a short site about The Divine Comedy


His first record for a major label sees Neil Hannon trading in the flowery, orchestral exuberance of his previous five albums for a more sober, at times, depressed approach. On hand to help his producer Nigel Godrich, overseer of Radiohead’s bleak best-sellers, who brings electronically-tinged gravitas to self-examinations like ‘Note To Self’. Hannon’s description of the record’s darker mood as “What happens when you take away the top layer of cheese” is apt, though he can’t resist the occasional string-driven frolic like ‘Perfect Lovesong’. It’s consistently well written, if occasionally overwrought, and while fans of hits like ‘National Express’ may not like its earnestness, Regeneration marks, for Hannon, a personal and musical breakthrough.

The Observer 03/2001