Matt Berry - Television Themes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Matt Berry - Television Themes

by paul_guyet Rating:7 Release Date:2018-10-05
Matt Berry - Television Themes
Matt Berry - Television Themes

Matt Berry…man, this fellow is a mystery. Although responsible for some of the most fantastically bizarre comedy in recent years (Toast of London, Snuff Box) there is NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT HIS MUSIC. Or at least he demands that you believe that. That said, him covering a dozen or so themes from BBC television shows from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s…well, it isn’t funny, it’s just…very specific.

What’s even stranger is that, for the most part, Berry doesn’t deviate much from the source material; these are less reinterpretations and more re-recordings. There are a few notable differences; he chooses not to sing the lyrics from “The Liver Birds” theme and, occasionally, adds instrumentation and, in one case, lyrics of his own, but otherwise, everything just sounds crisper and less blurred with age. I did notice something fascinating while relistening to the thirty or so minutes of decades-old TV themes: a lot of Television Themes sounds like original (if somewhat more eclectic and upbeat) Berry compositions, especially “Rainbow” and “Picture Box”*.

My favorite aspect of Television Themes is that it exists. Matt Berry said "I’m going to release an album of barely tweaked television themes from my formative years" and he did it. Between this, his work on House of Fools, his general appearance, and the vibe of nearly every piece of music he’s ever penned, the full picture of who Berry truly is becomes clearer. As for the intended audience of this album…that is a little less clear. My first thought is that this is all for himself and anyone out there who likes nostalgia. So, if you are Matt Berry or a fan of slightly reenvisioned TV themes from your childhood (or that of your parents) then, literally, this album was made for you.

* The original is still creepier than the version on offer here.

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