Reviews - Week 51


The Divine Comedy

Absent friends

Parlophone Records

After a long absence and the difficulty process of breaking up the band, Neil Hannon aka The Divine Comedy is back with a brand new record. An album I have been waiting anxiously to hear. I wasn't too worried about the fact the band was down to only one member because that was how it had all started, but I was curious about what it would sound like. I liked their last album 'Regeneration' a lot, but I like all their other stuff too.

Well, the new album sounds like The Divine Comedy, pre-'Regeneration'. Neil Hannon is still playing with his friends - there are a number of people from the old band line-up on this record. Joby Talbot is still in charge of the orchestra, and there is a more orchestral sound on this record that on the last.

However, listening to these songs, it seems to me that Neil Hannon has grown up. He has moved on from songs about girls, songs like 'Commuter Love', 'The Frog Princess' and the promiscuity of 'More Like Alfie'. Instead there are songs about family life ('Leaving Today') and reflection ('Charmed Life').

But I like the new Divine Comedy album. All the trademarks are there - the swirling music and soaring vocals, it's still clever and funny and a little bit poppy.

Favourite songs would be 'Freedom Road', for it's beautiful simplicity and the heart-breaking 'Leaving Home'. The new single 'Come Home Billy Bird' is pretty good too. There is nothing to rival the catchiness of 'National Express', but there was always more to The Divine Comedy than catchy tunes, and all that is apparent here.

Grainne Lynch





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