Sunday, November 4, 2012

#106: Rufus Wainwright - Out of the Game (2012)

I was lucky enough to see Rufus Wainwright with Ben Folds and Guster several years back, it's still one of the best concerts I had ever seen. While the crowd may not have been into Rufus as much as the other acts, Wainwright was magical. At one point in the concert a rainbow appeared over the crowd and Rufus exclaimed, "A rainbow! See? God does love gays."

First off, I absolutely love the mix, love the sound of each instrument, and I think I like Rufus' voice more on this than anything else I've heard him in. Wainwright has a very distinct vocal style and in a certain light, it's been toned down just a little on these recordings. However, with less of a spotlight on the vocals the rest of the music can truly shine. This song reminds me very much of Elton John, very cool.

Welcome to the Ball
I absolutely adore the throw back feel to this album. On his other works, Wainwright is referred to as "popera" or pop opera and while that wouldn't really work on this album, parts of it shine through. It has a very epic feel, the music is incredibly well written and performed. The horns especially on this track are just spot on and blend wonderfully with the strings. This track reminds me very much of a Beatles track, very cool.

Respectable Dive
This is another song that reminds me of Elton John, the reason I'm so enamored by this album thus far is due to the fact that while it may remind me of other artists, it's still very clearly a Wainwright song. He's taking the best of some of his (and my) favorite artists and making the music uniquely his. It's well written, well performed, and well produced.

All in all, this is the type of album I can see myself recording some day. The album was produced by Mark Ronson, who wrote and recorded one of my favorite songs of all-time "Valerie". Had I known how good this album was and the sheer amount of talent behind it, I wouldn't have waited this long to listen. It's one of Wainwright's best works.

Tomorrow's album: B.B. King's Live at the Regal.

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