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Rufus Wainwright (Ltd.Ed)

161 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000007SFM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,988 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Foolish Love
2. Danny Boy
3. April Fools
4. In My Arms
5. Millbrook
6. Baby
7. Beauty Mark
8. Barcelona
9. Matinee Idol
10. Damned Ladies
11. Sally Ann
12. Imaginary Love

Product Description

The singer/songwriters working today who point to Tin Pan Alley and Broadway musicals as central inspirations can be counted on an index finger. Rufus Wainwright is quite an anomaly--but, then again, he's the son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle. Wainwright has been compared to Randy Newman for his piano-based orchestral sense, but unlike Newman, he rarely turns those poppy conventions against themselves: he's always sentimental and sincere about the fluff he explores. When he drives his melodies and lyrics hardest--as on the Beatlesque "April Fools" and the barroom "Matinee Idol"--his considerable imagination is most convincing and entertaining. Fans of folk simplicity should skip this one, but the more adventurous may find the charm in Wainwright's ambitious debut. --Roy Kasten

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By anduarto on Nov. 16 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's such a relief to see that other people find Rufus Wainwright's debut effort as unrelentingly droning and whining as I do! I was excited about the idea of Rufus Wainwright: the off-spring of respected alterna-folk luminaries with a penchant for crooning standards, a "voice like an angel" ... Unfortunately, the reality was something else entirely. I can't honestly critique the entire CD because, after repeated attempts, I never made it all the way through. I'd dutifully sit down and try to give it a fair hearing. The first few songs were sort of interesting, with really fairly unique and affecting intrumentation. By the fourth or fifth track, however, the droning vocals that had initially only been minor irritants began to grow increasingly grating. Eventually they become downright painful. Rufus drones and drones and drones some more!
Finally, about two-thirds of the way through I'd hit the eject button in defeat. Every time. Sorry, Rufus, I REALLY tried. Mr.Wainwright's self-titled disc eventually found its way to a used CD bin at my local discoteria.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carlos R. Pastrana on Oct. 16 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album is neither a Five-Star Album, nor a One-Star Album, as most of the previous reviewers have stated. Rather, it is a very, very good and original pop recording with style and feeling, but not the second coming of Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, either (THAT would probably be early Ben Folds!)... Basically, if you find no objection with Ringo Starr's singing style, or The Flaming Lips' "Soft Bulletin", and if you do not find schmaltz corny, but actually "cool", you'll enjoy this record. The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs did some of this stuff somewhat better, but with a little tinge of irony. Rufus' take on what I would, for lack of a better term, call "Broadway Rock", is much more earnest and straightforward, the kind of take some people find laughing at irresistible. Think of your naive and sensitive 11-year old discovering Neil Diamond for the first time and thinking the man's cool... that's the sort of reaction Rufus is bound to draw from you. I have no problem with schmaltz: I have been known to drive around with my windows rolled down and Serge Gainsbourg blaring from my speakers, so I have no problem with Rufus... However, I can see, understand and respect that other people might disagree.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 21 2003
Format: Audio CD
I love Rufus Wainwright! I think that he is one of the most gifted and original artists in years, and has all the potential to have a long and great career. I love all the tracks on this debut CD, but the one that stands out is "April Fools". This song to me is on unrequited love. In fact, all of the songs on this CD is about that. Rufus has cornered the market on that subject. He has most decidedly tapped into the alternative youth market of the gaeboy variety. And his voice is the perfect instrument for this venue. In 'April Fools' you feel the joy and longing and sadness associated in adolescence. The one main criticism I've heard that the public has is the distinct nasal quality of his voice. That may be. But no more than say, Justin Timberlake's? I wouldn't classify his voice as mainstream, but his is as deep and beautiful and charismatic. All one can hope for in these troubled times.
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Format: Audio CD
In the late 90's, people only knew Mr. Wainwright for "Instant Pleasure"; a rather shallow pop selection about the joys of loveless sex. Soon after, Wainwright released his first album and prooved that he was capable of producing something much greater. His self titled debut is a collection of cleverly told stories, expressed with unique and enjoyable music.
The tracks "Foolish Love" and "Baby" are my favorites. They are cleverly orchestrated, well-executed gems on this album. Other stars include "April Fools", "Damned Ladies", "Millbrook" and "Danny Boy".
There are 2 reasons that I gave this release 4 stars instead of 5. The first is the album's relatively non cohesive nature. While most are good songs, they don't seem to relate to one another in the way that I believe a 5 star album should. I had a problem finding a prevelant underlying theme in all the selections. Second, some of the tracks are, in my opinion, downright poor, "Imaginary Love" being the primary culpret. Wainright's voice on this selection is whiny and the lyrics/music are simply unmemorable. Additionally I was not a large fan of the song "Barcelona". In this track, Wainwright's tendancy to be mellow is taken to a downright dull extreme.
However, the strong tracks on this album (especially "Foolish Love") make it, in my opinion, a very strong release from a very talented artist.
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By A Customer on Feb. 8 2002
Format: Audio CD
I discovered Rufus Wainwright while listening to my friend's "I Am Sam" soundrack. The song: Wainwright's cover of the Beatles' "Across the Universe". The mix of major and diminished chords tastefully laced with ONE dynamic, melancholy, voice left me with a feeling of emptiness and disgust. I couldn't wait to hear the song a second time and third and fourth and so on. He nailed the impression the song intended to leave on the listener the first time it was recorded.
Wainwright's rhythmic talent for extending and manipulating vocal passages is apparent in "Universe". Taken aback by what I heard and felt from this tribute tune, I was eager to hear his other recordings. Well, unfortunately, his original work is not quite as impressive as his cover work. His albums have their flaws. His lyrics don't really hit home on a cerebral or heart-felt level which to me, is more important than virtuoso piano and guitar playing; which are also non-existant on both albums. However, his dynamic voice is his talent and that is why he deserves three stars. I wouldn't buy either one of the albums but they deserve a listen.
SIDEBAR: If there exists a cover of a classic song that has actually surpassed its original recording in both musicianship and pure emotion, there is no other than Jane's Addiction's cover of The Rolling Stone's "Sympathy for the Devil".
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