The Divine Comedy

Generation Sex [CD A]

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The charming "Generation Sex" from Fin De Siecle is paired here with two B-sides, one a Neil Hannon original and the other a cover of a song by Hannon favorite Michael Nyman. The title song is the same mix as the album version, and it's a witty, jaunty treat. "London Irish" is touching as Hannon's deep, rich croon mingles with an accordion. The song has an early-Smiths feel and piles of charm to spare. "Time Lapse," a cover of the Nyman number from the score to Peter Greenaway's A Zed and Two Noughts, doesn't share in the glory. The players, mostly violinists, are spot on, and Joby Talbot conducts them appropriately, but the distant, fuzzy electric guitar adds nothing to Nyman's minimalist original. There's a cheesy Queen-scoring-Flash Gordon vibe at play, but instead of providing a fun spin, the adaptation's lo-fi guitar ruins a great song. "London Irish" is one of the better B-sides from the Fin De Siecle recording sessions, but it's still hard to recommend this single release of Generation Sex.

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