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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.

Customer Reviews

Best Divine Comedy album yet

The Divine Comedy on a bad day is still more inventive and thoroughly imagined than 98% of pop music. That said, Neil Hannon's penchant for comedic wordplay combined with his effortlessly melodic songwriting sometimes make for a tooth-breakingly sweet concoction. But this album cuts the sugar with a genuinely felt melancholy that flows through every song. This time around, Hannon's songs are built around characters rather than caricatures. The humor is more dry and understated. Hannon sounds, dare I say it, more grown up. It suits him. "The Complete Banker", "At the Indie Disco", "Assume the Perpendicular" and "I Like" are the miniature pop masterpieces that Hannon does better than anyone. "Can You Stand Upon One Leg" is the only track that wears out its welcome, but if I weren't playing the rest of the album so much, it would never bother me. His best effort yet, in my opinion. Why doesn't this guy sell more records? He's terrific.

Neil Hannon's excellent new record...

I have been a Divine Comedy fan since '98 and each subsequent release has better than the last. This new album is just full of life and love and exudes a joyful playfulness that even on first listen is evident. My favorite DC album up until now was "Absent Friends" from 2004... this album is on par with that one if not a little more accessible.
Love it...I just wish America realized how talented Mr. Hannon is so he could come a tour over here...

Brilliant record!

Divine Divine Comedy...but with a few "what the hell?"

I would enthusiastically give this album 5 stars if it wasn't for the bizarre and out of character electronic music tracks of 13-15. Why they were put in is a blemish on the otherwise sublime tracks. However I do highly recommend this album, especially enjoy the tracks Down in the Street Below, Complete Banker, Neopolitan Girl and I Like. Neal Hannon's talent is remarkable..I hope he never becomes mainstream...and stays out of electronic music.

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...
Full Bio
Bang Goes The Knighthood, The Divine Comedy
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