Lycanthropy is the first studio album by English-Irish singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf and was recorded over the eight years between 1994 and 2002. It was critically acclaimed at the time of its release, as was his next effort, Wind in the Wires.
The album has more sampling and distortion than Wolf's subsequent albums. Also, the album features acoustic guitar on a number of the tracks, an instrument Patrick would practically abandon on his later albums in favour of the baritone ukulele.
Some of the songs have a connection to wolves or werewolves, although not all are immediately apparent. A number of the songs have dark or "mature" undertones, such as the song "The Childcatcher", which tells the story of a boy targeted by a paedophile, and "Lycanthropy", which examines gender dysphoria through abstract lyrics.
The album was met with positive reviews. Kenyon Hopkin describes the debut as "relentlessly resourceful, never failing to reveal a new instrument." Dan Lett of Pitchfork Media praises the album, describing it as "folk-pop musings in lush blankets of violin, viola, harp and harpsichord, and tricks out the mix with aggressive electronic textures." Lett compliments Wolf's vocals and "A Boy Like Me" as a thoughtful pop songs "for the ubiquitous dissolute youth." Although Lett praises much of the album overall, he notes that the only complaint against the album is its lack of subtlety, "as it's possessed by a heady, pubescent intoxication that can result in some indiscriminate vocalizing." Christopher Kenrick from Sputnik Music also praises the album overall, but offers criticism of "The Childcatcher", which he bills as "depressing"; "Peter Pan", for its short length; and "A Boy Like Me" for the poor electronic sounds. Kenrick compliments the album for crossing genres and the overall strong sounds, especially for "London" and "Paris." Nick Southall from Stylus Magazine offers the most critical evaluation of the album with tongue-in-cheek references to Wolf's canine inspiration, but describes the album in general as "Bizarre and whimsical and freakish and compelling in equal measure." A reviewer at Almost Cool Music reviews offers a similar interpretation of the album, citing it as "both literary and pretentious," but also describes it as one of the best debuts.