|1. Oh What a World|
|2. I Don't Know What It Is|
|3. Vicious World|
|4. Movies of Myself|
|5. Pretty Things|
|6. Go or Go Ahead|
|8. 14th Street|
|10. Harvester of Hearts|
|11. Beautiful Child|
|14. Dinner at Eight|
Rufus's musical style and sense of orchestration have definitely matured over time. This album is like stepping into the mind of a guy sitting in a coffee shop or on the subway and reading this thoughts. He still hasn't lost that great sense of lyrical playfulness. Standout tracks include "Vibrate," "Oh, What A World," and "14th Street," and "Harvester of Hearts."
It's wonderful to find an album that brings one to tears with simply the music and the singer's voice. Through his excellent self-titled debut, and "Poses," I was waiting for THIS album from a wiser Rufus. "Not that I have that much to offer/God knows I have so much to gain." He's growing up.
Rufus, you are just . . . such a beautiful child.
Oh yeah, just noticed there are a few reviewers who don't like his voice. I'll try to say this politely... Please disregard those reviews, they represent a small, anal retentive percentage of the populus; and I have played Rufus to uniformly enthusiastic reviews from friends.
Rufus Wainwright is by far my favorite musician and his newest album is no less excellent than his phenomenal first two albums. This album may in fact be the most accessible for those who did not instantaneously fall in love with his previous songs. The key is to listen to the songs multiple times allowing them to become familiar to you, like reading poetry, every time you listen the lyrics and music become richer and reveal their exquisite layers of beauty, emotion, and greatness.
"I Don't Know What It Is" starts slow and builds to a crescendo as well. By its finale, it sounds like Phil Spector movie music. Wainwright and his producer Marius Devries parlay this excess into camp charm.
"Vicious World" is a romantic lament backed by a vibraphone from a Mirwais producers album or a chill-out disc.
"Pretty Things" is just Rufus and his piano proclaiming his Wildean aestheticism.
"Go or Go Ahead" starts with a lovely Wainwright vocal over acoustic guitar and builds to a blistering rock 'n' roll climax--at least by tuneful Rufus standards. Shades of 70s bands like Queen or Boston: power chords and creamy harmonies. A masterpiece of production, it's one of the album's best songs.
"Vibrate" is a bit throwaway but it's clever fun.
"14 Street" ushers in the album's finest moment where Tin Pan Alley melody, saloon piano, and witty poetic lyrics come together in a tasty mix.
"Natasha" is pleasant but unexceptional.
"Harvester of Hearts" may be the best vocal on the album. Rufus' voice, in its higher register, sounds delicate and expressive. The song is lovely too, though it repeats the word "people" too many times.
"Beautiful Child" is a nu-gospel stand-out that reads like a Blake poem. Again, dense busy production makes for a layered treat that may requires headphones to fully appreciate.Read more ›