Review Summary: A bombastic yet unessential mini album.
The seven track A Short Album About Love was mostly recorded live at soundchecks while The Divine Comedy were touring the preceding Casanova LP. On that tour Neil Hannon had a full orchestra at his beck and call and he took full advantage of the opportunity here on this recording.
To that end, Hannon himself takes a bit of a backseat on this album. This leaves space for a lot of extended instrumental passages, giving the orchestra ample room to stretch it's strings. The songs all swell with impressive classical bombast and feel suitably epic. As such, A Short Album About Love feels very elegant, cohesive and beautiful.
The major downside to the album is Neil Hannon's lyrical contribution. A renowned wordsmith, Hannon drops his usual witty flair for a more sincere set of romantic love songs. While the lyrics do fit the theme and tone of the album, they're also comparatively dull. There are only a few instances where they really shine and linger in the memory.
Ultimately, A Short Album About Love is a very pleasant yet unessential additional to The Divine Comedy's discography. It's brevity lessens it's impact, as does the lack of truly meaningful lyrics. Still, if you want a quick hit of bombastic orchestral pop, you could do a lot worse than this.