Author Topic: The Divine Comedy  (Read 1165 times)

Shameless Custard

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The Divine Comedy
« on: June 07, 2019, 09:54:28 AM »
...are back. Back again.

New album Office Politics out today. Not heard it yet, but went to see them at their album launch in Kingston on Wednesday night, and they were brilliant. The new stuff sounded really good, so looking forward to getting stuck into it this week. I especially liked Life and Soul Of The Party. It's like Colin Hunt set to music

The main album is a whopper, at 16 tracks and one hour in length. Then on the deluxe edition there's ANOTHER disc of new stuff, also lasting an hour. So basically a whole other album, and over 2 hours of new Divine Comedy. Amazing value

I didn't really get on with the last record, Foreverland, apart from a handful of really good tunes, but the one before that, Bang Goes The Knighthood is one of my favourite records, evorrrrr.

Anyway,The Divine Comedy are great, aren't they? Neil Hannon is a very sharp and likeable front man, and what a songwriter. Surprisingly down to earth, and VERY funny

Neomod

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 10:14:08 AM »
Ahh, the Divine Comedy. First saw them support Blur on the Sugary Tea tour and one of my best gigs was Neil and the lads with a full orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.

On a first cursory listen, someone's been listening to Penthouse and Pavement.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 10:55:38 AM »
Was it you? Did you put the wrong album on by mistake?

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 11:29:32 AM »
I didn't really get on with the last record, Foreverland, apart from a handful of really good tunes
It took a very long time for me - actually hated it on first listen - but I enjoy it now. It's still second-tier Divine Comedy, very cosy and low on the heartbreak or wit that characterises his best work, but I do like it when I pop it on from time to time. And the second disc, with his solo piano version of In May is absolutely devastating.

I'll be ordering the new one very soon. 'Queuejumper' is a bit indie-pop for my taste, but 'Norman and Norma' is a stunner, and from what I read the album is a pretty varied affair, which bodes well, as it seems Neil's comfortable stretching himself a bit again. The front cover is fucking terrible though.

gilbertharding

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 01:47:42 PM »
The sleeve for their new album has already been in the Terrible Album Covers thread.

Neomod

  • Oh my genitals | I'm a janitor
Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 01:50:33 PM »
Was it you? Did you put the wrong album on by mistake?

No. No I did not.





Your move CREEP.

daf

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 05:27:05 PM »
This was a b side : Get Me to a Monastery

a B-SIDE!!

Can anyone remember which album the drums were something like half a beat out on a track (possibly the whole album?) -

Mark Radcliffe asked him about it on his radio 6 show (about five or six years ago I think), as he really liked the effect, but Neil was horrified as it turned out this was a mistake that went unspotted (since, like Woody Allen, he hadn't bothered to listen to the final mix).

Don't know if all the albums got pulped or what - (maybe it was a Duckworth Lewis Method record?)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 05:38:44 PM by daf »

Shameless Custard

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 05:49:21 PM »
Have never heard the Foreverland bonus disc purlieu, so thanking you for the heads up on that

Some knob at their gig the other night shouted out "play a cricket song"

Head Gardener

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 06:31:32 PM »
I picked up a DC 'best of' comp cheap in a chazzer recently thinking the lad might like it, but oh dear he really hated it
and he's a big pop-kid, which made me think I probably should have started him with Liberation as that's their best IMO.
Listening myself through that Secret History best of, I thought it was pretty unrepresentative of their best stuff by some distance

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2019, 06:36:45 PM »
Have never heard the Foreverland bonus disc purlieu, so thanking you for the heads up on that
The new one comes with a similar bonus disc of Neil doing piano versions of the songs he wrote for Swallows and Amazons, which I'm looking forward to as much as the album itself.
Quote
Some knob at their gig the other night shouted out "play a cricket song"
I really need to listen to the Duckworth Lewis Method albums at some point, I have absolutely no idea why I haven't yet. TDC are on a shortlist of groups who I got into after I stopped buying singles, who I want to go back and grab all the b-sides, rarities, etc. by. So I'll almost certainly be buying the DLM albums during that exploration.
I picked up a DC 'best of' comp cheap in a chazzer recently thinking the lad might like it, but oh dear he really hated it
and he's a big pop-kid, which made me think I probably should have started him with Liberation as that's their best IMO.
Listening myself through that Secret History best of, I thought it was pretty unrepresentative of their best stuff by some distance
There's some great stuff on there, but it's partially limited by what it is: a singles collection. Being able to pick selections of the first two albums is a bonus, but otherwise it definitely misses some of the subtler and more interesting album tracks.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 11:00:02 AM »
and from what I read the album is a pretty varied affair, which bodes well, as it seems Neil's comfortable stretching himself a bit again.
Well, that was an understatement. Was a wonderfully bonkers album. Plenty of electronic tracks on there, and the one-two of 'Psychological Evaluation' and 'The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale' is possibly the strangest moment in his entire catalogue. 'Philip and Steve's Furniture Removal Company' is also wonderfully daft.
Of the handful of more traditionally Divine Comedy songs on there, only 'Norman and Norma' sounds like a classic DC single, the rest finds him channelling that European-infused, slightly-polka like sound he's occasionally been fond of, and a couple of march-like songs.

I do long for another heart-stoppingly beautiful album like Promenade, A Short Album About Love or Absent Friends again, but I'm not sure we'll get one. This one is thankfully his least pedestrian record in 15 years, which is making it pretty enjoyable to pop on.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 11:34:14 AM »
Just had a 2nd listen and I think it's pretty damn good.
Not sure it's up there with BGTK (which I love), but definitely better than Foreverland.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 11:11:54 PM »
Queuejumper sounds like it could be one of Lindsey Buckingham's quirkier album tracks.

purlieu

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2019, 12:11:50 PM »
And it peaked at number 5 in the album chart, Neil's highest position for a studio album. Incredible.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 04:52:56 PM »
My word, Norman and Nora is fantastic isn't it? Brilliant song. Didn't like Queuejumper at first but now it's stuck in my head every day. It's The Divine Comedy doing The Modern Lovers which is nice.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2019, 08:54:21 PM »
I've always wanted them to do a more electropop album - it's a side of them that's always been there but hidden away on b-sides and bonus tracks. Pleased by how much of this comes under that (it goes full Bruce Haack in the middle). 

I've had them down as a 2-or-3 good tracks per album band for quite a while now, so glad how little of this is weird rather than safe filler.  I was underwhelmed by Queuejumper, so a pleasant surprise.

'Opportunity' Knox is his most Brel for a while, too.


Shameless Custard

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2019, 06:28:49 AM »
It's a really strong record. Queuejumper, Norman and Norma, Absolutely Obsolete, Infernal Machines, Life and Soul Of The Party, and A Feather In Your Cap are all wonderful.

It's a really enjoyable, fun record. Clearly he's still having a great time making music, and after 20+ years it's lovely to see.

What a songwriter, man. Been going through the past stuff lately and it's just one amazing tune after another. Hannon is brilliant
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 07:19:25 AM by Shameless Custard »

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2019, 08:45:08 AM »
Anyone else been to one of his 'little' intimate gigs, when he just has a piano, guitar and microphone?
He did one a few years ago - announced on the day, if I remember correctly.
Probably about 120 crammed in to a pretty small room to hear Neil play about 20 songs, tell a few stories and generally fuck about.
One of the best gigs I've ever been to.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2019, 10:12:47 AM »
Nothing against the songs listed below in and of themselves but without them you get a really thematically consistent record about office workers and their looming obsolescence that comes in at 45 minutes and 12 songs...

-Psychological Evaluation
-The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale
-Philip and Steve's Furniture Removal Company
-After the Lord Mayor's Show

I've axed them on Spotify, and boy let me tell you, its slightly shorter now. On a different note I love this line perhaps more than is reasonable, from the title track...

"Live for now, bugger the future
Thus spake Zara Brewster"

purlieu

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2019, 10:39:10 PM »
On a different note I love this line perhaps more than is reasonable, from the title track...

"Live for now, bugger the future
Thus spake Zara Brewster"
Yes, it's tremendous. Neil's delivery completes it.

A couple of the slower songs in the second half - 'A Feather in Your Cap' and 'I'm a Stranger Here' - don't do much for me, but otherwise this album is proving to have excellent replay value. Had it on a couple of times a day for the past three weeks and not even slightly bored of it yet.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2019, 07:10:27 PM »
Yeah, this is my favourite of his since Absent Friends.

Re: The Divine Comedy
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2019, 09:12:39 PM »
#metoo

I'm bumping it above BGTK.