Bromley-born singer-songwriter Matt Terry won The X Factor in 2016. Impressing the judges and viewers with his remarkable range and his flawless falsetto, Terry got off to a strong start when his Ed Sheeran-penned debut single When Christmas Comes Around peaked at number 3 in the charts. Terry had further success when he appeared on a remix of Enrique Iglesias’ Subeme la Radio alongside Sean Paul and all signs pointed to a promising career in music.
Last month Terry’s single Sucker For You, the first from his album Trouble, arrived with a lot of buzz but failed to break the Top 40. Undeterred Terry released his debut album (something that 2015 winner Louisa Johnson has still yet to do) and it became the worst performing debut of an X Factor winner to date only reaching number 29. New single The Thing About Love has hit the same chart peak as Sucker For You, despite a performance during The X Factor live shows.
It’s a real shame because Terry is a talented guy but perhaps the ballad heavy direction he went on the show gave people expectations that weren’t met with Trouble. The album is a mostly uptempo affair that repositions Terry as a modern pop artist and honestly it’s not a bad debut at all. The set opens with the jerky Sucker For You, which would likely have been a huge hit had say Justin Bieber released it.
For the most part Trouble mixes R&B, dance and pop with plenty of Latin influences, reflecting Terry’s upbringing in Spain. From the mid-tempo falsetto-driven Got You through to the beat-laden ballad Heartless, Terry uses the full range of his voice. He shows off lots of sides to his abilities but there isn’t anything on Trouble that screams breakout hit. Past X Factor winners like Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis have had career-defining songs such as Bad Boys and Bleeding Love but Terry is missing a juggernaut hit like that.
The closest he gets is on The Thing About Love, which is more the direction I think a lot of people expected Terry to go. The ballad plays to his strengths allowing his deep tone to shine on the verses before he hits those high notes during the sweeping chorus.
There are some mis-steps on the album. We know that Terry speaks fluent Spanish and he got a chance to show that off on Subeme la Radio but the two Spanish-language songs here – Mama featuring Ana Mena and Romeo y Juliet just don’t fit with the rest of the record. It feels like a bandwagon-jumping attempt to hit the current Latin craze that’s sweeping the charts.
Much better is Rewriting History, a song that incorporates plenty of falsetto with minimal beats, and the more straightforward uptempo R&B of Try. Got You is another moment that stands out on the record and it could have potentially been a better single choice than Sucker For You.
It’s hard to understand why Trouble hasn’t really hit the chord it should have done with Terry’s fans. The music fits neatly into the current chart climate but something hasn’t connected. Perhaps Terry is a victim of X Factor fatigue, after all the show just had its lowest rated season yet. Unless there’s a turn around in fortune soon, Terry could fade away as quickly as he rose to fame and that would be a huge shame.
Track listing: 1. Sucker For You 2. Got You 3. Trouble 4. The Thing About Love 5. Try 6. Re-writing History 7. Original (feat RedOne) 8. Don’t Ask 9. Mama (featuring Ana Mena) 10. Weigh Me Down 11. Not You 12. Romeo y Juliet 13. Heartless 14. Subeme la Radio (Enrique Iglesias feat Sean Paul and Matt Terry) Record label: RCA Release date: 24th November 2017