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The Feminine Divine is Dexys’ fifth album of original material produced once again by Pete Schwier, along with acclaimed session musician and producer Toby Chapman. After taking some time out to refocus his energy, Kevin Rowland came back to music with a fresh perspective and new-found positivity. A personal, if not strictly autobiographical, record portraying a man whose views have evolved over time. Not just on women, but the whole concept of masculinity he had been raised with: an education and an un-learning that is traced across the arc of The Feminine Divine with dizzying effect.
The record’s first half is full of music hall-esque swagger, much of it written with original Dexys’ trombonist Big Jim Paterson (a non-touring band member). The second side of the record is like nothing Dexys have done before. A saucy, synth-heavy cabaret, written in collaboration with Sean Read and Mike Timothy. It’s steamy, fizzing and sultry, at times doom-laden and heavy and at other times raunchy and funky. Quite a heady mix.
With over a billion worldwide streams, three top 10 albums in the UK, two number 1 singles, a Brit Award and a multi-platinum selling album with their sophomore release Too-Rye-Ay (as Dexys Midnight Runners), Dexys are as vital and exciting today as ever. The Feminine Divine marks a new chapter in a book that just keeps getting better and better.