Marry Me

Marry Me

In the four years since Olly Murs released his sixth album—2018’s You Know I Know, which doubled with a greatest hits collection—he parted ways with his label, and seemingly cleared house creatively, too. Where the credits on his previous records were once a roll call of Britain’s songwriting establishment, none of the usual suspects have contributed to Marry Me, his first release as an independent artist. Perhaps his impending nuptials influenced the artistic monogamy on this record, which sees Murs team up with David Stewart and Jessica Agombar (the duo behind hits for BTS and the Jonas Brothers) for a cohesive offering of polished pop songs devoted to love. As might be expected from an album with such a bold declaration for a title, Marry Me assumes the maximalist energy of a flashmob public proposal: dramatic strings on “25,” lust driven by new jack swing influenced production on “Do Me Like That,” the crowd-raising, marching percussion of “Best Night Of Your Life,” and soaring choruses all round. Murs sings of love he’s afraid to lose, love he’ll do anything to keep and love he loses himself in to the exclusion of everything else, painting a complicated picture of his search for ‘The One.’ The toe-tapping, finger-snapping title track, however, keeps it as simple as “1-2-3” and “A-B-C”: If someone makes you feel like your best self, that’s how you know it’s time to get married. When the showmanship falls away on album closer “Let Me Just Say,” what’s left is the sort of sweet, sentimentality that should be at the centre of any proposal. ‘You’re the most wonderful part of the day,’ Murs croons over a soft piano and guitar beat that calls to mind classic 1980s’ romantic movies, providing a sincere full stop to the entertaining bombast.

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