coming out today...5/15...rufus wainwright...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 14, 2007 09:29pm | Post a Comment
Today is the release day of the new album "Release the Stars" by Rufus Wainwright. This is his fifth album. Rufus comes from one of those crazy music families just full of crazy talent. It kind of makes me a little jealous. His dad is the great Loudon Wainwright III and his mom is Kate McGarrical. His sister, Martha, is also a musician. His first self titled album came out in 1998. I have to admit that I first got into Rufus when I found out that he was gay. Even today, very few musicians actually admit to being gay. Especially when starting out in the music business. It took Elton John like 50 years to come out. I felt it was my duty to support him and I was intrigued. But I actually ended up liking his debut album "Rufus Wainwright" quite a bit. Some might find him a bit dramatic but he really does have  a stunning voice.

Although you will have a hard time noticing it, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys is the  executive producer. When I first heard about Neil being involved, I was expecting a very different album. I was sort of expecting a mix of Erasure and Liberace. However, nothing could be farther away from what the album actually turned out to be. It is still a very Rufus album. The album also features Richard Thompson. The Thompson and Wainwright families are often intertwined.  Teddy Thompson, the son of Richard and Linda Thompson, is a good friend and often plays live with Rufus. His new album is brilliant. He really is a great songwriter. He manages to capture a tragic feeling in all his songs even if they seem to be at first happy little ballads. His signature voice carries you through the album and brings you into his little Rufus world. Its hard not to notice his love of the showtunes and the opera. He for sure likes the drama. However, its not done in a mocking way or even a kitschy way. Rufus plays his own piano on most of the songs. Sometimes you might even feel you are at a piano bar listening to your favorite song. But a really good piano bar that you would keep coming back to. He has his own unique style but also manages to create an album that even your grandma might like. Just as long as she doesn't look to deep into the lyrics.

 This first single of the album is "Going to Town." One of the lyrics of the song  is "I'm so tired of you America." A line that many of us can at times relate to. One of the things I like most about him is what first intrigued me about him. In a business where so many people hide and pretend to be a certain kind of person, Rufus is proudly Rufus. He bares his soul on his songs and his albums. He does not pretend to be some kind of person he is not just to sell more records. I only wish more artists could be as brave as him. You can really feel that honesty come through on all his albums. And that honesty mixed with that magical voice make for a great album, once again.

also out today...

"Sky Blue Sky" by Wilco

"Hey Eugene!" by Pink Martini

"Minutes to Midnight" by Linkin Park

"Strange House" by the Horrors

and the brilliant movie "Pan's Labyrinth" comes out on DVD today!

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Release The Stars (1), Rufus Wainwright (5)