in brief : you'll laugh so much you'll cry--and vice versa.
i tend to think that the release of oasis's be here now in 1997 marked the end of britpop, while embrace's "all you good good people" demonstrated that the genre as it was couldn't go any further.
shack's "comedy" was released in 1999; the joke, unfortunately, was on them.
i don't know what "comedy" is about; only one line sticks w/ me, and that goes, "when you cry it pulls me through." often i hear a song and it makes me feel a particular way and i have no inclination to do an exegesis and find myself contradicted. when i think of this song, the word "ice skating" comes strangely to mind. there is precision and grace, and, indeed, austerity--the opening line contains the word "belies," after all. oh, and it's chilly, is it ever. which may explain why an audience, in such a populist era, never really took to the band.
there is, though, a moment--between 4:18 and 4:24--when the aforementioned line is sung w/ uncharacteristic effusiveness, like the old facade being disturbed by emotion. it's a pop music version, then, of an old champion having a slight spill during their routine, a reminder of the humanity behind the construction. this is classy, bachrachian pop of the highest order, whose heart is nearer the surface than it'd like you to know.