This was the Divine Comedy’s ninth studio album released in 2006, charting at number 22 in Ireland and number 43 in the UK album charts. The album was recorded in a couple of weeks, in live takes and a quick turnaround for a modern album.
Neil Hannon is on fine form on this album from the whimsical ‘A Lady Of A Certain Age’ and the jaunty pop of ‘Mother Dear’ – many son’s will related to this one! ‘To Die A Virgin’ is Hannon at his best, a pop melody with a comical lyric and surprised it was not a bigger hit when released as a single.
There is a wonderful cover of the Associates’ ‘Party Fears Two’, whilst ‘The Plough’ is one of those storytelling songs he does so well. One other song worthy of highlighting is ‘Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World’, a song where a man doesn’t understand his lady – not a unique occurrence!
For me one of the Divine Comedy’s finest albums and one for loves of finely crafted pop songs.
The band’s next album was ‘Bang Goes The Neighbourhood’ released in 2010 and that is the last album to date, although a new album is promised later this year.