Release Date: May 1, 2007
Record label: Universal
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Review Summary: The Magic Position celebrates rather than laments. Patrick Wolf has discovered major keys!When I first heard the pounding percussive intro of opening track Overture, I immediately thought of a piece of concert band music I played a few months ago entitled Dansereye by Renaissance composer Tielman Susato. Its opening movement, a simple fanfare, begins with majestic timpani that brings enough power and intensity to the song in seconds that the brilliant trumpet fanfare can sit on top gloriously.
Brooding, multi-talented indie prince Patrick Wolf lets a little sunshine in on his third full-length album, the undeniably catchy but highly unstable The Magic Position. Released in 2005, Wind in the Wires struck a nice balance between eerie British folk-inspired imagery/instrumentation and general home-recorded electronic cacophony. It was a deeply personal, slightly guarded, and occasionally brutal slice of brain tissue that promised great things from the young singer/violinist.
The cover of 23-year-old Wolf's third album depicts the songwriting/technology whizzkid on a fairground ride - appropriately, since the confirmed crooner treats music such as his personal amusement park. The Magic Position's many attractions include Philip Glass-style strings, stomping dance beats, Tears For Fears-like pop, Scott Walker epics and even, on the terrific Magpie, an unlikely appearance from Marianne Faithfull. On the surface, it's frothy, blue-eyed pop.