a short site about The Divine Comedy

Regeneration

Songwriting dandy reins in the puns.

Neil Hannon, aka The Divine Comedy, has been the U.K.’s leading musical ironist for some years now – a worthy successor to the arch tradition of the Kinks, Pet Shop Boys and Noël Coward. And so, inevitably, he’ll never be as successful in the States as in the land of clouds and fried Mars bars. But Regeneration, the Divine Comedy’s sixth album, could find fans on either side of the Atlantic, as it’s their first to pay as much attention to the sound as the songs. Produced by Nigel Godrich in his first work since Radiohead’s Kid A / Amnesiac diptych, the record has some of the same sweeping aural vistas (minus the abstract clanking) as well as an exhausted loneliness all its own. On ‘Mastermind’, Hannon pleads, “You don’t need an indie song to figure out what’s going on / Tell me that I’m normal, tell me that I’m sane.” Hannon once believed that happiness was a warm pun; now that he’s stripped away some of the high-gloss verbiage, we can more plainly hear the sorrow underneath.

3.5/5

Gavin Edwards
Rolling Stone US, 28/02/2002