Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Divine Comedy have a new album coming out soon, to be called Absent Friends. I remember reading, after their last release, that the band had broken up. I didn't really know what this meant, as I'd always thought of the band as Neil Hannon plus whomever. Apparently it means that he's going back to the sound of Promenade and Liberation -- pretty much all traces of the "Radiohead" production on Regeneration are gone.

I haven't had a chance to get very comfortable with Absent Friends yet, though I'll be honest and say that it's not thrilling me at this point. Possibly the problem is that I've been in an uptempo mood lately and Absent Friends is, for the most part, slowly paced. The one obvious exception (and the obvious choice for a single) is Come Home Billy Bird.

Most of the rest of the album sounds like it would be best enjoyed in front of a fire while sipping sherry. And unfortunately, I've been more in a "running around the park" mood, so I'm going to hold off on making a judgment until the record and I are more in sync. The other song that's struck me thus far is the sort-of-Country-Western Freedom Road, which seems to me to be a continuation of the Magnetic Fields' Charm of the Highway Strip concept (Neil is a big fan of Stephin Merritt, so the similarity isn't very surprising).

Finally, leading into tomorrow, here's the Divine Comedy covering Ride's Vapour Trail.

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