31 Songs, 1 Hour, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Wildly romantic and just arch enough, Britpop’s great wit returns in vintage form. Neil Hannon might keep an eyebrow gently raised through “Catherine the Great”’s regal pop and the Noel Coward-like “Funny Peculiar”, but he’s equally seductive while playing his declarations of love with a straight bat (“The One Who Loves You”, “To the Rescue”). Naturally, lush, orchestral arrangements and melodies that sear themselves onto your brain are fitted as standard.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Wildly romantic and just arch enough, Britpop’s great wit returns in vintage form. Neil Hannon might keep an eyebrow gently raised through “Catherine the Great”’s regal pop and the Noel Coward-like “Funny Peculiar”, but he’s equally seductive while playing his declarations of love with a straight bat (“The One Who Loves You”, “To the Rescue”). Naturally, lush, orchestral arrangements and melodies that sear themselves onto your brain are fitted as standard.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5

24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Vintage & beautiful NH: just short of brilliant

Briefcase Ben

First things first, obviously I am a self confessed Hannon-ite (this is a day of release review after all) so I'm a little partisan, but ...

The classic NH elements are all there: the wit, the melodies and the lush orchestrations ('To The Rescue' is achingly gorgeous). It's a must for any fan of sophisticated, thoughtful and clever pop, NH aficionado or not. Overall, it's simply a beautiful album.

In my view however, it lacks the inventiveness of previous albums such as Casanova and Victory for the Comic Muse: they (and many others) get the Gold medal; this one gets the Silver. Nothing NH ever does drops as low as a Bronze.

Smiles. Laughter & tears

PalaceMike

If you like The Divine Comedy and Neil Hannon, you will love this.

If you are new to DC try Casanova, Liberation and Bang goes the Knighthood first to get Neil's take on life.

The main album is an eclectic mix of classical, pop and love song which is really easy to listen to and enjoy. Lots of singalongs. I particularly enjoyed the songs 'How can you leave me on my own' and 'To the rescue'. 'Funny Peculiar' was a pleasing duet. Neil does love and miss his wife judging by this album 💖

The second album is a really sad story of a dying father and his son. Not one for the over sentimental or if you are in a low place.

This is a really good album.

Good to have The Divine Comedy back👍

In the league of Liberation and Casanova

Dragonfly247

I have been a fan of Neil Hannon for over 2 decades since my first "proper" boyfriend played me Frog Princess from an NME compilation CD. I have since see him perform live three times and bought every album and CD single I could get my hands on. Despite being a huge fan I just haven't enjoyed some of the more recent releases including "Absent Friends" and "Bang goes the knighthood". Sure, there are songs that make it into my top twenty favourite Divine Comedy tracks on those albums and I can appreciate the crafting of the songs but they just never really captured my imagination like Neil's earlier work. That said, I am always very excited to hear any new works so imagine my absolute joy at loving EVERY single song on the new album Foreverland, that is right, every single one. I felt like a 16 year old again being taken by the hand through the wonderful musical stories woven by Mr Hannon. It is worth the extra £1 to purchase the deluxe version which includes In May, a touching, funny and moving account of terminal illness through letters from a son to his absent Father. I literally laughed out loud and sobbed my heart out.

Foreverland is an absolute triumph, a joy to listen to over and over again. My favourite track is number 7, I'll leave you with that.

About The Divine Comedy

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 Brit-pop and Pulp's popularity. "Becoming More Like Alfie" and "Something for the Weekend," both pulled from Casanova, became hits after receiving significant airplay from Radio 1 DJ Chris Evans, and the Divine Comedy moved from British indie rock favorites to a minor mainstream cult in their own right.

Originally, the Divine Comedy was an R.E.M.-influenced guitar-driven trio, formed in Londonderry, Ireland, by Neil Hannon (vocals, guitar; born in Londonderry, Ireland, November 7, 1970), John McCullagh (bass), and Kevin Traynor (drums). Inspired by R.E.M., the trio released an EP, Fanfare for the Comic Muse, in the spring of 1990 and supported the record with a few concerts, including a supporting slot for My Bloody Valentine. In 1991, John Allen joined the band as lead vocalist, and the group released the EP Timewatch, which was recorded when Hannon was still vocalist, that fall. The following year, they relocated to London, where they regularly supported Suede on club gigs. Produced by Edwyn Collins, the Europop EP was released later in 1992. It was the last recording the original lineup would release.

Following Europop, the Divine Comedy fell apart, and Hannon went back to Londonderry, where he began to write songs again. In 1993, he was signed to Setanta as the Divine Comedy and released Liberation to positive reviews. Promenade followed in 1994, again to positive reviews throughout the U.K. music press; it appeared on year-end lists from NME, Melody Maker, and Q, among others. Following the release of Promenade, Blur, Oasis, and Pulp made British indie rock acceptable for the pop mainstream, and the Divine Comedy benefited from their progress. Released early in 1996, Casanova was greeted with enthusiastic reviews and it slowly began to build an audience. "Something for the Weekend" became a staple on Chris Evans' radio show, and he had the Divine Comedy on his TFI Friday television show, the first TV appearance for Hannon. When it was released as a single a month later, "Something for the Weekend" entered the charts at 14. Soon, Hannon was appearing not only on the cover of Melody Maker, but there were articles about him throughout mainstream press, from The Guardian to Just Seventeen. "Becoming More Like Alfie" was released in August, and while it peaked at 27, it nevertheless expanded the band's audience, as did "The Frog Princess," which reached 15 in November. The Divine Comedy supported the final single with a tour with a 30-piece orchestra, culminating with a concert at Lond Shepherds Bush Empire, which provided the basis for the band's next album, A Short Album About Love. Released to coincide with Valentine's Day 1997, A Short Album About Love was greeted with positive reviews and the strongest initial sales of any Divine Comedy record to date.

In 1999, the Divine Comedy celebrated ten years; they also ended their deal with Setanta Records. The release of A Secret History marked the occasion, but Hannon had his hand in other projects. He contributed vocals to Tom Jones' Reload as well as Ute Lemper's album Punishing Kiss. A new deal with Parlophone surfaced at the dawning of the new millennium and Hannon headed into the studio with producer Nigel Godrich. The end result was the stunning Regeneration. This particular album focused on the seven bandmembers as a whole, and was likely their finest effort since 1996's Casanova. Unfortunately, it was also the last release with the band. Hannon expressed a need to go solo, and he picked up an acoustic guitar and played several club gigs before joining piano man Ben Folds for a slew of American dates in spring 2002. In 2004, after moving to Dublin and becoming a father, Hannon -- the only remaining member -- released the critically acclaimed, self-produced Absent Friends, a sincere return to form that reunited him with Godrich and longtime collaborator Joby Talbot. Hannon returned to the studio in 2006 for the Divine Comedy's ninth album, Victory for the Comic Muse, which utilized 28 other musicians and was recorded in just two weeks. In 2010, the Divine Comedy released their tenth album, Bang Goes the Knighthood, which became their highest-charting album since 2001's Regeneration. Foreverland, the band's 11th studio long-player, was released in September 2016, and was preceded by the single "Catherine the Great." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • ORIGIN
    Londonderry, Northern Ireland
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • FORMED
    1989

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