Imagine if you will, a world where David Gahan never got
into Depeche Mode, but instead studied old folk music,
listened to tons of opera scores, took to playing the guitar and
mandolin, and lost many friends or whatever it is that makes people
depressed anymore. You would get thickly orchestrated operatic
folk music with touches of electronica, and you would call it
Patrick Wolf. Wolf's debut CD, Lycanthrope, was
released to wide critical acclaim in late 2003. His blending of
seemingly disparate musical influences drew many into the tent,
eager for a glance at what this young virtuoso had to offer. His
new release, Wind in The Wires, is no exception. The songs
are thickly orchestrated, yet maintain an almost sparse feel,
melding strings with acoustic guitars and glimpses of synthesizer.
The music is not easy to listen to at all times, the songs dark
and moody, filled with eerie screechings and oddly stretched percussive
instruments. "Ghost Song" is a fine example of the challenging
songs. Other times Wolf calms it down a piece and creates some
fine cabaret-skirting folkish music, but always with a deranged
lunatic edge. The brilliant story of "The Gypsy King"
is haunting in its dramatic beauty, with strangely appropriate
synthesizer parts weaving in and out of the decidedly Scottish
folk sound. David Bowie moments happen often, as evidenced
by tracks like "Wind In The Wires". Wolf's music creates
moods and landscapes of sound that reflect his past and influences,
while making it difficult to pin down exactly where he comes from.
Challenging and brilliant, Wind In The Wires is a complex
amalgamation of sounds and twisted storytelling that will delight
those who love their music to have the same eldritch cast as the
dark tales of Edward Gorey or the filmworks of Tim Burton.
1. The Libertine
3. The Shadow Sea
4. Wind In The Wires
5. The Railway House
6. The Gypsy King
8. Ghost Song
9. This Weather
10. Jacobs Ladder
13. Lands End
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