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4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 12 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00005Y7AW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,233 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk
2. Greek Song
3. Poses
4. Shadows
5. California
6. The Tower Of Learning
7. Grey Gardens
8. Rebel Prince
9. The Consort
10. One Man Guy
11. Evil Angel
12. In A Graveyard
13. Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk (reprise)
14. Across The Universe [Bonus Track]

Product Description


The scrutiny of success that came early on--being named Best New Artist by Rolling Stone in 1998, the year of his debut album, for example--would have smothered many another emerging talent. But it failed to stopper the singular, unclassifiable, ranging gift of singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright. His sophomore album, Poses, advances beyond the earlier, cabaret-inspired effort with a suite of songs marvelously varied in arrangement and texture but linked by Wainwright's characteristic theatrical panache. "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" catalogs excess with playful self-censure, but Wainwright's whimsical ironies often take a bruising, poignant turn, whether in the pseudo-upbeat "California" or, most movingly, on the title track. The dying fall of Wainwright's lusher melodies--echoes of "Across the Universe" as well as ultrachic Beatles tunes such as "Michelle"--meshes remarkably with the poetic substance here as he explores a landscape of wistful self-knowledge caught between longing and decadence. Yet even through all the layers of picturesque, postmod observation, Wainwright conveys a sense-filtered experience that gives urgency to his hauntingly mumbled opacities. With Poses, the young artist proves his authenticity. --Thomas May

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In music, nothing is more difficult than writing a good sad song. Too often, artists' attempts are lost in cliche'd and cheesy pining about forlorn love and inner pain. Contemporary pioneers of the sad song (such as Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley) tapped into that part of your soul where the sado-masochistic feeling of revelling in your own pain became cathartic. But it's a rare occassion when a musician comes along who can write sad songs that are at the same time hopeful and uplifting. Rufus Wainwright is one of the few.
To say "Poses" is a great album doesn't really begin to describe it. Because it's not so much the music, as it is the experience listening to him creates. The son of country great Loudon Wainwright, he represents the kind of underdog quality that makes it easy to cheer for if given any sort of reason. His wailing and off kilter voice, along with his tongue in cheek references to his own sexuality are placed on display with his inner demons, almost in a kind of faux-puppet show. He wants you to laugh with him at the skeletons, rather than give him pity or sympathy. And he does it with a songwriter's touch that is trapped in the classical stylings of bard-like songs of medieval times.
"Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk" (one of the strangest titles of a song, ever) opens the album in a humorous look at coming to grips with your own vices....as "Greek Song" sweeps through with a waltz-like quality. Slower pieces like "Poses" and "Rebel Prince" show the softer qualities of Wainwright's voice, as whispers and quiet acoustic guitars help him fill up the tracks with a presence few full piece bands have.
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Format: Audio CD
How much do I love this CD? Let me count the ways. I have two Poses CDs at any given moment, one that will never leave the house and one for lending and traveling. And when the loaned CD cannot be wrested back, I buy another for lending, because it must be shared.
Yes, I love the lush orchestrations, original and inventive. Yes, I love the haunting melodies, starting deceptively simple. I'm no music theorist, but Rufus knows his stuff. He creates chord progressions that give me goose bumps. The mood of a song can turn on a dime, on a single perfect note. The melodies build and release. (Oh, I've had a revelation! His songs are like that, I won't spell it out but think about it.) There is a majestic elegance to the CD as a whole that never fails to transport me. Headphones are recommended to savor every luscious drop.
His lyrics possess honesty and craftsmanship that are a beautiful thing all by themselves.
But that VOICE, oh my god! No, it isn't crystal clear, but because it quakes and rasps and even catches, what emotion that voice evokes! When that voice wants to convey deep ache tempered with hope and fierce determination, I am reduced to a puddle. There, I admit it, I am moved to tears by this CD. I don't know if because of the glorious construction of the music, or by lyrics so revealing, or an empathy and consolation of his yearnings that perhaps we all share. Who gives a hoot if he's gay? These emotions are universal to the human condition.
After you own this CD for a while (and you must!), and muster the audacity to sing along, you will realize and appreciate how the phrasing, words, and even single syllables so artfully and lovingly wrap the notes.
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By A Customer on Nov. 28 2003
Format: Audio CD
There are no words to describe Rufus' beauty - both physically and musically. Each song tells it's own story I can relate to in so many ways whether it's the sinful vices of "Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk" and "Greek Song," the materiality and phoniness of today's world in the title track and "California," the solitude of "One Man Guy," or just wanting to run away with your lover and play "The Consort." His voice will take many some time to get used to, but once you do you realize many of the wonderful performances it can command. So much has been said about him being an openly gay performer. (Has there been a review yet to not mention it?) Sexuality aside, when you get right down to it he's just a hopeless romantic singing about love - not just any love, this isn't schoolgirl and first crush love - but loves for the ages. Opera love where the suitor must conquer a nation to win the hand of his fair maiden. Love that would knock down buildings. Love to give artists a new ideal of emotion and beauty for which to strive. Wainwright expands on themes from his eponymous debut and turned what could be considered a thinking man's camp (earlier songs like "Matinee Idol" and "Beauty Mark") to a mature and fuller sound that the seriousness of his compositions would lend themselves (songs like "The Tower of Learning" and "Grey Gardens"). By opening himself and exposing his heart - both the good and the bad - Rufus has firmly lodged himself in mine and will undoubtedly reside there for a long time to come. Fave tracks: "Greek Song," "The Tower of Learning," "The Consort."
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