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Wolf delivers once more
on 20 February 2007
Most musicians would have given up the day job by now if they were Patrick Wolf. He has conjured up two of the greatest records of the 21st century (Lycanthropy,Wind In The Wires), yet still receives a lack of credit and recognition from the UK and elsewhere. Despite building up an immensely loyal fanbase, he is unheard of to many, many who once they've heard him, regret not knowing of him before. But despite the situation, this guy loves his music. And his new record, "The Magic Position" shows that he's got plenty left to give those that adore him.
Possibly, in an effort to get more popularity, his direction of music has gone more, "poppy". Yet the songs on this album could still bring any human being to a standstill and make them understand how beautiful music is.
"This magical place that we've found/No one here but us and the sound"
Everything that surrounds you in every song is staggering stuff, truly jaw-dropping moments, how one man can construct 13 fascinating, bewildering, bewitching tracks is beyond many, but he does it. And he does it with such confidence and swagger. Title track, "The Magic Position" is an affair which truly suits its title, it's magical, and very, very happy. No music today is similar to this, his fusion of violins and ukulele's are bar-none perfect and are constructed flawlessly. "Overture" is a tearful opener, stunning violins are supported by the deep, darling vocals of Wolf, and it's an opener to get anyone interested. "Accident & Emergency" sums up the change in direction, some like it, some don't, but it's a joyous chant of independence, prosperity and fun.
"Wake me up when the bluebells are ringing"
Things take a more heavy-hearted route after the first single, and the supreme second single "Bluebells", with the most haunting track of the album, "Magpie". Simple piano harmonics build up into a saddening tale of sorrow, supported by the most distressing of female voices, making this story darker and more extraordinary than it already was. Creepy is not the word to describe this, let it capture you, and grab you by your neck and truly let you experience the feeling of this song, the fact that this is beauty in music, and you should keep it close to your heart, it's a song that makes the record life-changing, and on par with his first two.
"The Stars" is almost as beautiful an affair. Excluding the 2 minute closer, "Finale", it's the real closer of the album. Saddening it is, but it's as mentioned before, gloriously beautiful. "Mama, the stars are burning bright" declares Wolf in his stunningly confident stature, his talents are never more put to use. Let his music be poppy, because he does it well. Don't be stubborn about this record, let it overwhelm you, let it embrace you, because not many other records can do it as well as this one.
"When it shines/You've got to let it shine"
"Get Lost" is another gorgeous pop anthem, it's style is merry, lively and ferocious, capturing the spirit of those that want to like this record, and won't be disappointed. "Augustine" cannot be ignored either, lyrically it's a step above everything else on the record. It's more an adventure than anything, and it takes the listener on this adventure, wise and ready, Wolf beckons the words like Roald Dahl telling his stories to enchanted children. The tale is however dark and secretive. Displaying more flexibility in Wolf's songwriting.
This album isn't a personal one as much as it was on his two previous record. Maybe it's for those that have stood by him all this time, and have realized how incredibly talented he is. Or it could mean that he's in love, that he's happy. Because happiness surrounds this record, even in the saddest of songs. You still get a sense of good spirit. Some might think that it being a non-personal record could damage the whole thing. But they can let their fears rest. There aren't tales of child catchers and evil humans, it's more about the listener, and how they can be taken away into a euphoric world of satisfaction and joy. It will happen to you if you want it to.