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Monday, January 29, 2007

Patrick Wolf, "The Magic Position" (2007)

It was only after New Year's Day passed that I started browsing bookstores, looking to pick up a 2007 calendar. That's the best time, of course, since prices are 50% off at that point; really, unless you're Christmas gift-giving, I don't see why anyone ever buys calendars before the sale kicks in.

This year, I was specifically looking for a day-a-page calendar; there's something satisfying about marking the passage of time by ripping something off each day. At Borders I briefly toyed with getting the Sex: Everyday In Every Way calendar. One problem with getting a calendar of, say, Westie puppies, is that the pictures are SO CUTE that I never want to tear them off, which rather defeats the purpose of day-a-page calendars. With the Sex calendar, it's doubtful that I will really feel the need to hang on to a page when the day has passed. What am I going to learn? Indeed, flipping through the calendar and examining the 365 positions, I found that I had --


The title track to Patrick Wolf's marvellous The Magic Position is also its highlight, although it has some seriously stiff competition. For Wolf -- whose earlier work featured rape and dismemberment -- it's a surprising happy and up song. (This album is almost entirely cheerful, though.) (He must be in love.) (The bastard.) Over a jaunty violin riff (and then, later, a joyous toy piano), Patrick tells us, using a melody that in parts sounds like it owes something to Cyndi Lauper's "I Drove All Night": "Cause out of all the people I've known/The places I've been/The songs I have sung/The wonders I've seen/Now that the dream's all coming true/Who is the one that leads me on through? It's you! Who puts me in the magic position!" It's hard to imagine that Wolf is unaware of the faint double entendre here, but he sings the lines obliviously, with what is therefore a calculated innocence that nevertheless sounds totally naive and sweet. That's perhaps part of the point of the song: when he's with his lover, Patrick sees the world as a child would, as a perfectly beautiful and magical place. "So let the people talk/This Monday morning walk/By past the fabulous mess we're in." The kind of magic that transforms shit into fabulous shit. The best kind.

2 Comments:

  • Great song, I hope the whole album will be good......good taste man, also Jay-Jay Johanson...

    By Blogger ThomasFrog, at 6:23 PM  

  • I can't ever write another review again. You are too good!

    By Blogger xolondon, at 10:56 PM  

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