1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, but still a diamond on the rough,
This review is from: The Magic Position (Audio CD)
I don't know how I came across this album, but I must admit that at first I kept it to myself. It was a bit of a guilty pleasure. Beautiful melodies mixed with electronic/casio/nintendo effects and emotionally charged lyrics of an adolescent in search of meaning: not quite what's on my musical shopping list.
In fact I reluctantly shared it with someone who I share music with, expecting a "what-the-heck-is-with-you-this-time", but fortunately got a reply along the lines of "interesting-stuff-you-put-up-there-this time". Phew!
The melodies and arrangements do sound like a gifted teenager: somewhat infantile and not very refined, yet adult and thoughtful. It sounds at times innocent and vulnerable, while it also shows he's been out and about quite a bit for his age. It's definitely hard to figure it out. Even to this day, sometimes I listen to it and think it's brilliant, and sometimes think it all sounds too exaggerated and crass.
Funnily I don't think I'm the only one that does not understand him. Some months ago I saw a picture in one of the London's free daily newspapers that showed Patrick's eclectic sense of style with the caption: "Patrick Wolf, a violinist". What? That's the last word I would use to describe him, yet he is indeed a violinist.
But more and more I'm inclined to think he's got absolute brilliance. When in doubt I listen to songs such as Overture, Augustine, Bluebells, Magpie, Get Lost, Enchanted, and The Stars which speak loads of his musical ability (strangely the ones I liked the least are the title song and the album's first single). It leaves way behind albums with wider critical acclaim like Antony And The Johnsons. My 5-star rating is both deserved and to encourage, a true musician such as him, to continue his journey of musical exploration.
Having said that, I still think he is a diamond in the rough. For instance, I think he needs to use a female voice more often. This will allow him to experiment musically. Perhaps in the same way he currently experiments with other sound making devices. In Get Lost you can hear a hint of where this could take him. This will allow him to use a wider range of notes and it will complement his natural `low' voice.
Also not sure if it was my version or the recording, but definitely it sounded at times rough, noisy, clanky, plus some of the special effects sounded annoying and out of place at times. There are too some odd moments in some songs which are distracting and actually detract from the song (like the "is it?" in Augustine).
From what I gather he is quite adamant to stick to his musical ideas (and I don't want to change that), but if he's able to listen to advice and surrounds himself with the right people he will certainly let the diamond be seen more consistently and by many more people. I can certainly see it. Way to go.