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Bang Goes The Knighthood

The Divine Comedy

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Album Review

Neil Hannon's tenth full-length album under the Divine Comedy banner finds the jovial tunesmith expounding on the elegant, aristocratic chamber pop that has become his forte since the project’s inception over two decades ago. The lighter, more orchestral tone that began with 2004’s glorious Absent Friends is in full effect on Bang Goes the Knighthood, a breezy 12-song concoction of witticisms and laments populated with the usual assortment of hopeless romantics, ballers, and gadflys and clueless upper-class youth. Hannon’s fetish for Scott Walker/Burt Bacharach/Oscar Wilde-isms comes full circle on the theatrical opener, “Down in the Streets Below”; the jaunty “Neapolitan Girl” skips effortlessly through the city on a foundation of Serge Gainsbourg strings; and “The Lost Art of Conversation” celebrates the great orators of politics, philosophy, and literature with one of the more effortless piano-driven Beatlesque melodies that the artist has crafted to date. Not very powerful stuff, but Hannon's built a career on being the tipsy and outgoing though secretly lonesome partygoer on the veranda with the best jokes, and while the whole affair can feel a bit slight, it’s certainly never dull. Cheers.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Divine Comedy is the alias for Neil Hannon, a British pop singer/songwriter with aspirations of becoming a new wave fusion of Scott Walker, Morrissey, and Electric Light Orchestra. During the early '90s, he built up a strong cult following with a pair of idiosyncratic, critically acclaimed records before his third album, Casanova, became a mainstream success in the wake of Britpop and Pulp's popularity. "Becoming More Like Alfie" and "Something for the Weekend," both pulled from Casanova, became...
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Bang Goes The Knighthood, The Divine Comedy
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