a short site about The Divine Comedy

Fin de Siècle

With a croon in his heart, The Divine Comedy’s frontman and perpetual contender Neil Hannon returns to deliver a typically arch comment on the state of the nation at the fag-end of the millennium. While the smirking lyrics, game-show lost demeanour and cod-orchestral grandeur remain largely intact, there’s a brooding quality to the likes of the churning ‘Thrillseeker’ that leaves much of the album resembling a companion piece to Pulp’s This Is Hardcore. Take the malevolent, brass-laden ‘Sweden’: rarely could an ode to the joys of tranquil Scandinavia sound so menacing. Then again, Hannon can’t resist raising an ironic eyebrow, even if the album’s half over before the arrival of the hilariously insincere bus-trip narrative ‘National Express’. Stardom awaits, Mr Hannon. Again.


Danny Leigh
Sky 1998