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Review: 'OLLIE'
'Maybe This Was Supposed To Happen'   

-  Label: 'Ollie Music'
-  Genre: 'Soul' -  Release Date: '17th April 2020'

Our Rating:
Is there such a thing as fate? The title of this record muses on this question.

After a life-threatening car crash, Ollie was forced to reassess his life and started recording music as a form of therapy. He says: ”I started writing music as a way to deal with the things that I’ve been through in my life."

Backed by beats and with vocals modified by auto-tune, he often seems on the verge of tears as sings of "rapping my passion" and "spilling my guts" in order to exorcise some of his demons.   Comparisons with Eminem are obvious but Ollie is no lazy copycat. For the most part this is more soul than rap. He pours his rage, fear and self-doubt into these tunes.

After building a strong following on streaming and social platforms, a wealth of messages from devoted fans effectively answered the question posed in Change: "Does anybody feel the same?".

In Blessings, which features Annamarie Rosanio, he expresses deep frustration and declares "I put my pain in these songs."; you'd have to be a hardened cynic to doubt the verity of such cathartic lines.

The spoken word section of Let Go is a kind of love letter to the fans who have stood by him and given him the strength to believe in himself. To consolidate this, recorded messages of support are included in the intense More Than Music III where he raps that "all of my songs are a piece of me". This is more than evident in the single, Broken Down, where the singer's struggle with depression is laid bare as he admits "I can't pretend I'm OK".

In a less self-loathing vein, smoochy songs like Eyes and Walls establish that his libido remains intact but the cheesiness of some of the love songs are hard to forgive. "Just like every rose we both have our thorns" he deadpans in Perfect Landing and begs "will you be mine?" in You & I.

The glibness of such corny lines is in stark contrast to the raw emotions on other tracks and take some of the edge of an album that is otherwise powerful and heartfelt.

  author: Martin Raybould

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OLLIE - Maybe This Was Supposed To Happen