7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Where's Through a Long and Sleepless Night?,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Secret History ... The Best Of The Divine Comedy (Audio CD)
As good as this Best Of is, it could have been TRULY magnificent - A collection of the best songs by one of the most innovative and imaginative pop bands around, departing from Setanta records before moving to a major record label, yet it could have been so much more. There is:
* The obvious (National Express (natch), Something for the Weekend, Everybody Knows, Generation Sex, Alfie, Songs of Love, Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count) singles or instantly recognisable album tracks. Each one is monumentally catchy and infectious (dangerously so).
* The new (Gin-Soaked Boy, Too Young to Die) - a couple of the best songs they've ever done - Gin-Soaked Boy being so hypnotically repetitive that you can virtually recall the song from scratch after the first listen (See? Simple construction - fantastic song) and Too Young to Die, a song full of raw emotion and power, with Hannon looking forward rather than back ("Maybe it's time for a change?")
* And the baffling (Certainty of Chance, Summerhouse, Daddy's Car). Good as these songs are, if album tracks were to be chosen, why not follow the example of putting on songs like Lucy (Wordsworth's rambling epic of a poem and Tonight We Fly instead? We could have had Death of Supernaturalist, Bernice Bob's Her Hair (Catchy and infectious song version of F Scott Fitzgerald's story of the same name), Europop (synthesiser-laden eighties pastiche - but good!), If... (Truly beautiful with marvellous lyrics - "If you were the road, I'd go all the way"), Through a Long and Sleepless Night (The best thing they've ever done - A crescendo of sound), Commuter Love (Tortured romantic - one of Hannon's finest song's), Here Comes the Flood (Choral jiggery - pokery, doom - laden, noisy, yet cheerful with it), Sunrise (About the Troubles in Ireland - "I was born in Londonderry, I was born in Derry city too") or When the Lights go out all Over Europe (About European cinema - don't let that fool you, when Hannon cracks into the chorus, you'll know about it).
All in all, this is a good (only a good) introduction to the gorgeous world of Neil Hannon, but it all feels a little empty - there's certainly something missing. Their next album will have to be something extra special to top their best - The beautiful, yet tortured Short Album about Love - and hopefully will have a bit more publicity behind them