One day Rufus Wainwright will knock you out
Every time I hear about a new Rufus Wainwright release, I get excited. All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu will be released on April 20th and last week I received an advance copy. I uploaded it, listened to it and then deleted it. Like most of his albums, it just didn’t appeal to me. But I’m a fan…a huge fan to be sure…and one day I know he’s going to give me an album I’ll love.
Okay…take a deep breath…this is not a review. And I really don’t care if you don’t like that this dude is gay and can’t get past his occasional need to dress up a little on stage. He’s amazing.
I first heard Rufus’ voice on “The McGarrigle Hour” with mom, dad, sister, aunt and the entire Canadian clan and it made me feel as if I wanted to run away and join their circus. There is an earthy feel to the sounds they all make together and individually that touches me deeply. (If you missed it, the third No Depression bookazine came out last September, and there is a great story about this family by Kurt B. Reighley called ” Christmas With The Wainwrights, The McGarrigles & The Roches.” Should you miss the magazine, snatch all three up but especially this issue.)
No Depression has not been kind to Rufus. Allison Stewart’s review of Release The Stars
had this to say:
“Wainwright’s early releases favored vinegary and spry cabaret pop-style numbers that managed to get out of their own way, but his recent albums have been lumbering monuments to gilt, none more so than his latest, the occasionally great, occasionally draggy folk-meets-Wagner-meets-chamber-pop-meets-a-lot-of-other-things Release The Stars.”
And I think that sums up what’s wrong with most of the songs he does for me. They feel heavy on my shoulders and he lays on that pop tradition of the forties that doesn’t work for my ears. But still..there’s something there that will every now and then come out and bite your ears. I hear it in “Across The Universe” from the soundtrack to I Am Sam and from his version of “Hallelujah” that’s on the soundtrack to Shrek. His duet with Roseanne Cash on “Silver Wings” quietly simmers and shines.
So with the crowd that hangs around in these parts, you’re probably not with me on this guy yet. But one day he’s going to do a simple album….maybe alone or with sister Martha and possibly others from the extended family. He’ll strip away the glitz and let his voice soar. And you’ll see. Here’s a little taste of what it’ll sound like.