18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Commercial... but class,
This review is from: A Secret History ... The Best Of The Divine Comedy (Audio CD)
The principle market for a "best of" compilation is the casual shopper, rather than the hardcore fan. As such, it predominantly features singles and other more accessible tracks; those that the casual shopper will recognise and enjoy. One or two exclusive new songs, or maybe a special edition with extra material, are thrown in to entice the weathered fan. These are the criteria by which a "best of" must be judged, and the choice of material must be considered within these parameters.
For hardcore fans, this will never be your favourite album, as your choice of seventeen favourite Divine Comedy tracks will surely be unique. A "best of", ironically, is rarely much to do with the best. Is National Express a better track than Don't Look Down, is Lucy better than Woman of the World, is Marvelous Party better than If...? Not in my estimation. But that's not the point. Having said that though, I'm struggling to think of many more tracks on this collection I would be so happy to substitute. With the likes of Frog Princess, Songs of Love and Summerhouse on show, this is an extraordinarily rich display of strength.
As for the new bits and pieces, we have a remake of Pollen Count that is bright, colourful and shiny but doesn't add much to the original. We have the captivating, emotional Too Young To Die. But the crème de la crème has to be Gin Soaked Boy; a cracking single, catchy as hell, with lyrics that prove that, when he puts his mind to it, Hannon still has it licked.
By any criteria, the strength of this material is awesome.
Important footnote: if you are a casual shopper buy this, but if you are hardcore fan you must get the limited edition 2CD book-set (available elsewhere in Amazon) for maximum fulfillment.