With his fifth album Olly Murs solidifies his status as one of the best pop stars around. He may have come second on The X Factor but Olly's career goes from strength to strength and 24 HRS is the catchy, cocky, confident sound of a man at the top of his game.
The quality of the voice is a given by now. It's the quality of the songs that really impresses here. You Don't Know Love is a stonking pop track that ranks amongst the year's best, new single Grow Up is a witty ditty about immature other-halves, there's a touch of Massive Attack to Years & Years and Unpredictable has an irresistible beat.
Murs has revealed he wrote or co-wrote many of the songs after breaking up with long-time girlfriend Francesca Thomas and there are a couple of heart-tearers here, like the title track and Love You More. But it's not a wallow in misery, more an upbeat pop-dance album and Olly's most accomplished yet.
That Essex-boy sense of humour shines through on Private (“I don't do PDA”), which has the smoothest of grooves and catchiest of hooks, and if the very sexy Read My Mind doesn't have you up and dancing you must have feet of concrete.
On the lovely ballad Flaws Olly sings about his failings. It's ironic, then, that it's the last track on a flawless album.
'24 HRS' is out now.
Words: Simon Button