The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

Stockpile: Patrick Wolf

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Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position – I first heard of Mr. Wolf via Amy Winehouse. He opened for her at The Varsity last March. At the time, I wasn’t very impressed – he came dressed in a boy scout shirt and lederhosen. I’m all for artful expression, but he seemed more focused on the physical interpretation of his music vs. actually making music. His set was rather short, a bit dramatic (as only a boyscout in lederhosen can be) and the only standout track was (aptly) “The Magic Position”. Now living in London and being thoroughly overpowered by the stature of The Libertines in British pop music, I felt too self conscious to not give Patrick a second chance. Listening to the full album gives the songs much more shape and helps explain the eccentric exterior.

Patrick enjoys creating miniature symphonies about love, blending strings, horns and stiff electronic rhythms. Furthermore, his voice adds to the theater of each song, raising the stakes to semi-epic proportions. Ah, what love and heartache will bring out of you?! For Patrick, even the happy songs have a hint of sadness. Which actually sounds good. “Magic Position” and “(Let’s Go) Get Lost” succeed because the theme is happy but the sound is bittersweet. It adds a bit of a realist edge to his dramatic tendencies. His sad songs work too, but easily can shift into exaggeration with overindulgent lyrics and too many strings. Patrick is at his best when he cuts out all of the added instrumentation and simply sings with the piano. “Augustine” typifies his ability to simplify and sing touching lyrics. I wish there was more of this on The Magic Position, but the album is enjoyable as is. I just need to be in the mood for arm chair operas.

Written by TopDrop

October 28th, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Stockpile

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