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The Divine Comedy|Victory for the Comic Muse  (Expanded)

Victory for the Comic Muse (Expanded)

The Divine Comedy

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Langue disponible : anglais

To say that any Divine Comedy album feels overly calculated is somewhat pointless, given that Neil Hannon's cheeky musical alter ego is a nostalgic figure caught in a 1930s time warp to begin with. It's all about affection, as it were. But Victory for the Comic Muse is almost mathematical in its calculation: open with a jaunty number to get the audience excited; slow it down for four consecutive reflective ballads to suggest maturity; split the album in half with a throwaway piano instrumental like an old movie intermission; inject some life into the proceedings with four sprightly, comic selections; and close with a tearjerker. Such a structure means the album feels like two separate entities, almost like two EP collections jammed together representing two distinctly different phases of Hannon's career. As such, its highlights are more satisfying on their own than in the context of an LP. The ELO-like opener, "To Die a Virgin," seems to be another stab at "Generation Sex" territory, right down to its Fellini-esque opening samples. The slower numbers that follow are pleasant enough, with some alternately witty and touching lyrics, but Hannon's voice is so subdued as to be positively inoffensive and his back-to-basics production is weak. The second half starts with some welcome drive, as Hannon tackles the Associates song "Party Fears Two" with whimsical aplomb. "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" presents the early Hannon eye twinkle and is reminiscent of previous creations like "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." Here Hannon suggests he needs a TV investigation just to understand his girlfriend. Yes, Victory for the Comic Muse has its funny moments, its sad asides, and some of the now standard Nyman minimalist moments, but in the Divine Comedy's overall discography it's a rather slight and often flat affair with unfortunate suggestions that Hannon might have milked the comic cow dry.
© Tim DiGravina /TiVo

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Victory for the Comic Muse (Expanded)

The Divine Comedy

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1
To Die a Virgin (2020 Remaster)
00:03:39

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Mother Dear (2020 Remaster)
00:03:47

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer, Produced by - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Diva Lady (2020 Remaster)
00:04:17

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
A Lady of a Certain Age (2020 Remaster)
00:05:47

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
The Light of Day (2020 Remaster)
00:04:24

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer, Produced by - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Threesome (2020 Remaster)
00:01:10

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Party Fears Two (2020 Remaster)
00:04:02

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist - Billy MacKenzie, Composer - Alan Rankine, Composer

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World (2020 Remaster)
00:03:58

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
The Plough (2020 Remaster)
00:05:15

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Count Grassi's Passage over Piedmont (2020 Remaster)
00:03:35

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Snowball in Negative (2020 Remaster)
00:04:36

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

DISQUE 2

1
Births, Deaths And Marriages (Monitor Mix)
00:04:10

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited

2
Diva Lady (Acoustic Version)
00:04:14

Guy Massey, Recorder, Recording - Nick Webb, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist - Simon Little, Double Bass - Andrew Skeet, Piano

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Home (Demo)
00:03:23

Neil Hannon, Composer, Writer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist - Gonzales, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Divine Comedy Records Ltd

4
Pamplemousse
00:02:53

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Lili Marlene
00:03:19

Norbert Schultze, Composer - Hans Leip, Composer - Neil Hannon, Performance - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Count Grassi's Passage over Piedmont (Early Idea)
00:01:17

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Count Grassi's Passage over Piedmont (Instrumental)
00:03:38

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited

8
Trafalgar
00:02:40

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Divine Comedy Records Ltd

9
Love/Hate Relationship
00:03:46

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Divine Comedy Records Ltd

10
Miss Sharapova
00:02:58

Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Don't Blame the Young
00:04:05

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Guantanamo
00:05:46

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Producer, Writer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

13
Long Slow Suicide
00:03:58

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

14
To Die a Virgin (Early Idea)
00:02:49

Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Recorder, Recording - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

15
A Little Bit Of Love (Goes A Long Long Way)
00:04:13

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Producer, Writer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

16
Elaine (Alternate Version)
00:02:14

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

17
A Lady of a Certain Age (Instrumental)
00:05:47

Guy Massey, Mixer, Recorder, Recording - Steve Rooke, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Neil Hannon, Composer, Producer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006, 2020 Parlophone Records Limited

18
Premonition of Love
00:03:54

Neil Hannon, Composer - The Divine Comedy, MainArtist

© 2020 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2006 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Descriptif de l'album

To say that any Divine Comedy album feels overly calculated is somewhat pointless, given that Neil Hannon's cheeky musical alter ego is a nostalgic figure caught in a 1930s time warp to begin with. It's all about affection, as it were. But Victory for the Comic Muse is almost mathematical in its calculation: open with a jaunty number to get the audience excited; slow it down for four consecutive reflective ballads to suggest maturity; split the album in half with a throwaway piano instrumental like an old movie intermission; inject some life into the proceedings with four sprightly, comic selections; and close with a tearjerker. Such a structure means the album feels like two separate entities, almost like two EP collections jammed together representing two distinctly different phases of Hannon's career. As such, its highlights are more satisfying on their own than in the context of an LP. The ELO-like opener, "To Die a Virgin," seems to be another stab at "Generation Sex" territory, right down to its Fellini-esque opening samples. The slower numbers that follow are pleasant enough, with some alternately witty and touching lyrics, but Hannon's voice is so subdued as to be positively inoffensive and his back-to-basics production is weak. The second half starts with some welcome drive, as Hannon tackles the Associates song "Party Fears Two" with whimsical aplomb. "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" presents the early Hannon eye twinkle and is reminiscent of previous creations like "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." Here Hannon suggests he needs a TV investigation just to understand his girlfriend. Yes, Victory for the Comic Muse has its funny moments, its sad asides, and some of the now standard Nyman minimalist moments, but in the Divine Comedy's overall discography it's a rather slight and often flat affair with unfortunate suggestions that Hannon might have milked the comic cow dry.
© Tim DiGravina /TiVo

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