Matt Berry’s Opium Review

Matt Berry’s Opium Review

Even reading about Jack Russells, he''s awesome
Even reading about Jack Russells, he''s awesome

I’ve always been a great admirer of Matt Berry, ever since I saw my first episode of The Mighty Boosh. His bizarre sense of humour combined with his rich, expressive voice are a winning combination for the screen. But of the many projects I’ve enjoyed him in, I’d never have realised one of them would be a music album.

I bought Matt Berry’s Opium on one of the many recommendations Amazon seems to assault you with every time you log in to have a browse around. On this occasion, having logged on to see if Season 3 of The IT Crowd had been released on DVD yet, Opium was sitting on my list of recommendations.

Having seen Snuff Box (and loved every wierd-arse moment of it), I knew Berry was a composer and singer, but didn’t know he’d made an album. I love the theme to Snuff Box, it’s a mind worm of a song. You can be sitting anywhere and break out humming it. And while I’m loathe to validate Amazon’s many attempts at cross-promoting, it sounded far too cool not to buy. So about a week and half later (importing, eh?) it arrived and I’ve been listening to it this week.

It’s a bit hard to explain what it sounds like. If you’ve seen Snuff Box, then think more of the same. If you haven’t (and I can only suggest that you SHOULD), then it’s a strange mix of psychidelic progressive-rock with a comic-sexual twist. Much like Berry’s other work, it’s quite odd to begin with, but grows on you quickly. While I enjoyed most tracks, stand out tracks were “Lay Your Love On Me” (a musical odyssey of making love above a pub), “Love Is A Fool” (what could be called the full version of the Snuff Box theme) and “The Hangman”.

Good! Great! Tre magnific! Words of approval!
Good! Great! Tre magnific! Words of approval!

The verdict: It’s not rock out music, but it’s fantastic working or chill out stuff. Berry’s voice is equally matched for both singing and spoken word, and a combination of both makes up this album. I loved it. It’s progressive rock, juxtaposed with everyday speaking pattern lyrics.

It’s kind of difficult to know if I’d recommend it to others, as just like Berry’s humour, it’s not for everyone, but I heartily enjoyed it. Check out some Snuff Box on YouTube if you want to know if it’s up your alley!

For those of you interested, you can check out Berry’s Myspace page to hear tracks from his new album Witch Hazel.

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