While Murs has crafted a fabulously catchy chorus, the vocal production really does strip any ounce of personality from it.
Now well over a decade into his music career, the self-proclaimed ‘prince of pop’ (via his press releases) is reinventing himself once more with the reggae-pop-infused new single Die Of A Broken Heart.
As the lead single from his upcoming seventh studio album Marry Me, it’s hard to see where Olly Murs fits in the current UK pop landscape. On the one hand, he has a mammoth UK arena tour in 2023 with support from Scouting For Girls. On the other, what does he have to do to get people to care about his new music? His 2018 album You Know I Know is a double-record: one half new songs, the other some of his ‘greatest hits’ in a clever scheme to release new music but having the appeal of having all his hits in one place to boost sales and streams. However, clearly, that stunt could not be replicated again, and therefore Die Of A Broken Heart sees Murs clearly trying to capture the TikTok generation, perhaps at the consequence of losing some of his older fans.
The song’s official press release screams of it being a last-ditch attempt of having some sort of mainstream hit on the album, with Murs admitting that he and his team were “reading what was trending, reading what was TikTok’ing” ahead of writing this song – and it shows. While the song is undeniably catchy – the song’s refrain of ‘there’s seven billion people in this world / and all I want is you’ has been stuck in my head since its release – it is just utterly devoid of any personality, a massive shame particularly as Murs is one of the best live pop performers around.
Murs’ vocals are completely laced in autotune, clearly a creative decision as opposed to hiding any vocal errors, but it makes his quite unique vocals borderline unrecognisable and just morph into any anonymous Maroon 5 or Jason Derulo clone. While the reggae-pop production is bright and cheery, it makes the song feel dated upon arrival, harking back to the 2015-16 run of tropical-infused hits such as MAGIC!’s Rude (whatever happened to them?) and DJ Snake’s Let Me Love You which are currently in their weird period of time where they’re too recent to feel nostalgic, but not recent enough that they don’t sound dated.
Of course, this is no reason to write off the album just yet. After all, it is an undeniably catchy song, it’s just lacking any sort of personality. It doesn’t help that Murs’ press release is littered with his influences for Marry Me, which is completely normal for any artist, but when all the influences are recently popular media (The Greatest Showman, The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights, “TikTok’ing” music), it’s just hard to get excited.
Die Of A Broken Heart is out now via EMI Records, check is out here: