Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Patrick Wolf- The Magic Position

Or 'The Magic Potion' as my I Tunes is lying to me.
Now. I love Patrick Wolf. I think he is gradually being elevated to 'hero' status in my book due to a ming-manglingly good performance at Koko at the end of last year, followed by the release of the rocket-fuelled Accident and Emergency single and more recently, a glitter-smeared performance that went down like a lead balloon at The Album Chart show. Truly inspiring stuff.
Before that, I liked him for his techno-folk stylings and crunchy beats but thought he could be a bit dreary at times. Yet live he was absolutely electric, beaming and darting around the stage. He seemed massively in love with life and we fell for him completely.
So it's safe to say I was looking forward to the release of The Magic Position.
The album opens with Overture, which has an extremely catchy violin hook. I'm not normally a fan of violins, but Patrick can do whatever the hell he likes, because he's a genius. I don't use that word lightly. He actually is, cos I say so.
The second song is The Magic Position, surely the highlight of the album. It is literally musical ecstasy. Again, the violin sounds divine and the whole song just sounds all over the place, marching along in a jumble of happiness. Patrick is unashamedly in love and it sounds wonderful. What is the magic position? I have no idea. I'd give it a go though.
To follow this with a song as good as Accident and Emergency is incredibly bold. This is great to dance to when you're out: I've tried it and I wasn't even drunk. The lyrics are ace and Patrick's energy is infectious.
To follow this with Bluebells (The Bluebell is too short to make an impact) is MADNESS! The three big hits, all unashamedly in a row. I love it. Bluebells reminds me of the first time I saw it live, the fireworks noises are so cool. Who else would think to have them as beats in a song? This is a beautiful song.
Magpie, with Marianne Faithfull, is where he starts to lose me a little. I do like his folky songs, but her voice sounds really old and the lyrics are uninspiring (one for sorrow, two for joy, yeah we know). Then there is a weird filler track that's just instumental and pretty pointless. I might add if you read the lyrics along with listening for the first time, be prepared to be confused, there seems to be lyrics to about three songs that don't exist.
After this there is Augustine which my boyfriend likes but I don't that much. Think it may be a grower though. Then there is another bit of filler. This reminds me of Bright Eyes, trying to annoy the listener, but Im sure it's just that I'm ignorant and don't understand.
Get Lost is the 2nd most upbeat track, and the keyboard really reminds me of early Pulp. A happy song about running away together. I like the line about the drinks being flat for some reason. Enchanted doesn't really do it for me, mainly piano-led it just doesn't go anywhere for me.
The Stars is really excellent, twinkling and haunting, combining beats with strings. I really respect the way he mashes up sounds you wouldn't expect to hear together. I also love the fairytale imagery. This is where Patricks strength lies, when listening to his album takes you to another place. He paints convincing pictures with both his lyrics and his voice. I think I'm already in love with this song. Finale is instrumental. He should have ended with The Stars.
So will Patrick make it to the mainstream? I hope not. He's too special.

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