a short site about The Divine Comedy


In Neil Hannon’s world, heartbreak is great fun if you’re dressed for it-and the utterly fantastic Casanova is the musical equivalent of Geena Davis’s Oscar gowns. Neil Hannon is the Divine Comedy; this Northern Irish dandy makes Eurosleaze pop so posh it’s positively depraved. He takes Morrissey’s café-rock sound and piles on ornate orchestrations, disco strings, xylophones, harpsichords, rock guitars, and Motown beats to create overblown symphonies of love, loss, and designer sunglasses. In a song cycle loosely based on the writings of Casanova himself, Neil struts through stories like ‘The Frog Princess’ and ‘A Woman of the World’, confessing erotic adventures you don’t believe for a second. Hannon’s a self-styled cappuccino kid, a jet-setting slattern acting on his own most extravagant fantasies, if only because he can’t persuade a young lady to join him-in the end, he’s cut from the same libidinal cloth as Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker. Neil’s pursuits of ‘Wonderbras and thunder thighs’ provide the loudest laughs you’ll get from a pop record all year, and yet the music’s tatty grandeur gives each song emotional power. He’s nowhere near the star he deserves to be, let alone the star he thinks he is, but he’s ready for his close-up.


Details 10/1996