The Divine Comedy's new album represents a significant change in direction - and a very welcome one at that. Neil Hannon's musical and lyrical gifts are plain for all to see but for too long they've been badly mis-used in a string of underwhelming pantomime songs. Here, however, the overbearing smugness and irony have been replaced by good old-fashioned sentiment while Hannon's trademark painstaking arrangements, pretty melodies and clever lyrics are still intact. It's not perfect - some of the slower, overwrought songs are less than fully convincing and the pace of the album is just a little sluggish. Overall however, Regeneration is a clear success; the mature work of a proper band rather than a superficial theatrical presentation. It's by far the best album they've ever made.