I have a free half hour at lunchtime, so I may as well do a few words on Bang Goes The Knighthood, the new album by The Divine Comedy. I always feel a bit awkward reviewing music, because I don’t know anything about it. Books/films/TV shows have stories, and I’ve got much more experience with those. Music, not so much.
Still, clearly I’m going to have a crack anyway; it just might not be as long as it could’ve been. If you have Spotify and want to listen along as you read, you can hear the album by clicking this link. More Spotify links are sprayed liberally throughout the piece.
Anyway, since I am a fan, I quite like it. It’s not Neil Hannon’s best work ever (I still prefer Fin De Siecle) nor does it contain his best song (which, obviously, is this one). Still, there are some great tracks. The Complete Banker is sniping at a rather obvious target in its lyrics, but almost makes up for that by being such a fun, straightforward song. And I desperately hope I Like becomes a single, because it’s by far the most immediate thing here.
Aside from those two, other tracks are less obvious and jaunty (so may not appeal as much to people who only listen because they liked National Express), but there’s a pleasant mix of thoughtfulness and breezy music, as well as the usual clever lyrics. See the title track for an example. Oh, and Down In The Street Below is an excellent example of a Divine Comedy ballad.
Like most Divine Comedy albums, it includes at least one song which I find a bit annoying, namely Can You Stand On One Leg. As a b-side, it’d have been kinda fun, perhaps. But making it penultimate track just diminishes the aftertaste of the whole album.
Anyway, that’s probably enough. If you like The Divine Comedy, this is another solid album. If you want a pleasant, hummable record to start the summer off, you could do a lot worse. And yes, I did write all of that in half an hour.