a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

Fanfare For The Comic Muse

Setanta have done it again. The London-based Irish label that discovered "Power of Dreams" and "Into Paradise" have found yet another fresh and exciting new talent with this incredibly young three-piece from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Not a full-length album as such but the seven tracks that comprise "Fanfare for the Comic Muse" are a blissful and assured introduction to a charming little combo. Comparisons with that other pimply pop band from the tortured North, the venerable Undertones, are inevitable, no less because this selection is produced by John O'Neill.

And a fine job he has done too, as together they deliver a no-frills approach to their wondrously minimalist songs. The immediate reaction is to wonder at their glorious use of harmonies over songwriter Neil Hannon's crystal clear, shimmering guitar.

Their luscious, slow, undulating ballads, such as the weaving "Rise and Fall" and seductive "Bleak Landscape", sees Hannon really baring his heart and soul. One things for sure, his record collection must be stuffed full of classic West Coast sounds, to come up with such a divine dreamy fare. A grand fanfare, alright, and that's no joke.

Jerry Smitht
NME 11/08/1990