a short site about The Divine Comedy


Finally, The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon has got the budget he deserves and has made the record that validates his past pretensions. The Barry White parody in the Jacques Brel-style tango Change aside, Hannon's vision of Scott Walker singing Noel Coward, arranged by Bacharach & Sondheim (and, in Casanova's case, "inspired by the writings of the 18th Century Venetian gambler, eroticist and spy"), is less concerned with parody than the realisation of a maverick vision. Something For The Weekend, Becoming More Like Alfie and Middle Class Heroes make for a terrific, pop-centred opening, there is an oasis of acoustic calm in Songs Of Love, while The Frog Princess and A Woman Of The World lead the way toward the big-ballad climax of the 40-piece-orchestra-at-Abbey-Road scenario, The Dogs And The Horses. With strong melodies and a lyrical treatise on love that smoulders with knowingly arch comedy, this is music to appeal across all pop tastes. **** (4 stars)

Martin Aston
Q Magazine 06/1996