Friday, June 04, 2010

‘Bang Goes the Knighthood’ by The Divine Comedy

4 June 2010

Mock operatic arias, jaunty music-hall ditties, sumptuous romantic melodies, sudden time-changes, concert-hall piano, strummed ukulele, orchestral strings, witty lyrics and corny rhymes: it can only be a new album by The Divine Comedy! The Divine Comedy (reviewed here in September 2005 and July 2006) returned this week with the wonderful ‘Bang Goes the Knighthood’. After Neil Hannon’s cricket-themed album 'The Duckworth Lewis Method' (reviewed here in July 2009) ‘Bang Goes the Knighthood’ takes us firmly back to the classic Divine Comedy sound. Arguably Hannon undercuts every moment of beauty he creates by being unable to resist the temptation to slip into whimsy. But when you love a band you tend to love the full package – both sublime and ridiculous. The beautiful highpoint of this album is the perfect foxtrot ‘Have You Ever Been in Love?’ but I’m equally taken with ‘The Lost Art of Conversation’ which manages to rhyme all of the following:
  • a conversation
  • David Jason
  • Francis Bacon
  • concentration
  • League of Nations
  • The English Patient
  • imagination
  • hallucinations
  • Good Vibrations
  • the Reformation
  • transubstantiation
  • Bram Stoker’s creation
  • The Land of the Thracians
  • time and patience
and, in case that wasn’t enough, also links Frank Lampard, Joan of Arc and Van Dyke Parks. Beat that!

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