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Patrick Wolf The Magic Position

Few 23-year-olds can match pipes and world-weariness with Marianne Faithfull, but Brit crooner Patrick Wolf nearly does just that on "Magpie," a track from his stellar third album. The grim, piano- and string-drenched duet exemplifies Wolf's baroque-pop style, filled with bursting crescendos, orchestral swells, and anguished poetry. Wolf can channel Antony's drama, but his commanding delivery isn't nearly as fragile. And on cathartic stompers like "Get Lost" and the title track, he gets deliciously delirious. A few production tweaks let you know the album is of its time, but his words and delivery are timeless.

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