Mojo Magazine: Charmed Life

Mar, 2022

4 Star Review

The Divine Comedy - ****
Charmed Life - The Best Of The Divine Comedy

Jobbing composer takes greatest hits pit stop.

On paper, Neil Hannon penning the songs for next year's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory prequel, Wonka, looks promising, and here are 24 golden tickets he found earlier. Full of arch chamber-pop nuggets and mini cultural snapshots (National Express; Generation Sex), Charmed Life evidences one of pop's most ingenious minds, Hannon's inventions especially impressive when stacked back to back.

Courtship song Songs Of Love, his second attempt at a theme tune for Father Ted - and here with words - is charming indeed, while Norman & Norma must surely be the best ever song about a long-term marriage rejuvenated by medieval battle re-enactment. New track The Best Mistakes, meanwhile, is classic Hannon, all baroque strings and wonderment at where he currently finds himself. The limited edition 3-CD version packs more previously unreleased tracks, including Those Pesky Kids.

James McNair, Mojo Magazine, March 2022