a short site about The Divine Comedy

Victory For The Comic Muse

Purgatorial return from chamber-pop fop

With a title that quotes EM Forster while echoing The Divine Comedy’s own long-deleted debut, and an opening track (‘Dying A Virgin’) that begins amid Nyman strings and tinkling Bloomsbury dialogue, Neil Hannon’s new record harks ardently back to his pre-Casanova ‘90s, when he was still a kind of wry, tweedy, one-man Gaslight Orchestra. But while he recreates his past modes, he can’t recapture the audacious conceits or raptures of Liberation and Promenade. Songs like ‘Woman Of A Certain Age’ and ‘Mother Dear’ have the fusty-feel of mannerist reproductions, while the abominable cover of ‘Party Fears Two’ would prompt the shade of Billy Mackenzie to release the hounds.

2/5

Stephen Troussé
Uncut 07/2006