Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Patrick Wolf - Sundark and Riverlight

Patrick Wolf has already been with us for 10 years & that's quite a hard thing to get your head around. I got into him fairly late in 2004 when I first heard Lycanthropy pouring out of my friends stereo and immediately fell in love with his electronic folklore. Over the years Patrick Wolf has gone under a bit of a diva transformation, gained and lost fans on every passing release & is constantly evolving his sound. The heart is still there but where it was in an incredibly bleak place before it's now dancing on the beaches of San Fran with a huge smile on it's face & good on him. This song concentrates on stripping down some old favourites to their bare acoustic roots & whilst it is for the most part a collection that provides some memorable renditions it has to be said that given most these songs were made with a showy composure in mind some of these songs simply don't work. The are moments in songs like 'Paris', 'Bluebells' & 'The Magic Posistion' in particular where he goes into chanting and without the grand composure behind the lyrics the songs begin sounding a little bit on the comical side. Some songs translate surprisingly well such as 'Hard Times' & a lot of the material from 'The Bachelor' in particular come out far better then I thought it would with it's more sombre approach foregoing to schizophrenic production on that album. Patrick's vocals are also the strongest I have ever heard them, he's certainly not the shy 17 year old any-more  he sings his songs loud & proud and that really helps carry this album. As an artist that relies so heavily on electronic beats on his songs this is a surprisingly good experiment & works as your very own acoustic session of Patrick Wolfs greatest hits & whilst they rarely improve on the originals it's a very good way to cap off your 10 year anniversary  Even the most jaded Patrick Wolf fans should give it a shot even if it's to hear some reworkings of your favourites from yesteryear. 

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