a short site about The Divine Comedy

Victory For The Comic Muse

The night album: little to declare but his genius.

Pasticheur, parodist, satirist, vignettist – Neil Hannon is clever, but is he clever enough? The most elaborated worked-on song here, ‘Lady Of A Certain Age’, is almost a sequel to Peter Startedt’s 1969 Number 1 ‘Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)’, a mournful snapshot of a tipsy Reviera Set coquette facing old age. It’s very clever indeed, but why? Why not retired colonels in Tunbridge Wells? Bowler-hatted City gents? if only Hannon’s antiquarian cast of mind had a Proustian precision and pathos, but, typical of the 10 Hannon originals here, it’s a touch too ITV costumes drama: late ‘60s Ray David knock-offs as if orchestrated by Wally Stott. Which can actually prove highly agreeable in small doses, and Hannon never lets his arch baritone restrict his melodic ambition. A Fabergé egg rather than the Last Supper.


Mat Snow
Mojo 07/2006