a short site about The Divine Comedy

Fanfare For The Comic Muse

From the record label that first brought us Into Paradise and Power Of Dreams, comes another very young Irish band. Though this particular trio has little less potential than both of the former and (especially) the latter.

Fanfare For The Comic Muse, their debut album, is not only cumbersome in title, but also in content. With a mere seven songs, it offers 26 minutes worth of deadpan and distinctly morose tunes, delivered in sulky, sombre tones.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a bit of harsh realism, but while the likes of Bradford convey their gloom with charm and poignant irony, Divine Comedy do not. Their sullen sound suggests that a smile rarely crosses their face, and recent live performances confirm that.

‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ and ‘Bleak Landscape’ are representative of the whole each lacking any life or gusto, and are simply devoid of enthusiasm. Yet, the album’s one redeeming feature, ‘Tailspin’, has just the right ingredients – it’s a track that finally invites such descriptions as fiery and blistering. But sadly, it’s all over far too quickly.

For now they are a possibly interesting prospect, but they could be so much more. And time will no doubt tell.


Nick Duerden
Record Mirror 11/08/1990