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|1. Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk|
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|7. Grey Gardens|
|8. Rebel Prince|
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|14. Across The Universe [Bonus Track]|
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
"Poses" is my favorite of Rufus' albums. Mostly because a lot of my favorite songs by him are on it ("One Man Guy", "Poses", "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"). Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2009 by vamosrafa07
POSES is a brilliant album by one of the most talented singers and songwriters ever.
It is a must have for any serious collector of fine music.
And, Rufus is Canadian.
There's not much more to say about this album that hasn't been said already. It's fabulous. It's brillantly written and performed. I listen to it in the car, at work, at home. Read morePublished on July 19 2004
I believed for a long time that I was not a Rufus fan. Then I finally spent a little time with this CD, and recognized the folly of my old ways! Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by Jenny Twain
I have to say I'm puzzled a bit by Rufus Wainwright. I don't think there's any question that his songs are refreshingly honest and different enough to be quite charming. Read morePublished on June 27 2004 by Craig Burgess
I think Rufus Wainwright is a type that kind of sounds like Bob Dylan.
What I heard is that he is from Canada and he is a kind of folk rock singer. Read more
OY VEY! I was hoping to discover a nice entertaining openly "out" gay performer, but I was terribly disappointed to find that regardless of his sexual orientation, this guy... Read more
I thought the 90's and the 00's (have we come up with a shortcut-nickname for this decade yet?) would never see the end of rehashed, overdone, and ANNOYING deep gurgly vocals in... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2004 by Mystro776