The Divine Comedy: Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Divine Comedy


Divine Comedy Records

Aug 31, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In 2010, The Divine Comedy‘s Neil Hannon put together the music for the musical Swallows and Amazons. This endeavor was a long time coming with The Divine Comedy’s albums becoming increasingly more theatrical. The latest, Foreverland, has obviously been heavily influenced by that stage experience, as it is the longtime group’s most theatrical output, with a strong narrative tone-if not concept-running through its 12 songs.

Foreverland is grand, managing to fall just short enough of grandiose-by a hair. Hannon has a chamber orchestra twinkling in these compositions, as well as strings, which stab effectively rather than flourish messily. Even a banjo finds its way in, on “My Happy Place,” and is picked up again on “The One Who Loves You,” where it sits nonchalantly among much more dramatic string instruments. The strings direct the entirety of Foreverland. Another characteristic the album shares with musical theatre.

From “Catherine the Great,” which is about that sovereign and whose music matches the Baroque era leading into the one of her reign, to “A Desperate Man,” which has a borderline flamenco vibe to it, Foreverland wanders in all sorts of areas. “Funny Peculiar” is conversational with Hannon in a musical dialog that is classic theatre flirtations. “Other People” follows that style of storytelling, almost Disney cartoon-like in its dramatic strings until Hannon pulls the plug on his overwroughtness with “blah-blah-blah” for lyrics and the song ending abruptly.

If you’re not a fan of strings, drama, and flamboyance, Foreverland is going to wear on you. But if you’re a sucker for them, get ready for your fill. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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