our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
buy it: cdnow
of what made The Divine Comedy's unique slant on pop 'n' rock
so successful are now well known: Neil Hannon's suits, a wicked
perception of a catchy tune and lyrics so sharp you could cut
your ears on them.
It was an
amazing combination that led to the storming success of amusing,
story-telling tracks such as "Something For The Weekend"
and "National Express." And yet with Regeneration,
their first album since their "best of"compilation,
the band have managed to reinvent themselves ever-so slightly;
a bit of a regeneration, if you will.
humour on the new album is more downbeat, introverted and dark
than they have previously introduced to us, taking a look at childhood,
religion and the passing of time. Familiar melancholy themes,
to be sure, but the treatment given over to them on Regeneration
is typically tremendous.
that makes The Divine Comedy so good is the lyrical abilty that
charms out such lines as "The cars in the churchyard are
shiny and German/ Completely at odds with the theme of the sermon."
When you add to this Hannon's vocals (at times incredibly unique
and yet versatile enough to echo The Crash Test Dummies) and a
new direction in their music that sends them towards Radiohead's
OK Computer days,
the refined ingredients are very, very tasty. And so we have the
masterpieces of "Bad Ambassador," "Note To Self"
and "Mastermind," as well as the single potential of
"Perfect Lovesong," "Regeneration" and "Love
What You Do."
As an album,
it has all you need... and then some. This is clearly the album
of the year so far, even if it may only hold the title for a week
before The Manic Street Preachers restate their authority with
Know Your Enemy.