May 3, 2007

Test Spin: Patrick Wolf

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Shoot! Bang! Fire! Even the first few child-choir sung seconds of Patrick Wolf’s new album’s title track, show an entirely new side of his. Apart from his newly acquired flaming-red hair, there are no more Lycanthropy “childcatchers” or Wind in the Wires demons — the new theme is taking lovers by the hand and leading them to the magic position in life: “To live, to learn, to love/ in the major key.” And he truly is singing in the major key, with an album full of joyous pop songs that distance themselves from the depressing aura his previous albums emitted. Still, a hint of his past somberness is present as the album progresses, such as the ghoulish duet with Marianne Faithfull, where among fireworks and tales of lost love, he states he’s “Going nowhere fast/ a darker day has holed at last.” With Wolf’s trademark instrumental variety-fireworks, ukulele, theremin, bells, bass clarinets, accordion, even dulcimer — The Magic Position is a turbulent ride on a musical merry-go-round.