As X Factor winners and high placers continue to appear on the airwaves in increasing numbers every year, it can be hard to navigate through them all and discern what’s worth your time. It’s been a good seven years since Olly Murs had his time on the show, but his career’s kept a steady hold in the time since; with four albums under his belt up until 2014, he’s almost always caught the top spot on the UK charts, showing he’s got some longevity. Now that he’s on his fifth album with 24 Hrs, it’s all but clear that he’s here to stay, though whether his music holds up is another question.
24 Hrs is a largely safe collection, ranging from R&B to funky synthpop tracks and a few ballads thrown in for good measure; similar to his usual fare, though with a heavier focus on the synth side. Across 12 regular edition tracks and the accompanying bonus ones, the quality of the album tends to vary wildly. While there’s no major low point to be found across the first twelve tracks—it’s actually rather enjoyable, if not somewhat generic and unadventurous—its four bonus tracks are the clear low point of the album, either containing unfitting ideas like the pop rock spin of That Girl and the promising build-up but majorly disappointing drop of Before You Go. The twelve earlier tracks do set a better pace, with the funky Read My Mind and the final track and piano ballad Flaws being honourable mentions, though much of it isn’t exactly attention grabbing and the lyrics of heartbreak can be somewhat cliché.
Its highest moments, however, are some of the finest tracks in Murs’ discography. Private’s juxtaposition of its ethereal R&B tinged verses and its hard stuttering synth-driven chorus are the best production moment on the album when working in tandem with his raised vocals, and Back Around transitions from an acoustic guitar as its opening feature to banging anthemic chorus with surprising ease. These more electronic moments are fresher than the R&B and ballad cuts that exist on the album, and balances them out well; it’s a decent mix of Murs’ popular style and something a little differently, even if a lot of it isn’t entirely memorable outside of its peak songs.
The few brilliant moments don’t really make up for the mediocrity of the rest of the album, but the four bonus tracks are thankfully not the defining moment of the album as a whole. It’s a middle of the road collection of tracks from Murs, not the worst or best he’s ever offered, though he does hit peaks he hasn’t really reached before on a few different tracks. If you want more of the usual from Murs, 24 Hrs will definitely satisfy your needs while giving you something a little extra, even if it won’t blow your mind.