Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Patrick Wolf – Together

Maybe we will stop stanning next album?


Iain Mew: “Together” combines Patrick’s maximalist romanticism and a deep disco pulse to incredible results. The message feels entirely natural but is uncommonly refreshing – not “I can’t go on without you” but “I can go on without you but it would be a bit rubbish, so let’s not, please”. Which still allows his love to feel monumental, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary and powering the most ecstatic chorus of the year. And oh, the strings! The sweep up and out of the spoken bit! I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this song already, but it still makes me so, so happy every time.

Jonathan Bogart: I’ll always have time for a good Midge Ure tribute. While this gestures towards all the tropes of the post-“Heroes” New Romantic landscape, including solitary lovers in poses, cascading orchestration, and that warm robotic sequencer pulse orienting us in spacetime (England, 1979-1983), and Wolf’s mannered, sighing baritone practically swallows its consonants in an attempt to mimic the most florid of the era’s mannerists, it’s not so starstruck as to attempt the apocalyptic anxiety of the Cold War.

Pete Baran: The vocal delivery is a bit precious, and spends much of the track ignoring its own backing, but that is all part of what makes this sweeping throwback so enjoyable. I did spend a lot of my listens trying to track down its exact antecedents, like a geneologist I was perhaps a bit disappointed when I discovered that it is not really an 80’s synth-pop homage but rather wants to be Scott Walker singing Queen’s One Vision.

Alex Ostroff: “Alone again in Paris,” he sighs. Alone is his natural state, since the first time he fled to Paris. The magic of ‘Together’ is that, despite the title, despite the despondency, despite the disco strings, Patrick doesn’t give up his hard-won independence. “I can do this alone,” he insists, “but we can do this so much better, together.” How easy it would have been to drop the ‘but’ and insist that “I can’t”. It’s the little things you do together that make perfect relationships. Codependent? Certainly not our boy — not after the lessons of The Bachelor. After this, there’s nowhere to go but up, up, up. Essentially, this is the song that makes me wish I’d graded everything else Patrick released this year more harshly, if only to emphasize how wonderful it is. Can I give it an [11]?

Katherine St Asaph: A male version of “Hang With Me,” plus strings, whispering, something like a soprano and flickers of darkness. What other score could it possibly get?

Alfred Soto: “House” was a fluke: the lilting melody and grand arrangement mitigated Wolf’s gulped histrionics. Starting promisingly with bass sequencer and the speaker alone in Paris, the chorus crests with an unearned flourish, and Wolf reminding us that the Ian McCulloch of Ocean Rain is his model.

Brad Shoup: I’ve a growing suspicion that Wolf’s primary audience is those who acquire and assemble high-end audio systems.

Edward Okulicz: Makes the plea for comforting togetherness sound like the rush of a love that’s new; completely inviting, completely beautiful.

5 Responses to “Patrick Wolf – Together”

  1. I don’t get the love for this guy.


  3. I’m not a stan; the Jukebox singles are the first I’ve ever heard from him. But I gave “Hang With Me” a [10] and would probably still; fair is fair.

  4. Can’t stand him, probably won’t ever give him another chance either since he’s always come off as an idiot.

  5. In 2004 I realized that Bryan Ferry was the only Brit – the only humanoid – from whom I would allow that sort of histrionics (I once owned a few Ultravox and Echo records).