By Ryan Alex
Canadian pop singer Rufus Wainwright has once again delivered a solid chamber pop album filled with magnificent songwriting, impressive vocals, and perfect instrumental that fans of his work have come to expect. It’s not a large departure from his other albums but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This album is definitely something I would recommend an aspiring musician to listen to, even if they play a completely different style of music just because the songs are so well put together and textured. The opening track is a great example the guitar starts off the song perfectly drawing you in and then the build on the “look at you parts” is leads right up to the back up singers, who sound great on other songs like “Jericho”. A lot of listeners are likely to find this album or Rufus’s music too soft for them which is understandable; there are only a few moments when the album quote on quote rocks. However even if it’s not what you usually listen to it’s far from a boring album, Rufus manages to keep things interesting with a wide array of instruments and good lyrics as always.
This is evident in one of my favorite songs on the album “Rashida” the guitar parts go from heavily chorused to fuzzed out that sound almost like a synth, the back up vocals really compliment this song as well and the saxophone parts are a really nice addition. The song “Barbara” features an amazing synth loop and really great vocals on the chorus not too mention a really impressive guitar part towards the middle. Heck, “Candles” even has an accordion in it.
My only concerns with this album is certain things start to sound very similar not to other songs in the album but to songs in general, for example how many times have we heard someone sing “I love you and I don’t want lose you” or something of that nature? But it’s hardly noticeable thanks to the clever lyrics that you would never hear from some pop artists that infect the brain dead listener. Rufus is not that kind of artist. Songs like “Perfect Man” feature though provoking lines like “After another induction to the hall of famine/ I closed the magazine.” And in “Montauk” which I believe may be a message to his daughter for her not to be confused about her two dads.
My other criticism is even though Rufus is able to really successfully change things up on this album musically with songs like “Perfect man” and “Barbara” the songs still start to run together and sound the same. Granted they all are very solid songs but an entire album of it is just too much for me, I think part of the problem is that Rufus’s singing voice (which is very impressive) doesn’t change much from song to song.
Other than those minor issues this album is a really great one it’s so well put together just like all his other work. Even if it’s not what I would listen to on my free time it’s still very enjoyable and you’d probably enjoy it.