Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position

Patrick WolfPatrick Wolf occupies a unique place in music right now. Whilst most other English bands are emulating Arctic Monkey’s kitchen sink-dramas or trying to create some kind of day-glo cross between punk and dance music, Patrick is creating a strange and intoxicating mix of classical, folk and electronic music. And all the while presenting himself as a waif-ish urchin who could have been plucked from the pages of a Charles Dickens novel. His last album Wind In The Wires had a brilliantly downbeat title track that is one of my favourites. But the Magic Position is a much more upbeat album.

The opener “Overture” neatly illustrates his great talent for a great beat and some swooning violins. The title track somehow skirts between sounding like a lost 60’s bubblegum pop song and a children’s ride at a fun fair. “Accident & Emergency” again is bold and brassy, with a bouncing beat and a busy chorus. ”The Stars” is probably the best, a furious Aphex Twin beat erupts halfway through, but the melody is strong with a minimal piano and a distinctive violin guiding it to the end.

There’s definitely a sense that Patrick’s a very English artist: song titles like “Bluebells”, “Magpie” and “Secret Garden” all suggest his imagination is entrenched in childhood or in children’s fiction. “Let’s Get Lost” sounds like a jaunty fun day out in a more innocent age (“Let’s bin the invitations/leave our bikes at the station”). It’s all intoxicating stuff, bright and colourful as opposed to the dark colours that Wind In The Wires was painted in (look at the contrast in album covers). It’d be interesting to see where Patrick goes after this, but after three albums he looking strong.

Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position

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