The Magic Potion

Patrick Wolf does things differently. Yes, he’s a s****r-s********r, but he also produced and arranged this, his third album.

Patrick Wolf does things differently. Yes, he’s a s****r-s********r, but he also produced and arranged this, his third album. Oh, and he appears on the cover astride a carousel horse, resplendent in tight red pedal pushers (to say nothing of the stack heels, knee socks, shorts combo within).

Yes, Patrick Wolf does thing differently, including making his own Theremin at the age of 13. Thankfully, The Magic Position takes such high expectations and runs with them. The opening ‘Overture’ sets the tone in dazzling fashion as pounding drums mix with dramatic strings and bleeping electronics. Over the course of the next 13 tracks (too many, but we’ll come to that) Wolf will proceed to combine technology with violas and ukuleles, the Symphony Orchestra of Vienna with Marianne Faithfull and quite possibly a touch of madness with a touch of genius.

For the most part he pulls it off, particularly on the glam pop bounce of the title track. We could, however, have done without the white noise of ‘Secret Garden’ and one wonders if Marianne Faithfull’s croaky cameo on ‘Magpie’ is more for effect than anything else. But so what if The Magic Position ends up creaking slightly under the weight of its own ambition – surely that’s better than settling for the norm? So, a s****r-s********r he may be, but Patrick Wolf is most definitely his own man.


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