Friday, August 16, 2013

A Short Album About Love

Last Friday, shortly before I grabbed my cereal bars and jetted off to Knee Deep, I went for a quick circuit of the charity shops on Albany Road. Having come across something of a payload in Save the Children, I came back with no less than five new albums:
  • Desire Lines by Camera Obscura
  • A Short Album About Love by The Divine Comedy
  • The Concretes by The Concretes
  • Under the Blacklight by Rilo Kiley
  • No Singles by Japandroids
I'm pretty happy with all of these purchases (heck, for a pound each I can't really complain), but I am exceptionally happy with the Divine Comedy album in particular. Take a look to the right, and notice how Partygoing is no longer my "current favourite album".

And how has 1997 Neil Hannon trumped the Future Bible Heroes? By putting together one of the best short albums ever, that's how. As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, my list of great Short Albums would have been a lot richer had I heard this record a couple of months earlier. A Short Album About Love scarcely breaches the half-hour line, and so it's very digestible indeed. It's been long time since I got to the end of an album and immediately started listening to it again. 

Hannon's greatest trick here is making each song feel absolutely massive. Where most albums would feel incomplete with only seven tracks, each number on this album is so inflated that there's no room left for complaint. Someone comes on like a spaghetti Western soundtrack, while In Pursuit of Happiness is packed with xylophone, castanets, and oomph.

My favourite track is I'm All You Need (see video above), the insistent closer whose dreamy coda reminds me a little of The Day After the Revolution by Pulp. But If... deserves a mention too, if only because it seems like the sort of track that people probably wouldn't like. There are loads of stupid lines:

If your name was Jack/I'd change mine to Jill for you

But then that's what love is! It makes you say stupid shit!

So yeah, A Short Album About Love: my new favourite album. It could be yours too.

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