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The Magic Position

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Audio CD, May 1, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

MAGIC POSITION

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Standing at 6 feet 4" tall with a shock of bright red hair, 23 year old Patrick Wolf is something of a statement even before he opens his mouth. His two albums to date--2003's Lycanthropy and 2005's Wind in the Wires--have showed him to be more than a pretty face, however, with songs that strike an attractive balance between the imaginative and the indulgent. His third album, The Magic Position, is undoubtedly Wolf's 'pop' moment. The rollicking romp of "Get Lost," the upbeat "Accident and Emergency," and the celebratory title track all underline new levels of accessibility and--dare we say it--optimism. There are hints of the old Wolf too of course, especially in the eclectic choice of instrumentation and the off-kilter song arrangements; for every pop-perfect track there's a slice of raw darkness ("Bluebell") casual introspection ("Augustine") or sidereal rock-tronica ("The Stars"). Less a dramatic reinvention than a sideways turn into the world of adult emotions and mainstream accessibility, The Magic Position is nonetheless Patrick Wolf's most accomplished work to date. --Paul Sullivan


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: INgrooves Fontana/Low Altitude
  • ASIN: B000NJVX5O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,513 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By kaleidoscope on March 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Well well well, I must say, I am very surprised to see that I'm the first person reviewing this gem. :) I am an American and while I'm probably not supposed to own this album yet (hits the States in May), I preordered it like some smart few as an import from the UK. So when it arrived March 2nd, I threw my hands in the air and danced around my kitchen, grinning profusely and having the sudden desire to bake cookies, fly kites, have water balloon fights with three-year olds, and maybe wear floaties to the beach. It is just that happy. A fan of fine lad's older stuff, I knew this album would be... erm... peculiar... but oh my. Peculiarity is good. It is splendid. If anything, I am impressed that an artist such as sweet Patrick can be so incredibly diverse. He is incredibly talented, every song is unique, and every song has its own bit of creative flare that I have hoped to find floating around the music world for years. I might be selfish to say that I want to keep him all to myself, but this album definitely has potential to go mainstream, and I will be happy for Patrick for whatever success he receives. :) Here's a review I wrote for a class assignment:

* * * * *

If befriending a gypsy in the gardens of a Parisian cemetery is what one has to do in order to ensure for a brilliant musical future, Wolf has quite literally done so, and with his third full-length Britpop folky masterpiece, he has indeed been put under a fantastic spell.

His debut, Lycanthropy, was a discothèque opera of ferocious alter-egos and Wind in the Wires was 2004's seaside requiem of ukuleles and accordions. After a few startling press photographs of Wolf in shiny boots with electric red hair, his fan base prepared for a carnival of flashy optimism, and Wolf did not want to disappoint.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I admit it openly -- after hearing that Patrick Wolf was going poppy, I was prepared to hate "The Magic Position." I really was.

But I can't. Instead, his third album managed to sweep me away with his colourful chamberpop, and ever-changing palette of musical sounds. In fact, he masters most varieties of pop -- bluesy, peppy, soothing strings, and even some electropop -- and weave them into some accomplished melodies.

It opens with some taut drums, and a slowly rising violin leads in a sweep of strings, guitar and electronica. Wolf croons over it, "It's wonderful what a smile can hide/If the teeth shine bright and it's nice and wide/It's so magical all you can keep inside/And if you bury it deep no one can find a thing, no..." He follows it with the xylophone-churchbell-violinpop of the title song, a bouncy love song that is so infectious and joyful, it deserves to be on the radio.

But having hooked listeners with those two songs, he sallies out into all sorts of music -- dark electropop with horns, bluesy ballads, passionate piano pop, happy robot dance music, and a strong piano-strings ballad, "Magpie," a duet with the smoky-voiced Marianne Faithfull. And the album ends as it began -- with a twinkly, joyous little song, and a bittersweet string outro.

If I had to compare Patrick Wolf in this album, it would be to call him a male version of Feist -- talented vocalist and songwriter, musically versatile, and poppy without being a slave to the MTV sound. "The Magic Position" shows that off beautifully, albeit with a few dark spots that could have been left out.

The music is one of those rare blends of fun catchiness and clever musicianship -- mostly because Wolf crams it with adept musicianship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CoryRay on April 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I liked his debut album, "Lycanthropy," but I find that there are only a small handful of songs that I can listen to relatively often: "Wolf Song," "Bloodbeat," "To The Lighthouse," and "Don't Say No." The rest either don't do much for me or flat-out annoy me (no offense to Patrick!). "Wind In The Wires" was a big improvement. Though there were still a few definite standouts (the three singles, along with "Teignmouth" and "Gypsy King."), I really enjoyed the album as a whole. Now we have "The Magic Position," and I must say it's absolutely phenomenal, topping both his previous albums. For whatever reason, it didn't click with me on the first listen and I was a little disappointed, but shortly into the second time around, I was like, "What was I thinking? This is brilliant!" True, it has a happier, more positive, more romantic vibe, but the sound is still undoubtedly his. I would hardly call this album commercial. For those unfamiliar with Wolf, it could still be a bit challenging, but once you let him in, he utterly enchants you.

I didn't think "To The Lighthouse" could ever be replaced as my favorite Wolf song, but I'm pretty sure "Accident & Emergency" has taken that spot now. It's amazing. I can't get enough. The other two singles ("Bluebells" and "Magic Position") are very close behind, and following not too far behind them are the beautiful "Augustine," the unexpected romantic crooner tune "Enchanted," the epic "The Stars," which harkens back to the spastic electronic beats of his debut, and the powerful opener "Overture," which is so much more than the name would have you believe. Yeah, there are a lot of great songs here.
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