The stuff that comes out of his mouth is just atrocious.
Tim: The X Factor’s a funny old thing, isn’t it? It’s ostensibly meant to find the country’s best act, but winning isn’t necessarily any better a thing than just getting to the final, as far as future careers go. For every Leona and Alexandra, you get a Leon (who?) and a Steve (according to Wikipedia, currently entertaining crowds in his local Pizza Hut).
For the other finalists, admittedly most just go back home. Some may put out a novelty record, or perhaps a truly dire album of covers, and some may become novelties themselves. But there are a few that do properly well, like JLS. And then there’s Olly Murs.
His first single was, well, not great. It wasn’t terrible – it got to number one, probably – but it wasn’t really anything to write home about. His second single, on the other hand, is quite incredible, being as it is practically a lesson in how not to write words.
Tom: Ooh, that starts very well and doesn’t really stop. It’s a very summery song, so it’s possibly a shame that he’s releasing it as we plunge into the depths of winter, but I don’t care. I automatically started bouncing a little in my chair.
Tim: I did as well, actually, because you’re correct: the music is enjoyable. But then he starts singing, and the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just atrocious.
You’d think it couldn’t get any worse than the very first two lines, ‘making plans/your old Raybans’. Then it dips further, ‘we used to be/Bob Marley’ and you think, ‘Seriously?’ By the time the second verse gets going, with ‘pebble beach/pinched our feet’, you’re pretty much looking for the nearest office block, just so you can throw your speakers out of a tenth floor window.
Tom: For once, this isn’t grating for me. I think it’s because I’m too busy being suckered in by the chord progression and chukka-chukka percussion. How can you not like this? It’s lovely!
Tim: Because of the words. There are ten ‘rhyming’ couplets in that song. I forced myself to check them. There are precisely two (2) that rhyme and three that are vaguely justifiable. The rest, just…dear God, what did humanity do to deserve this?
Tom: I started singing along with the backing singers on the first listen, Tim. That means it’s very predictable, sure, but it also means I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Tim: Part of me seriously thinks (perhaps even hopes) he was trying to make this bad, for some cool, ironic, silly-hat-wearing reason, and that the good ones slipped in accidentally, because if this is an honest attempt to write a decent song, it’s an honest attempt that a five year old would make.
Tom: I defy you to not smile at that piano outro. It’s even got a lovely PLONK at the end. It’s wonderful.
Tim: Maybe, but you know what the worst thing is? The absolute worst thing? He compares himself to Bob Marley.
Tom: Which may be true, but it just doesn’t change my opinion, which is that I smiled listening to this song. I think it’s just the style hitting a bypass switch on the cynical part of my brain.
Tim: But, Bob Marley was a musician who did reggae because it was where he came from and he was good at it. Olly Murs, on the other hand, is a middle class cock from Essex with a word-that-he’d-rhyme-with-deducting ridiculous hat who does it because he thinks it makes him cool. It doesn’t. IT MAKES HIM AN UTTER PRICK.
Tom: Word that he’d rhyme with deducting? — oh. Clever.
Wait. Hang on. I just watched the video, rather than just listening to it. And now I despise him. I’m thinking fall in, just fall in all through his swaggering leprechaun-like cockery. That’s all it took. I still like the song, I just wish someone else was singing it.
Tim: Oh, God, he’s SUCH A KNOB*. But at least he’s lost the hat, which his something.