a short site about The Divine Comedy

Regeneration

Pop fop returns, infintely less foppish.

Last year's big selling Best Of seems to have served a crucial purpose for Neil Hannon: drawing a line under his nouveau Noel Coward persona and allowing him to re-orientate. Hannon returns with a new thrift-store look for a man once devoted to waistcoats and watch-chains - and the music reflects the change. As Timestretched and Perfect Lovesong prove, there's no shortage of the sumptuous prettiness for which Hannon has long been famed, but there's nothing as arch as Something For The Weekend, nor as rib-tickling as National Express. Instead, as the seductive single Love What You Do proves, Hannon opts to trade in intimacy and melodic strength, a la Paul McCartney circa Martha My Dear. His eloquence, however, remains his own: who else in the current firmament could script a hymn to debauchery whose backing suggests rock-mode Paul Weller, but title it Bad Ambassador?

4/5

John Harris
Q Magazine 04/2001