Personnel: Neil Hannon (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Bryan Mills, Ivor Talbot (guitar, bass); Philip Sheppard (cello); Millennia Strings, London Telefilmonic Orchestra (strings); Joby Talbot (recorder, piano, synthesizer); Stuart "Pinkie" Bates (trombone, organ, synthesizer); Rob Farrer (drums, percussion); Miggy Barradas (drums).
Recorded at RAK, London, England.
Though Neil Hannon's wise and wordy songs and Brian Ferry-like croon have always been at the heart of the Divine Comedy's sound, REGENERATION places Hannon's smart songwriting in focus to a greater degree than ever before. With Nigel Godrich manning the boards, it's not surprising that there's a tinge of Radiohead in the air, but the dominant approach is one of moody, elegant backing under Hannon's stinging sarcasm-filled lyrics. The opener "Timestretched" finds the neo-dandy Hannon exploring a neon-tinted prison of his own making. "The Beauty Regime" is an attack on surface-oriented value systems. "Bad Ambassador" is likely one of the finest tracks the Divine Comedy will ever record; a pumping, visceral anthem of an admittedly imperfect suitor whose ambitions overtake his abilities. Like Hannon, the tune is equal parts wit, infectious melody, and painstakingly uncovered heart.
Rolling Stone (2/28/02, p.62) - 3.5 stars out of 5- "...It's their first album to pay as much attention to the sound as to the songs. Produced by Nigel Godrich [KID A/AMNESIAC], the record has some of the same sweeping aural vistas as well as an exhausted loneliness all its own..."
Q (4/01, p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...There's no shortage of the sumptuous prettiness for which Hannon has long been famed....His eloquence remains his own..."
Alternative Press (12/01, p.80) - 8 out of 10 - "...A lilting, suave and grandoise near-masterpiece..."