a short site about The Divine Comedy


After years of swishing about in a protective suit of irony, Neil Hannon has put the cravat and smocking jacket back in the dressing-up box and revealed himself as a phenomenal songwriter fronting a powerful band. Hannon has replaced his Noël Coward influences with a mixture of Hunky Dory-era Bowie (Bad Ambassador comes complete with Mick Ronson-style guitar riffs) and White Album Paul McCartney. Hannon can’t do without the slightly arcane language - “The weeks go by quicker than drunks knock back liquor” - but now he’s equally capable of yelling “What the f**k s happening?” Bringing the Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich into the equation was a smart move, as was Hannon’s willingness to involve the band more in developing the songs; his distinctive voice had never had a better setting. If you’ve dismissed the Comedy as a bunch of arty fops, it’s time to rethink.

The Sunday Times 2001