Pretentions to militant outsiderdom were ten a penny in the past decade, but few walked the walk like Patrick Wolf. The Libertine takes the millenium's tendency towards no-more-heroes melodrama, fuses it with a sense of self-belief you could bend steel around, and forges an unstoppable flight of righteous prickly petulance. Bleak and Yeatsian in outlook and atmosphere, the song opens with delicately poised piano and slowly-unravelling strings that bow under the weight of a thumping backbeat. Its galloping rhythms swoop and loop through outcrops of dark electro, spurred on by lyrics that scatter at swordpoint a slew of romantic and chivalric tropes before Wolf, alone in "a drought of truth and invention", pulls us along through a full-throttle tilt at the darkness of a dried-up dystopia and over the edge into a better world.
[Album: Wind In The Wires]