If ever a band were better named than Neil Hannon's creation, The Divine Comedy, they could
not have lived up to their moniker with quite the same zest. Their latest, entitled (quite
appropriately as well) A Short Album About Love is just like a stage play. It oozes cynical drama
and lively plot lines. It is more a parody of a Broadway musical, in fact, than a pop album.
Hannon's songs, deliberately showy and over-arranged leak smarmy lounge-act emotion, while
the cheesy poetry tells the twisted story of love. Whether speaking of an illict love needing a
different outlet as in "If..." ("If you were a horse I'd clean the crap out of your stable and never
once complain") or about love unrecognized ("Everybody knows I love you, everybody knows
that it's true, except you"), or resurrecting old easy listening hits to express love found ("When I
fall in love, it will be forever"), Hannon uses such extreme hyperbolic emotion and such
overwraught showy musical lines that the listener does not know whether to be bowled over by
his sentiment or tied up in hysterical knots over the overdone ridiculousness of the whole affair.
The album is, in its way, as exquisitely brilliant as it is irritatingly gawdy. Definately worth more
than a listen, but only on certain days of the week.