Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Divine Comedy|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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A. Hickman | Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria | 07/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came to the Divine Comedy by way of Ute Lemper's "Punishing Kiss," on which the three Neil Hannon/Joby Talbot compositions are easily the highlights. I then rushed to buy "Casanova," which turns out to be a slyly subversive, yet genuinely infectious collection of pop tunes that bespeaks such diverse influences as Noel Coward and Scott Walker. Hannon's singing voice is a stylish, honeyed baritone, yet it is his spoken words that first seduce the listener; his lead-in to "Something for the Weekend" is, alone, worth the price of the CD. Among the other tunes, I especially like "Frog Princess," whose sampling of the "Marseillaise" adds another, comic, layer of meaning to its title, and "When the Lights Go Out All Over Europe," with its homage to New Wave cinema of the '50s and '60s and its dig at the parochialism of American film-making ("Paramount was never Universal"). Perhaps it is Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" that Hannon has in mind when he next serves up "Your Daddy's Car." Such subtleties aside, however, what we are left with is the magic of instant pop classics such as "Tonight we Fly," which, in a better world, would take its place beside "Waterloo Sunset" and "Penny Lane" as one of pop's finest moments."
Naughty but sad
Juan Luis Arteaga | 01/05/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a rather extraordinary CD: a concept album (wait! don't stop reading yet!) loosely based on the life of Casanova, but "set" mainly in modern England. An eccentric, epic, cynical, sad, and lust-drenched record, it stands out amongst the current crop of English Beatles sound-alikes and ambient/jungle/triphoppers. Casanova is odd, manic, meditative, self-indulgent, and very funny. It's also full of good music and great tunes. After opening with two absolutely killer pop songs, awash with hooks, the album becomes steadily stranger and more imaginative, with lush orchestrations, quotations from La Marseillaise, celestas, and lyrics pointing to the emptiness of a life led in sensuousness, but without love ("I don't love anybody, that stuff is just a waste of time/Your place or mine?"). This latter aspect is summarized in the penultimate track, a five and a half minute Burt Bacharach-style instrumental that begins with a BBC presenter list of credits and then builds towards a crescendo that it never quite reaches, fizzling out at the end. Casanova was released in Europe almost 2 years ago, but it still sounds a lot fresher than almost anything else that's around. About a minute into the first track, Neil Hannon (who is the Divine Comedy) lecherously tells two giggling girls "Oh come on, you know you want to" in a horribly smarmy upper class English accent. And the thing is, after this, I do. P.S. Look out for the Divine Comedy's Scott Walker-esque E.P., A Short Album About Love. END"
Some people were born to be pop singers...
J. Holmes | yokohama, japan | 10/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...and Neil Hannon, the genius responsible for The Divine Comedy is certainly one of those people. the term "genius" is not a term that i use everyday in describing the average pop songwriter. but give a few listens to the albums of the Divine Comedy and you cannot help but feel that no one deserves that accolade more. his talent for penning perfect tunes is without question and it's done with such charm and wit and a smug cleverness that just sinks in. if you like really great music (and have a soft spot for some of the more "guilty pleasures" of pop) then you'll find yourself in the clutches of this band and you'll never escape!
Casanova is an amazing recording that still packs a dramatic punch after i've practically worn out my copy from repeated listens. one thing that i love about this band is that they are unashamed about being hopelessly romantics. in an age where loud guitars and grunge ruled the world, real feelings were about the last thing that people were singing about. it was all replaced with disenchanted youth screaming and cold electronica that had a digital blip instead of a pulse. this album's tracks like "Becoming More Like Alfie" and "Woman Of The World" display more hooks that a butcher's convention, and will be stuck in your head for...years!while songs like "Charge" and "Middle Class Heroes" have a distinct flair for the dramatic that actually gets a little *too* dramatic at times (but you still gotta love those cannons in "Charge"...nice touch). the instrumental "Theme from Casanova" is an instrumental gem that shines with a light and airy touch usually reserved for AM radio circa 1960.
overall, Casanova is a great album of wonderfully written pop songs that hold the delicate and the dramatic in perfect balance."