a short site about The Divine Comedy

Fin de Siècle

The makers of Duckie/Popstarz favourite ‘Something For The Weekend’ return with a largely bonkers sixth album that’s undoubtedly the best thing the Byronic Neil Hannon has done. Mercifully, it’s not the painfully tongue-in-cheek mess that his contribution to the Noël Coward tribute album suggested it might be. It’s the lushest, most moving thing Hannon and co-conspirator Joby Talbot have concocted, with reasonably straightforward brief encounters like ‘Commuter Love’ rendered as heartbreaking epics. Opener ‘Generation Sex’ is a wonderfully savage comment on Princess Di’s demise (the album’s release on the anniversary of her death): “Lovers watch their backs / There’s hacks in macs / Take snaps / Through telephoto lenses / Chase Mercedes Benzes / Through the night.” Quite what he’s on about in mad extravaganzas like positively Wagnerian ‘Sweden’ or ‘Eric The Gardener’ is anybody’s guess, though… whatever it is, it sounds fantastic. Very possibly a masterpiece.

David Peschek
Gay Times 09/1998