The Divine Comedy's "Absent Friends": An Appreciation

I've been writing for a great music site that actually likes how I prefer to write, called Treble. As part of their tenth anniversary the editor guy, Jeff, asked writers to talk about their favorite or most significant albums of the past ten years. For me that was a pretty easy decision: The Divine Comedy's Absent Friends from 2004.

I would like you to go read the whole thing at Treble's site, since it winds up being unexpectedly emotional for me (actually, that's bullshit -- my getting sappy in a piece about music is always an even-money bet) but my core argument is:
The dual nature of Absent Friends didn’t really hit me until... a few weeks ago. It’s an album of goodbyes and hellos, out of sequence and generating from different situations. It deals very specifically, yet casually, with the processes of exiting an old life and bringing in a new one. It looks great in a smoking jacket. And yes, it channels all the parallel situations I had experienced over three years through an epic, quasi-Victorian motif. It was exactly what I needed at the time, one of those rare albums (I’ve had four) that felt like it dropped into my hands to answer questions I must have been asking.
So please, have a gander at what it looks like when I write something with an actual agenda.
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