Saturday, December 1, 2007

Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position

2007 is the year when multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wolf began his rise to prominence. With two already well received albums in the bag, the Magic Position gave him a welcome push into the alternative music world. Ever hear the story of him firing a member on stage? Aware of his ego or lack of one? Know of his his ability to play whatever instrument you throw at him or had a glimpse of his astounding creativity? In other words what's not to be intrigued about this guy?

Before you even know it, Wolf knocks you to your knee's with the opening track "Overture" one of the best songs you'll hear this year. Battering bass drums, followed in with strings followed by percussion, it's an overwhelming experience, if you've yet to try it I suggest you hop aboard immediately. Trying to forget the near masterpiece of the opener, he throws the upbeat title track our way, the intro reminds me of a theme from a cartoon or some kind of children's show tune, followed in with a string section likened to that of an E.L.O track. "Accident and Emergency" was the first single to be taken from the album, and it's not surprising, it's an engaging track, bringing along all the usual Wolf traits we've come to know. You just wish the EMERGENCY!!! intro kept on a little longer.

The beautiful piano laden piece "Magpie" features Marianne Faithfull, who gives the song a somewhat ominous feel with her dry and almost croaky voice. Both their voices complements the other not to mention the soaring strings occasionally appearing in the background. Challenging the beauty of "Magpie" comes "Augustine" which rightfully takes the mantle, slowly building to that chorus, "sweet augustine". Only midway through and Wolf is already showing his strong presence as an artist. The album seems to be cut up into sections with "The Bluebell", "X" and "The Secret Garden" supplying the shifts in which may give the songs in between more emphasis.

Even when not every song shines as bright as others, this is still such a terrific creation of sprawling beauty and eclectic vision. Those songs which don't seem as great as the others still contain glimpses of brilliance. If Patrick Wolf was ever going to win over a new legion of fans it was always going to be this album to do it. As strange to think, so young into his career he has already given us some of the tracks he'll forever be remembered for.


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