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Opium is a credible, perfectly timed return from underrated singer-songwriter
Colin Carberry, 16 Apr 2008
It’s the ideal time for Mark Geary to release Opium.
Damien Rice is between records, Josh Ritter is winding up his campaign for The Historical Conquests Of, and, post-Oscar, you’d imagine that Glen Hansard would be kept pretty busy Stateside.
So, while the public’s appetite for tousled, emotive, singer-songwriters shows no sign of abating, in 2008 it looks in danger of remaining unsatisfied.
Why shouldn’t Geary be the one to take advantage of the opportunity?
He has everything necessary to satisfy the job spec, after all.
An apprenticeship alongside Jeff Buckley at Sin-É, and a number of warmly received albums released since the turn of the decade have established him as the boy most likely. And, as ‘Always’ and ‘Tuesday’ prove, he’s certainly a dab hand at conjuring a patina of acoustic reverence and hard-won sentiment.
And there’s the rub. While Opium is a sincere and expertly crafted album that will appeal to an established fan base, there’s little on it to excite those dubious of the Celt-centric troubadour project. Although, considering how Springsteen, Dylan, various Hollywood actresses, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have all thus far bought in with enthusiasm, I can’t see Geary being all that concerned.
Key Track: ‘Tuesday’