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Secret History

Artist: The Divine Comedy

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Label: Phantom Import Distribution
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Album: Secret History
# Song Title   Time
1)    National Express
2)    Something For The Weekend
3)    Everybody Knows (Except You)
4)    Generation Sex
5)    Becoming More Like Alfie
6)    Summerhouse
7)    Your Daddy's Car
8)    Pop Singer's Fear Of The Pollen Count
9)    Frog Princess
10)    Gin Soaked Boy
11)    Lucy
12)    Song's Of Love
13)    In Pursuit Of Happiness
14)    I've Been To A Marvellous Party
15)    Certainty Of Chance
16)    Too Young To Die
17)    Tonight We Fly
 



Performer Notes
  • The Divine Comedy includes: Neil Hannon (vocals, guitar); Ivor Talbot (guitar); Stuart Bates (accordion, Hammond B-3 organ); Joby Talbot (piano);
  • Bryan Mills (bass); Miggy Barrados (drums).
  • Producers include: Jon Jacobs, Neil Hannon, Darren Allison.
  • Engineers include: Jon Jacobs, Andy Scado, David Tyler.
  • An ironic raconteur for the 21st century, Neil Hannon has put together a collection that will make even the most hardened futurist giggle with glee. On the surface, these songs are light-hearted and derivative odes, which contrast Coward-esque musical arrangements with contemporary themes, making for an amusing journey into the psyche of a wry observer.
  • But the thing that distinguishes the Divine Comedy from short-lived cabaret pastiche bands like the Mike Flowers Pops is the group's unfailing ability to transcend the somewhat jaded jokey juxtaposition of operatic pop with modern chart music and create something which is genuinely moving and insightful. The comedy becomes critique and eventually a mournful and isolated musing that reveals a sensibility that yearns for the romance, style, and integrity--whether real or imagined--of a previous era. Tackling eternal themes such as confusion, disillusionment, unrequited love and, mortality, this album ends on an ambivalent note, but the poetry and humour inherent in Hannon's syntax makes it an ultimately uplifting experience.

Professional Reviews
Spin (1/00, p.129) - 9 out of 10 - "...a darkly comic work....compiling 5 years' worth of misanthropic classics..."

Q (10/99, pp.147-8) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...has just enough earnestness to charm, this collection documents a cult turn rather than a major act....originally distinguished by literary references and self-deflation...[Neil Hannon] redefined himself as a well-spoken lothario..."

Mojo (Publisher) (9/99, p.106) - "...more Austin Powers than Scott Walker...[Neil] Hannon's essential wit, his gift for unforgettable melodies...and arranger Joby Talbot's ear for detailed orch-pop granduer have produced some winning results..."

Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Country:USA
Studio/Live: Mixed
Release Date:5 October, 1999

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