Album Review: Office Politics by The Divine Comedy

Posted by Bianca on Friday Jun 7, 2019 Under Album Review

Review by Ken Williams

There’s a giant balloon of a sitting US president flying high above London. The Prime Minister has resigned but hasn’t. Everyone hates Morrisey. Food banks are a thing. People have stopped believing in vaccines. It’s Summer 2019 and we’re in a spot of bother.

Thank fuck someone turned on the Neil-signal, we needed a Divine Comedy album.


Office Politics is here and it “jumped the queue because it’s smarter than you and better than you” teases the opening track, Queuejumper, a burst of pop that is indeed better than me.

The album is full of great work that should go down as Neil Hannon mid-period classics. The title track is synthy and cynical – and depressingly accurate if you work in an office.

Norman and Norma is lovely. Think ‘Up The Junction’ with Hannon’s unique eye for detail, humour and a catchy chorus – with the right director, the video could be very interesting.

The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale is called The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale and is as batshit crazy as it sounds, perfect for these Farage-fuelled times. In fact, next time all the realness is getting you down just whisper The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale and think of Neil.

Hannon is full-on embracing the synthpop and new wave of his childhood and as a new wave of troubles flirt with Northern Ireland, a president clings to power in Washington and a new cold war spreads across the planet, it’s easy to see why.

Whatever his reasons were, this impressive double album deserves to be remembered as one of the more interesting works in these very interesting times.

Office Politics – Released 7th June 2019

The Divine Comedy will play the following UK and Ireland headline tour dates. Tickets on sale now.

Tour Dates – October 2019:
Sun 6th – Dublin, Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Mon 7th – Belfast, Ulster Hall
Tue 8th – Cork, Opera House
Thu 10th – Glasgow, Old Fruitmarket
Fri 11th – Birmingham, O2 Institute
Sat 12th – Oxford, O2 Academy (Sold Out)
Mon 14th – Bristol, O2 Academy
Tue 15th – Leeds, Metropolitan University (Leeds Beckett University)
Wed 16th – Brighton, Dome
Thu 17th – London, Eventim Apollo
Fri 18th – Manchester, Albert Hall (Sold Out)

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