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Out Of Line

Steven Rainey

BBC Northern Ireland

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Neil Hannon has always written pop songs. The problem is that not all of them have been ‘popular’. And with his latest effort, he’s taken his muse into previously uncharted territory, sounding like a Caribbean-influenced collaboration with Vampire Weekend or tUnE-yArDs.

Over a bouncy xylophone melody, sounding not unlike ‘Close to Me’ by The Cure, Hannon tells us that he’s “Jumped the queue” because he’s “Smarter than you.” He then goes on to do something that sounds suspiciously like his version of freestyling, before the whole thing draws to a close in a blast of colour and sound.

For long-time fans, it’s likely to be quite a departure, sounding as far from the luscious romance of 1996’s Casanova as it’s possible to get. And while it might seem like an unlikely move, the tune has staying power, burrowing into your ear like a particularly determined creature…a worm, or something.

Regardless of whether ‘Queuejumper’ leaps to the front of the charts, that’s not really the point, as Hannon’s sounds have always been pop songs, whether they’re popular or not. But this time round, it sounds like he’s prepared to try and go the distance.

The Divine Comedy Release Brand New Album ‘Office Politics’ on June 7th

Live dates:

Sun 6th Dublin, Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Mon 7th Belfast, Ulster Hall
Tue 8th Cork, Opera House

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