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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

450 of 1001 Albums: The Divine Comedy's Casanova

Next up to listen to was a guy I remember being very interesting to listen to previously. The combination of unique arrangement of instrumentals, and a voice that shows a lot of presence make it hard to forget. The album lives up to the theme of the name though, and as you're listening you're not only intent on hearing the instrumentals, but also trying to understand the sentiment of the lyrics.

History: The album is the fourth for the band, debuting n 1996, and the one that would chart their commercial breakthrough. The album after this, A Short Album About Love, is the one I've also heard. There are many British influences in this album, and it combines those influences with the talent of the band for an unique sound. Several singles were released from the album as well.

As I was listening to this album I noticed that sometimes I couldn't help but listen. I would be writing, and then be paused to listen. Now I don't think this is an album I would go and listen to again, but it is intriguing. It sets the mood for an overall theme, and the instrumentals align to make that vibe almost seem like a soundtrack for the tone they are going for.

Neil Hannon is the singer, and he does have a talented voice. I think I was more so a fan of the vocals than the instruments. Then again, I'm not a person who follows pop closely, which is what this genre most falls into. I found it interesting I stumbled onto The National and The Divine Comedy comparisons, I did pick up on a few crossovers, and I could see where there were influences. I'm a huge fan of The National.

One of the memorable songs from the album is also a single, Something For the Weekend. Don't get me wrong, there are many memorable songs because they all have an unique flare, but this one maybe the one listeners most likely recognize at first.

Not all the songs are so dramatic. There are gentler ones like "Songs of Love", which I did prefer. There is a theatrical sound throughout most the album that pours a lot of emotion into the songs. There are songs like "Through a Sleepless Night" that go far to utilize that. They have two types of vocals to strengthen the pattern like from high to low.  The lyrics were a hurtle for me. I don't know that I personally related to much, but the performers know how to weave together a story with lots of passion.


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