Patrick Wolf
Wind in the Wires


4.0
excellent

Review

by NeoOrder USER (7 Reviews)
March 8th, 2009 | 12 replies | 8,097 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Great album with great sound textures, that suffers from a few poor choices by the artist

Patrick Wolf – Wind In The Wires

Sometime last year I came across an album in a second hand CD shop called “Ind in the Wires”. Apparently, the label maker missed out the “W”. Whenever me and my friend would go into this shop, we'd pick out a random CD for less than a fiver and we'd have to buy them. While my friend got some unnamed album that came with a free pair of 3D glasses (it would later turn out to be Insane Clown Posse, which he subsequently burned for a laugh), I came out with the first great album I had got from that shop.

Wind in the Wires is a curious little piece of music. The opening song “The Libertine” has Mr Wolf telling the story of a number of ill-fated travelers, circus folk, a pirate and the titular Libertine, but towards the end a heavily distorted verse pops up that sums up Patrick Wolf in about 30 seconds in the phrase :

“And in this drought of truth and invention
Whoever shouts the loudest gets the most attention
So we pass the mic and they've got nothing to say except:
"Bow down, bow down, bow down to your god"
Then we hit the floor
And make ourselves and idol to bow before,
Well I can't and I wont bow down anymore.
No more”

He is going to do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. As a result, the music of Wind in the Wires is wide and varied. From the dark circus violins of The Libertine, we are lead into a song that could easily be a simple piano ballad, “Teignmouth”, but as is Patrick Wolfs way, it might have started out as a piano ballad. What we have here is a ballad that is twisted and broken, only to be rebuilt into an electronic soundscape seeping with emotion, choirs and distorted drums. A lot of the songs on Wind in the Wires are broken down and built up this way, notably the titular track, “Wind in the Wires”, which sees Patrick as his most emotionally fragile upon a back drop of ukulele and sombre piano, with an unusually tame drum beat.

The albums main failing, though, is in its inconsistency. There are 3 songs that the album could really do without: “The Shadowsea”, “Apparition” and “Eulogy”. These songs act as “interludes”, if you will, but quite frankly just upset the flow of the album. A bit like the “skits” you might find on about any rap album past 2000: they're entertaining the first time you hear them, and they fill out the tracklisting. That's it though. A select few might find these songs essential to the album, but I'm clearly not one of them.

The album has a number of highlights: The eccentric “Ghost Song” where a story of his spirit coming out from his bellybutton to find itself, the dance-tastic “Tristan” which sees the Wolf in Patrick break lose for the first time since the previously mentioned “The Libertine”, and the common themed, but fantastically delivered, “This Weather”. The album ends on a high note with “Lands End” built around the key of Dmajor and a descending ukulele riff, with Patrick recounting the success of his first album. The menacing “The Railway House” is another highlight, strangely simple in its delivery compared to the rest of the album.

Now, Patrick Wolf is often associated with a genre called “Folktronica”. Where does the folk part of this sound come in, I hear you ask? It's in Patricks insistence that he uses the original instruments instead of keyboard sounds as you might expect of your average musician. Patricks collection includes several organs, accordians, violins/violas, ukuleles, rhodes pianos, double bass, clavicord and acoustic guitars. As a result, the album has a lovely warm feel that sounds in no way flat or discordant.

Overall, it's a very strong album, that with a little tweaking could easily be a classic.

Recommended Tracks:

The Libertine
Teignmouth
Wind In The Wires
The Railway House
This Weather
Triston

For the more dedicated fan:

The Gypsy King
Ghost Song
Jacobs Ladder
Tristan
Lands End

Not really worth a listen, but maybe on a play through of the album

The Shadowsea
Apparition
Eulogy

Thanks for reading, I hope this review helps on your understanding of this album



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user ratings (81)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
gaslightanthem
March 8th 2009


5209 Comments


this didn't have a review whoa

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i could have sworn this had a review; i was thinking about doing one myself but like i said i thought it had a staff review already.

anyway this album is great, as are all his albums. 'this weather,' 'jacob's ladder,' and 'tristan' is an amazing three-song streak

gaslightanthem
March 8th 2009


5209 Comments


'this weather,' 'jacob's ladder,' and 'tristan' is an amazing three-song streak

fucking yes

but in all honesty the album is like an amazing 13 song streak

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

in jacobs ladder when he does that really high wailing it is so awesome

gaslightanthem
March 8th 2009


5209 Comments


i'm gonna listen to this again as soon as i've finished listening to 'weird era cont.'

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

also good review

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 9th 2009


3767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh good, now I don't have to write this.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Kiran
Emeritus
March 9th 2009


6001 Comments


solid

RevengeSoldier
March 9th 2009


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The only point I disagree with is that I think that Apparition goes beautifully into Ghost Song and doesn't ruin the flow at all. In fact, I think it helps it.

Fetmabebis
July 11th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my favourite albums of all time, and I don't even listen to this genre of music. It's just fucking brilliant.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 2nd 2012


10593 Comments


solid album

WilliaMega
February 2nd 2013


112 Comments


Reminds me of a male Bjork. Have a feeling this will be a 5 soon



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