Our Wiwi Jury continues their review of the six acts competing in the UK’s Eurovision: You Decide selection. In this review, we’re looking at Matthew James with his song, “A Better Man”. Matthew was formerly Matthew Pateman, lead singer of the memorable 90s boyband, Bad Boys Inc. Find out what we thought about the song below, and don’t forget to vote in our Eurovision: You Decide poll to have your say too.
Matthew James – “A Better Man”
“A Better Man” reviews
Max: I don’t entirely dislike this — it’s inoffensive and well-structured. But it just sounds so early-00s that I can’t see past the dated production. This is easily the weakest song of the line-up, and I won’t be disappointed to see this bland entry stay well away from Stockholm.
Edd: I don’t agree with Swedes writing Eurovision songs for other countries, but I can usually forgive them as they tend to be the best ones. Sadly for Matthew, this is the worst song in the selection — by far. It sounds like a Robbie Williams B-Side from 2002, but with even less personality. An uncool song sung by an uncool singer: it surely would be another nul points for the UK.
Anthony: The idea of sending a former boyband member might send shudders down your spine, but unlike with Ireland’s Nicky Byrne, I have to facepalm at this decision. “A Better Man” sounds like it’s over a decade too late and to rub salt into the wounds, this was the confirmed winning entry from BASCA. As if you wonder why Europe are using Swedish songwriters on their national selection shows.
William: I don’t know what it is, but this song sounds sleazy to me: “I’ll take care of all your needs…you reach down and change my world.” Eww. But the lyrics are really an afterthought for me. The main problem is the song, which sounds dated rather than vintage and lacks a catchy hook. In a field of 25 finalists this would undoubtedly get lost, and I’m not convinced Matthew James has what it takes to give it lift. Let it stay lost in the 90s, rather than in the grand final of Eurovision 2016.
Chris: This is just dire. It sounds like a cheap throwback to the 90s, which is probably about right for Matthew’s Bad Boys Inc. history. He’s a good singer, but even the styling of how he performs this track makes it seem dated. Imagine putting this up against the likes of Sergey Lazarev or Justs: there’s absolutely no competition. Dead in the water and I hope his “name value” doesn’t sway any voters.
Antranig: Matthew James might be “A Better Man”, but he is in desperate need of a better song. The lyrics make me cringe, the music is not enjoyable and the vocals are nothing worth writing home about. After listening to it three times in a row, I can’t find one thing I like about it — surely there must have been at least one better song submitted to the BBC.
Deban: Snippets of this would work fine as pre-boarding background music, but I could live without three minutes of it on repeat. It’s bland and representative of music selected for background only.
Luis: Mixed feelings on this one, as it could be a decent effort, but that chorus and its slow cadence brings it down completely. It’s as if he is regretting what he is singing (as if he were in Electro Velvet). The 90s boyband sound is still there also, and it makes this sound dated. Dated and melancholic: that is not exactly how you become “a better man”.
In our UK Wiwi Jury, we have 14 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 7.5.
I love this song!! The 90s/00s vibe is what I find so amazing!! Though I know that for the best shot in Stockholm, Darline or Bianca must win
This is the only song of the 6 that I’ve woken up with playing in my head. Granted all the ‘retro boyband’ comments have a point, but compared to the rest this is a song I could see outside ESC, the rest are just aiming at ‘Eurovision’ and that’s not how Loreen won…
I have to admit I really like this song. It is, like Robyn wrote, the only one that’s stuck in my head. And it is kinda different… and special, I dunno, I just like it, I’m with Nitzan here, it seems like nostalgic or something. The other UK tracks are very forgettable to me, don’t think they could do well at all.
@mad-professor The jury panel looks promising. I’m more excited on what Jay Revell (stage director) has this say about the overall performances & presentation of the song entries.
Something about this I really like, could be the nostalgic sound or the gloomy-emotional chorus. It won’t be my choice for ESC but it’s the one I’ll like listening to after the contest.
At first I hated it because of what I heard on the preview but after hearing the full version its not that bad. Its modern and Matthew is a decent singer. Let’s see how it will all turnout during the national selection show.
Slightly off-topic, but I love Carrie Grant for telling it as it is: https://twitter.com/CarrieGrant1/status/702517129917177856
So awful. Could’ve really pulled another contestant from the Voice over this dud.
I agree that it is not good but still, it is better than the other songs in the UK selection in my opinion. At least, he sounds like a professional singer to some extent.