Mojo Magazine: Office Politics

May, 2019

4 Star Review

The Divine Comedy - Office Politics ****

Neil Hannon's first album since 2016 and his liveliest for longer still.

After 12 albums, it's pretty clear that beyond the National Express fluke, Neil Hannon's wry take on everyday minutiae was never destined for long-term crossover appeal. Not that he seems to care, and from the moment the opening Queuejumper channels Iko Iko, he's at his most mischievous here.

If I'm A Stranger Here is a reminder that sincerity doesn't become him, the saga of Norman And Norma ("got married in Cromer") is bitter-sweetness itself. Elsewhere, Hannon turns the heroically daft 'Opportunity' Knox [sic] into a modern-day madrigal, before it totters into an Eastern European drinking song.

The title track's typewriter rhythm is surely no accident; The Synthesizer Service Centre Super Summer Sale is as close to Throbbing Gristle as he'll ever get, while Infernal Machines is part Glitterstomp, part The Sweet's Block Buster, but, like the overwhelming bulk of Office Politics, it's wholly bewitching.

John Aizlewood, Mojo Magazine, June 2019