Patrick Wolf - Lycanthropy

"Lycanthropy - the transformation of a man into a wolf."

Not that dictionary definitions matter when you have an album that combines the best in Digital Hardcore beats, folk instrumentation and a songwriter in Patrick Wolf whose introduction is "walk tall beneath these trees boy. You monolith not scarred by fallout" and parting gift is "A boy like me don't ever give up his dream no". The fact he plays viola in band of the moment, The Hidden Cameras, and has the heartthrob looks we've been missing for so long are merely the peripheral details, but far from incidental.

"Lycanthropy" is an album impossible to place. Twisted genius. Lo-Fi Urchin. The Best Popstar Britain Has. All phrases which have been used to describe Patrick Wolf, but none of them fit. A line like "well i've got no time for victims and i don't think it was all that bad and if you can't run to save yourself well then you deserve to be had" from "The Childcatcher" could certainly come out of the same pen as Luke Haines, but then there's a track such as "A Boy Like Me" which features the wry lyrical outlook as the PSB's Neil Tennant. Placed on top of the music it becomes even harder to place with the shiniest pop gems filtered through the mind of a man who clearly has a love of acts such as Alec Empire, Add N To X and leftfield german electronica.

Recorded over a period of 8 years the album features minimalistic songs such as "Pigeon Song" and "Demolition" through to spluttering stop start electronica of "Don't Say Know" and "Bloodbeat". "Lycanthropy" is journey of exploration, but there's a greater pleasure to be gained from the fact that there's a treasure chest of gems locked away in Wolf's attic. F**king genius - there's no better way of saying it!!!

Alex McCann

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