Sound — 7
Patrick Wolf has always been a bit of a black sheep when it comes to his sound... actually, I suppose he's more of a shapeshifter. This albums sound matches NOTHING he's done before. Previous albums Lycanthropy, The Wind in the Wires, The Magic Position all featured progress from the previous releases, and this is not different. Whereas TMP was built around Major Keys and hopeful lyrics, The Bachelor features Wolf back at his most down troden....rather reminiscent of The Wind in the Wires. Most of the music features String Quartets, Intense Choirs and electronica aplenty. Its amazing how complete and sublime this sounds when compared to the lackluster TMP. Wolf seems to have compined his classical training with his love for the more obscure electronic influences, and the result sounds really original. My only quarral with the sound is that it loses some of that personaly homemade feel that made his first 3 albums so special.
Lyrics — 9
Patrick often sings about his child hood, his love life, or occasionally just a fairytale. He's even tackled political aspects on this album, particularly on "Count of Casualty", but it's obvious he doesn't have a damn clue what he's talking about. He should probably stick to his more personal lyrics next time. Wolf has always been a great singer, and on this album it's improved from before, with Patrick singing more confidently through what sounds like a better mic! I'm not even joking, his vocals sound clearer than on the first 3 albums! The best thing about the music is that the lyrics are plended in perfectly.
Overall Impression — 8
This album, like all of Patricks releases, is entirely unique in its delivery. It sounds like NOTHING that was released at the time, or even the years proceeding it. The most impressive songs are "Patricks Gone Metal" Battle, Vulture, Thickets, The Bachelor, Oblivion and Hard Times. The only songs I really don't have time for (personally) are Kriegspeil (the intro track) and The Sun Is Often Out, mainly because they contribute nothing to the albums alluring sond. This album sits up perfectly with his other albums, and will hopefully be remembered when Patrick is off making Death Metal records in his late 30s.