Katy Perry's single Teenage Dream is the absolute perfect pop single .

    It ticks every single box for a track completely drenched in hooks and pop sensibility .

    As a music lover , it is nigh on impossible to find a single fault with it .

    It is a clear stand out 5 star song .

    I will be very , very surprised if Chart Blog fail to give it five stars .

    It would be a travesty of epic proportions .

  • Comment number 9.

    I thought Teenage Dream wasn't getting released until next week when the album is out? I'm sure it'll be no.1 when it does get released, but if that's not this week then I will be surprised if Taio Cruz doesn't reach no.1 next Sunday.

  • Comment number 10.

    Teenage Dream is released on August 30th , the same day as Olly and Kanye . Brandon releases on August 23rd .

  • Comment number 11.

    I have a feeling the Same Difference comeback will stop Katy and Kanye...



  • Comment number 12.

    Wow Spirit! Teenage Dream a 5 STAR song. I feel it somehow lacks the quality of a 5 STAR song so it gets 4 from me!

  • Comment number 13.

    Oh Randy , what a travesty of epic proportions ! :)

  • Comment number 14.

    Random - congrats on your blog it looks really good, but me being OCD about spelling I immediately noticed the 'n' missin in 'unbiased', just thought I'd point it out asap.(btw really sorry if this offends you, I don't mean it to at all)

  • Comment number 15.

    Yeah Rady , stop missig the "n" out of your words .

    It is so aoyig !

    Sorry for beig so pedatic ! lol

  • Comment number 16.

    LOL @ Spirit!

    Ooops, I hate typos! Thanks for the correction Knoxx! :) I'll fix it now!

  • Comment number 17.

    Ha ha !

    Yeah , Knoxx . DON'T FIGHT IT !

    Randy's a genius .

  • Comment number 18.

    WOOO! My comment is back. Exciting stuff.

  • Comment number 19.

    And it was an excellent comment !

  • Comment number 20.

    Personally, I don't see the Olly and Will Young comparisons at all. Olly has always worn a hat, OddOne. While Will's music is really classy adult contemporary pop with great lyrics and powerful production, Olly is just trying to pull off a Jason Mraz vibe and failing miserably.

  • Comment number 21.

    I haven't heard this song yet and I hope it stays that way.

  • Comment number 22.

    @ 20

    Really Randy? It jumped out at me like a moose on a motorway.

    Okay, maybe I missed that hat, but 'Please Don't Let Me Go' is just a lightweight début single. It does nothing.

    From someone with such a personality, it's particularly dry and lifeless, not conveying any of the Olly we came 'to love' on the X Factor. It's like a completely new, more marketable person.

  • Comment number 23.

    Ugh, makes me sick, he's acting like he's already got the #1 single.


  • Comment number 24.

    Actually, the chances of that post being deleted are pretty high due to a word in the link title, but TAKE A MINUTE MODERATORS!, it's only in the spirit of music and opinions, and of course there's the fact 'nudism' is an art, while stripping is not.

    Hopefully that'll clear up anything the BBC might see as a conflict. :)

  • Comment number 25.

    It's weeks like this that make me lose what little faith I have in the charts these days. It's little wonder hardly anyone cares about them when seemingly anyone who reaches the latter stages of X Factor can easily get a no.1 single with a bit of hype and airplay. I haven't even heard the song but that's not the issue.

    And the most insulting thing is that Simon Cowell will tell everyone how 'hard Olly has worked' and how 'he deserves it'.

  • Comment number 26.

    Strangely after I gave him 2 Stars for this song I'm actually feeling the need to (SHOCK HORROR!) defend Olly Murs. I've heard the song a couple of times over the week and have to admit it has grown on me a bit, not really enough for me to properly like it but enough for me to give it three star if I was feeling generous, and from what I can see there's nothing really that wrong with it, apart from it being bland. If this song was released by any other artist (let's say Will Young) sure it probably wouldn't recieve glowing reviews but it wouldn't create the hate-parade that seems to be thrown Olly's way.

    If you look at the top 40 it's actually no worse than any of the rest and is actually a bit better than a lot of the chart right now, it's nice to have a song that doesn't mention 'shawties' or 'the dancefloor'.

    My point is that it seems more people hate X-Factor and it's ability to make anyone famous than Olly Murs himself, the hatred towards the song seems to be a way of transfering a dislike of Simon Cowell and his music monopoly. As I said before if another artist released this song, and it got the same level of media coverage obviously, it would probably chart the same but the backlash would most likely be less. It might be the current chart climate or just for some unknown reason but this song feels like a breath of fresh, if unoriginal, air, it's a nice song and Olly seems like a nice guy, what's there to hate?

    P.S: I know this whole thing probably seems completely hypocritical when I think back about what I've said about other X-Factor artist but I think the song's alright actually.

  • Comment number 27.

    Your point is a good one, but I find myself disagreeing to an extent.

    You see, Olly may have been in the spotlight on the X Factor, and he may have earned quite a few fans, but at the end of the day X Factor is Saturday night karaoke with a recording contract involved, so we didn't see 'Olly', we heard Olly's voice sing songs chosen for him by Simon or whoever it was mentoring him (I barely watched last year's, it was truly awful).

    Now, Olly had the chance to bring out that cocky Essex swagger from the live shows into a real recording career and he gave us this. It's lifeless, soulless, and has no charm at all: it doesn't even sound like Olly.

    'Please Don't Let Me Go' is OLLY's début single, sure we've heard him sing on the X Factor before but as I said, they weren't his songs. Now we're supposed to hear what Olly can really do given control over what he sings and what he writes, but if 'Please Don't Let Me Go' is supposed to convince us he's got something special, then I fail to see how he's going to last (actually I don't: teenage girls) because, if this is what he keeps churning out, then I'm afraid he has been moulded by Simon into someone else already, in a bid to piggy back off of someone's success, rather than create his own niche.

    And regarding the Will Young comment, yes, if Will Young had put this out, it wouldn't be hailed as his greatest moment, that's for sure, but Will Young is already a seasoned popstar - he's been around for ages, he has nothing to prove with his music, so he's allowed a few mis-steps. But as for Olly, this, his début cannot be simple and basic, but it is. It should pack a much more memorable punch than it does.

    Any artist releasing this without the leg-up from the X Factor would find themselves spiralling around the #90-#100 margin.

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree with what your saying about being disappointed at Olly's lack of creativity with his song but what could anyone expect really? He got famous because he could sing not cause he could write a great pop song so to expect him to come out with anything exciting or inventive is a bit unfair.

    Also on an X-Factor related subject Start Without You is at no.1 on Itunes, WHY!!!!!! Surely it's rubbishness is obvious from first play so why buy it! Even Same Difference's new song is better than that!

  • Comment number 29.

    'Party Girl' for president. Whoever she is.


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