a short site about The Divine Comedy

A Short Album About Love

Neil Hannon is God! Ok, maybe just a pop deity of such scope that he was able to follow up his recent masterpiece Casanova with this tribute to love and devotion that could even make O.J. feel a bit melancholy after hearing it. Backed by a 30-piece orchestra, Neil presents these new tracks in a live setting with production that bristles. The sweeping strings and swinging brass of ‘Everybody Knows (Except You)’ create a bed in which Neil’s baritone attempts to coax the object of his desire into, while the backing vocals and Bacharach-style arrangement keep the mood light and the outcome hopeful. ‘If’, premiered during the Casanova tour, becomes a tour-de-force of metaphorical proportions as his laundry list of hypotheticals, “If you were a horse, I’d clean the crap out of your stable… and never once complain” or “If your name was Jack, I’d change mine to Jill for you” stream by, building in intensity as the song progresses until they stop cold at the height of his emotional and musical crescendo… brilliant! Years from now, all seven of those songs may well turn out to be standards after popular music/culture has had a chance to chew on them for a while. Too bad ‘Ol Blue Eyes’ pipes can barely such in air anymore, much less breath out a tune, or he’d be singing the praises and songs of Mr. Hannon. Instead, we’ll keep them all hidden from the tragedy of Celine Dion. Listen to The Divine Comedy and see what happens.

Jim ‘ENO’ Roe
Yeah Yeah Yeah No.7, 1997