Ever the master of wry observation and pat humour about everyday life, even as he approaches the fourth decade of his career, veteran songwriter Neil Hannon rolls out the 12th the Divine Comedy album, Office Politics. This time, however, Hannon is apparently changing up the chamber-pop formula by introducing synthesisers… stay tuned!
CD £15.49 DCRL112CDX
Deluxe Edition 2CD on Divine Comedy Records. Idcludes 'Swallows and Amazons - The Original Piano Demos' disc.
CD £9.99 DCRL112CD
CD on Divine Comedy Records.
Vinyl Double LP £21.49 DCRL112LPX
Opaque white & light blue coloured vinyl 2LP on Divine Comedy Records.
- Coloured vinyl
Every so often the Divine Comedy will come up with something great that reminds us of how much we love them. Their 2010 album Bang Goes the Knighthood was possibly the best thing they'd done and released just at the moment I was about to write them off. 2016's Foreverland had some great moments but lacked consistency but it looks like they've changed tack completely with Office Politics....initially at least.
One thing the Divine Comedy have often tried to achieve is to marry wry, comedic lyrics with gorgeous melodies that hark back to the great songwriters of the past. Sometimes they get it hideously, embarrassingly wrong and you cringe at them but their records are always worth listening to for the moments of glory that sit within. Office Politics seems to be this idea supersized. The title track for example is like a less droll Flight of the Conchords but it segues into 'Norman and Norma' - a song so English and 70s that it should wear a knotted hanky. 'Absolutely Obsolete' is another slice of gorgeous soft rock - kind of in a 10cc/Supertramp vein.
Let's face it, the album is everywhere. It's an entertaining, tuneful, sometimes annoying ride. There's glam rock on 'Infernal Machines', weird synth pop on 'The Synthesizer Service Centre Summer Super Sale', disco on 'The Life and Soul of the Party', Brel-like torch balladry on 'I'm a Stranger Here'. It's their most eccentric album yet and it's good to see them do a throw-everything-at-the-wall type album. Admittedly some of the songs are almost embarrassingly awful but that's part of the fun I guess. Not their best album perhaps but an entertaining and sometimes laugh out loud funny ride.
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- Office Politics by The Divine Comedy
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