This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

A Short Album About Love

The Divine Comedy

1997

Buy At Rough Trade
A Short Album About Love
Album Summary

A Short Album About Love is the fifth studio album by Irish chamber pop band the Divine Comedy, released in 1997 by Setanta Records. It was recorded on 20 October 1996 at Shepherd's Bush Empire, London.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.78

Votes

11172

Genres

  • Pop

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Mon Jun 21 2021
2

Now this is peak fucking Gen X garbage lol. At least it's only half an hour. Congrats man, it's the 1990s and you're pretending to be Sinatra. Aren't you just fucking ironic. 2/5.

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
1

“A Short Album About Love” by The Divine Comedy (1997) Love songs including such laughably memorable lines as “If you were a horse, I’d clean the crap out of your stable” and “You are the way, the truth, and the life” (Where have I heard that line before?). Look, a good love song has to have lyrics you’d imagine singing to your beloved. Not on this album. These songs tread aimlessly in the broad space between passion and goofiness. Frontman/lyricist Neil Hannon is either joshing, deranged, or both. Quirky compositions with startlingly conventional arrangements poorly sung with backing instrumentals performed with eye rolling you can actually feel. Orchestra abuse. This sound is a late 1990s throwback to the worst aspects of late 1960s commercial pop. Not fit for a serious listen. He’s putting us on. 1/5

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 10 2021
2

I gave this album three listens, trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. But every listen, the only part that caught my attention was when he started talking about how he wished his lover was a horse or a dog. Okay buddy.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 06 2023
3

Lo, as the generator has felt it necessary to unleash a period of unprecedented fallowness one year into my journey, ‘tis befitting that the wretched beast of recommendations should bestow upon me a band whose moniker is The Divine Comedy…For now, truly, I must ponder which of the nine circles of hell I am now forced to inhabit.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 10 2021
1

This should have been cleaned out with the stable

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 25 2021
5

Outrageously beautiful and beautifully outrageous (If... you were a horse I'd clean the crap out of your stable and never once complain). Orchestral and theatrical, first impression was Bowie but I think it's more Scott Walker. I assume Father John and Kirin J take a lot out of this kind of thing. Pretty impressive it was all recorded live as well.

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Just what I’ve been looking for. Thank you.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 09 2021
4

If the lyrics took a more serious or less comedic tone, this album could easily be a 5 based on its production and composition. It was a pleasant surprise and an enjoyable listen.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 31 2021
3

Oooh look, it's more 1990s British indie rock. I remember the name, but not any of their songs/albums. To be fair, this one is reasonably decent. Although considered a studio album, it was recorded live in a concert hall with a small orchestra and an audience (though thankfully you can't tell on the album that this was a live show). They are songs... about love, ranging from the romantic to the absurdist and twee. "If you were a horse, I'd clean the crap out of your stable" is a great line to sing with earnestness against orchestral accompaniment. I'm not opposed to orchestral pop, and the guy's voice does suit this setup. A bit like the Springsteen record, I can appreciate the craft and I wouldn't object to hearing their other material. But I'm not falling in love with this record. 3.5

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 29 2021
4

His deep, baritone croon has never sounded more affecting, and his songs are easily among his best, making A Short Album About Love much more than a record for hardcore fans.

👍
View Author
Tue Jun 29 2021
2

Hated it at first, but some of the lyrics grew on me. Still don't need it in my life.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 09 2021
1

Wow I really hated this. This is the closest I've come to giving a one star since U2. Gonna have to really think about it.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 12 2023
4

Nice, but what’s with all the horses?

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 11 2022
2

I think their greatest hits would have been a better option here. It includes the Father Ted theme song.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 12 2021
1

I gave this a try but failed to see the magic.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 12 2021
1

Another one my Irish relatives won't be pleased about. Can't stand this band. Can't even muster any objectivity. 1/10 (ahh yeah that felt good)

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 22 2023
1

The only thing comedic about this album is how astonishingly bad it is.

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 17 2021
5

5. Of course. Canciones: Everybody Knows (except you)

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 18 2021
5

Talk about an underrated love/break up album. Genuinely some of the most beautiful melodies and movements on this short, grand album. Highlights: 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 09 2021
5

Loved it! So unique, definitely going to listen again.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 24 2022
5

Cinematic, epic and really unique. Lovely orchestration and enchanting vocal tone. Very impressive for a live album, an unexpected 5.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Kinda goofy, but I like his voice

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 09 2022
5

A great listen throughout. Highly recommend it

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 05 2022
5

Wow, I was not expecting this! How is this from the 90s? Let alone considered pop? Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but this never what I would picture if you said that. The voice is absolutely magnificent, and the orchestral backing is gorgeous. Are some of the lyrics a little cheesy? Sure, but I don't care, it sounds amazing, and while this isn't technically an "album", so maybe it shouldn't be on this list, but I'm so glad it is. Fantastic. Reminds me a lot of Nick Cave.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 11 2023
5

Another exciting and wonderful surprise in a shape of a band, The Divine Comedy, thatcI have never heard of! From the first song onwards, this album was full of baroque splendor and glamour, orchestral motives and actually great singing by the main guy in the band, Neil Hannon. I never knew this, but he was a composer that recorded music for IT Crowd and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. This album let me appreciate him even more. Basically every song on the record is a hit, or at least a single worthy track. I am certainly adding almost whole album to my everyday playlist. Great job Neil, easily 5 stars.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 12 2023
5

Short but epic. Wonderful stuff from Mr Hannon and his marvellous melody makers.

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 19 2023
5

I don’t think I’ve heard of The Divine Comedy before. The name makes me expect comedy music for obvious reasons, but I can’t see something like that being considered an essential album. Let’s listen and find out! Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Everybody Knows (Except You), If I Were You (I’d Be Through With Me) This album was wonderful. Apple Music says it’s pop, but that’s far too reductive for this. It’s symphonic with crooning vocals, but I wouldn’t know what to categorise this music as. What I can say is that it sounds fantastic, there is the running theme of love and self deprecation, and it is a fairly quick listen at just over half an hour. I liked this a lot and would definitely recommend you give it a try.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 20 2023
5

5, Of course. Canciones: Everybody Knows (except you)

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 28 2023
5

10/10 The Divine Comedy has to be one of the coolest musicians I’ve ever heard he’s got such a great style; I love the way he composes music

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 29 2023
5

With the obvious shades of Scott Walker, I enjoyed this album a LOT more than I expected to. Beautiful.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 31 2023
5

Fun album - love the orchestration, the melodies and lyrics are clever. My favorite piece is Timewatching - homage to Nat King Cole - he's singing with only string accompaniment. The strings are exquisite.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Beautiful, fun, elegant, great simple concepts executed extremely well. Varying instrumentation keeps me on my toes and gets this album the edge it needs to be wonderful, even if it's only following its title's instructions.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 30 2023
5

Here is a prime example of why I wanted to start this project: To discover some unique hidden gems like this mini album. It's definitely niche, but 'a short album about love', and the Divine Comedy, is a real treat. Imagine a Bryan Ferry/Paul Banks like crooning on quirky songs about love running through a familiar vien of Jens Lekman and the Magnetic Fields backed by some impressive orchestration with a crisp brit pop sheen. This is my crude attempt to describe what I hear. And no, this isn't meant to be taken too seriously. It's supposed to be a bit campy and definitely fun, helmed by what I can gather is a bit of a savant.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 01 2023
5

It’s a hard tightrope to walk - bridging a gap between swooningly earnest romance and knowingly humorous cynicism. But with great songs. And an orchestra. This is the absolute apex of Neil Hannon’s Divine Comedy, where the band synthesised The Smiths, Scott Walker and 60’s pop into something truly magnificent. Only 7 tracks, each one perfect. In Pursuit of Happiness is breathtaking in where the orchestration runs to from the single guitar it starts with. Everybody Knows is just a great pop song - and has a genuinely laugh out loud line about making a small boy cry. Someone just a great love song about longing If… I wrote about this for my English A Levels. Just so clever the way the nasty heart of the song is hidden inside what initially seem comedic lyrics. If I Were You is another great pop song Time watching is an update of a track from his first album and is starkly dramatic with just the strings and his voice. I’m all you need another great orchestral piece I wouldn’t change a note on this album The covers of Johnny Mathis’ Feet and Make it Easy On Yourself on the extended edition are well worth checking out as well

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Was going to give it a 4 but giving it a 5 to balance out everyone who's given it 1 or 2 because "the lyrics are silly"

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 04 2024
5

This was really weird and unexpected but I love crooning so 5 stars hell yea

👍
View Author
Mon Jan 22 2024
5

Love love love it, uplifting and wry all at once

👍
View Author
Tue Jan 30 2024
5

Neil Hannon is one of the most underrated songwriters of the last 30 years.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 15 2024
5

This came as a surprise. I never before heard of this band. Pleasing songs with a fantastic instrumentation—both the arrangements and the execution in collaboration with The Brunel Ensemble.

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 18 2024
5

Great album not something id listen to but great 👍🏾

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 27 2024
5

My biggest complain about “a short album about love” is the ‘short’ part. Fortunately, the 2020 Reissue more than doubles the runtime with some additional great tracks, including a Bert Bacharach/Hal David tune (Make It Easy On Yourself) - something I’ve wanted to hear from The Divine Comedy since listening to the previous album. What can I say, this album is a glorious collection of love songs! “Hey, don't be suprised, if millions die in plague and murder, True happiness lies beyond your fries and happy burger.” “I told the passersby, I made a small boy cry And I'll get through to you if it's the last thing that I do.” “I need to be someone’s somebody.” “If you were a horse I'd clean the crap out of your stable And never once complain.” “And if I were you I wouldn’t let the shit you get from me get the better of you.” “When I fall behind in the quest for pleasure I shall treasure this short time with you.” “Don't look a horse in the mouth, Don't let a frog get you down, Dragging you round like a dog on a lead, I'm all you need.” I LOVE this album! TERRIFIC!

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 27 2024
5

I think we’re at the point in this project where 75% of my notes are going to start with, “Really? [insert name of artist] again???” Other than my being surprised that I must listen to (at least) two (and a half if we count Ute Lemper’s Punishing Kiss) albums by The Divine Comedy before I die, I really enjoyed all the theatrics. We’ve had some dramatic outings here in the last several days and I am here for it!

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 27 2024
5

Love this lots! I was just listening to Neil Hannon singing with Ute Lemper the other day and remembering how much I love him and The Divine Comedy. I don't say this often, but I wouldn't have minded a longer album about love.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 19 2024
5

I’ll be in the minority and say I loved this. It was way better than Scott Walker, IMO. The lyrics weren’t dumb, they were purposefully ridiculous at times. I liked it.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 15 2020
4

A classic example of good trustworthy advertising. It is short, it is an album, and it is truly every sense about love. The vocalist's voice soars as he tells you how we can be together forever, how you would not cry if you were a tree, and how if you were a horse, he'd clean the crap out of your stable and that's when it really hits you that you're in love.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Exactly what it says on the tin. I'm a sucker for orchestral arrangements. Best track: Everybody Knows (Except You)

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Enjoyable and somewhat amusing album with tongue-in-cheek lyrics, surprisingly good

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 30 2021
4

entertaining album. The lyrics to the songs are bizarre. Short and not so sweet.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 16 2021
4

A surprise smash hit out of left field. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. Gorgeous songcraft, funny and witty lyrics, and a nice melodic ambiance.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 04 2021
4

One off 60's orchestra and single singer style. Enjoyable.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Sounds a lot like Magnetic Fields. Pretty listenable

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 28 2021
4

Een moderne interpretatie van Sinatra. Dat past helemaal bij mijn dag vandaag. Prachtig!

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Saved Prior: None Off Rip: In Pursuit of Happiness, Everybody Knows (Except You), Someone, If I Were You (I'd Be Through With Me), I'm All You Need Cutting Edge: If... Overall Notes: Some nice chamber pop. I can see people seeing this as pretentious, but I like it like that. The orchestral moments are beautiful and the lyrics aren't too self-serious. A 4.5 rounded to a 4 because it wasn't anything earth-shatteringly good (and again I'm trying to avoid score inflation), but I really really enjoyed this album. This is like a better version of that Rufus Wainwright album and will probably replace it for when I'm in the mood for some chamber pop.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 29 2021
4

This was actually great. Started off feeling very twee, but I grew to like it a lot.

👍
View Author
Thu May 13 2021
4

Für Freunde des Melodrams wirklich ein gutes album

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 14 2021
4

c'est un peu court jeune homme, 4/5

👍
View Author
Thu May 13 2021
4

Zu pompös, um es normal zu hören aber echt cool!

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 07 2021
4

A voice like velvet, great lyrics, clever songwriting, beautiful arrangements... what a joy this album is.

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Intriguing and often mesmerizing, although the occasional odd lyric feels out of place with the tone of the album. But well done and I was hooked throughout.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 29 2021
4

This was actually great. Started off feeling very twee, but I grew to like it a lot.

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 13 2021
4

Une des premières bonnes surprises du générateur, évidemment mal reçue par la communauté trashmétal-friendly de celui-ci d'un mauvais goût assez objectif.

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 20 2021
4

I've never really heard anything of this genre before outside of straight up musical theatre, which is obviously right up my street. This album was really cohesive and was a pleasure to listen to. My favourite moment was the orchestra at the end of 'If...'. Beautiful music.

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 20 2021
4

I got into this album more and more the further through it I got. Felt very nostalgic of when I used to go with my grandparents to little pub/clubs ( the lax working club kind)

👍
View Author
Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Never heard of The Devine Comedy. This is such well written music. Very full and layered. Like an Ogre. I'm interested in hearing more.

👍
View Author
Sun May 30 2021
4

I really quite enjoyed this album.

👍
View Author
Wed May 19 2021
4

This was a great album to have come up. I know this band from their first best of and this was a great excuse to dive into more of their full albums. I already liked the songs on here that I know but really fell for a few I didn't (specifically "Someone").

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 15 2021
4

the guys voice was lovely n deep. the instrumentals were extremely good and felt very grand and orchestral. lil bit of comedy. lil bit of cringe. pretty cool. 4.5

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: In pursuit if happiness, Everybody knows

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 29 2021
4

Nije moj đir, dost kliše ljubavnih pjesama, al iskreno iskreno jedna od ugodnijih šetnji do faksa, makar se osjećo malo sjebano. Tako da iako nema teorije da bi inace dao ovak visoku ocjenu ovom, pasalo je, tako da neka bude četvorka ko ga jebe.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 25 2021
4

Klinkt ook bijzonder. Gaan we nog meer van horen

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Interesting! Somewhat eerie love songs with strange lyrics (if you were a horse).

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Optimistic (mostly) collection of brass, drums, strings. Abba-adjacent.

👍
View Author
Mon Jan 10 2022
4

Solid album from one of my favourite artists. Does exactly what the title suggests and more.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 20 2022
4

I love Neil Hannon. A man out of time, a voice from the 50s and the wit of Noel Coward but with 90s instrumentation. It's so enjoyable. He can break your heart in one line and make you laugh your arse off with the next (is there a better delivered line than "I told the passers by/I made a small boy cry"). I have always loved Everybody Knows. If is a revelation - big swelling orchestration and a writer's challenge of coming up with as many situations as possible. If I Were You feels like Frank Sinatra retold by Morrissey (in a good way, not a racist way). This actually feels like a lost Scott Walker album! I really like it. Not everything on here is essential - which is a shame with its brevity, but at it's heights, it soars.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 03 2022
4

Pleasantly surprised! I'll listen to more of this band.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Absolutely soulful and swanky album, quite tightly packed as well. Huge Surpise here.

👍
View Author
Sun Apr 03 2022
4

Very good album, but this musical style does not appeal to me enough to give it 5 stars, so 4 stars it is.

👍
View Author
Sun Apr 03 2022
4

Divine Comedy has made the perfect (chamber) pop song numberous times (Our Mutual Friend, Tonight We Fly, The Booklovers etc etc) . This min-album: If. The remaining songs are around 4*. Lyrics: 5* (of course).

👍
View Author
Fri May 13 2022
4

I wasn’t expecting much from this one, but I kind of loved it! Very pretty throughout, and I like how his voice added a little bit of edge to offset the sugary sweet coating. This might be my favorite week here ever. B

👍
View Author
Wed May 18 2022
4

Why include this Neil Hannon project, and not the cricket-themed concept album side project "The Duckworth Lewis Method"? That would really get the commenters foaming at the mouth about the UK-centric bias! 😆 Anyway, this is a perfectly pleasant listen - I got a Frank Sinatra album picked the next day, which makes for a nice contrast... Fave track - "Everybody Knows (Except You)"

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 15 2022
4

Brel-liant. More obsessed with horses than I remember.

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 11 2022
4

I've a grudging respect for Divine Comedy. Their overplayed cleverness, catchy lyrics, odd orchestral sounds. But I can't work out - who is now annoying - Neil Hannon or Divine Comedy fans?

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 03 2022
4

A very nice album indeed with very precise & carefully-chosen lyrics.

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Great instrumentation and vocals. Probably the best chamber pop album I've heard yet

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 21 2022
4

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Expecting something 'avant-guarde' but it was just a collection of old fashioned love songs. It gets one extra star for having the most literaly truthful title of any album I know.

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 17 2022
4

I actually wasn’t that keen on this after the first listen. I somehow didn’t know what I was going into and simply wasn’t ready. But I had a feeling that I was missing something. So I gave it another listen. And BANG. There it was. I was totally blown back the second time around. The grandiose orchestration, the wonderful songwriting and Hannon’s raw and honest emotions. Especially the four songs starting with “Everybody Knows (Expect You)” and concluding with “If I Were You…” stands out as phenomenal. How have I wasted 25 years not listening to this sooner?

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 17 2022
4

Short and sweet. Playful, unpredictable, tender, with great melodies. I definitely need to listen to some more 'The Divine Comedy!

👍
Load more reviews