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Album Review
Rufus Wainwright- Out of the Game Album Cover

Rufus Wainwright- Out of the Game

Reviewed by
9.1
Rufus Wainwright - Out of the Game
Record Label: Decca/Polydor
Release Date: May 1, 2012
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
It is probably safe to say that one might have expected Rufus Wainwright to be a talented singer-songwriter. After all, he is the progeny of two of folk music's biggest names. But now seven albums into his career, it is even safer to say, did we ever think Rufus Wainwright would be this good?

Out of the Game, his seventh studio album is considerably more upbeat than any of his prior efforts. It is also decidedly more urban, jazzier and commercial. Being that British wunderkind Mark Ronson was behind the knobs for this effort, one can see why Out of the Game resulted as it did. But considering Wainwright's affinity for baroque pop, opera and vaudeville, it is shocking that Out of the Game is as charming as it is.

The disc's lead single is also the title track and the disc's first cut, a leisurely and meandering stroll that draws on the talents of vocalists from The Dap Kings and guitarist Thomas Brenneck. There's a definite Rat Pack, old-school crooner vibe, but it is one he wears well. And from there, the disc breezes along with armfuls of charm and wit. "Rashida," cheekily slams a friend who snubbed him; while "Barbara," attempts to console a friend in need of help. Of the disc's first half however, few songs are more indelible than the brilliant "Montauk," a song written for Wainwright's daughter Viva. Gentle, with just a piano, its subtle delights know no bounds.

And then things really take off.

"Bitter Tears," is Wainwright all urban, sophisticated and Ronsonized. In four shimmering minutes it is nothing short of intoxicating, hypnotic and enchanting. "Respectable Dive," is more akin to what we are used to hearing from the singer-songwriter and exactly why he remains as relevant and important as ever. People just don't write songs like this anymore. "Perfect Man," features more of the urban, slick, jazzy soundscape while staying true to Rufus, as he relates a yarn about the opera.

The second half of Out of the Game reaches its apex on two tracks. The first, "Sometimes You Need," is a fragile, acoustic ballad in which Wainwright sounds absolutely vulnerable, tender and human. The second, "Song Of You," begins languorous and gauzy and soars higher and higher. Of all the moments in Wainwright's career, few are as strong as "Song Of You." Out of the Game closes with the eight-minute ballad "Candles," another song that represents a high watermark in his illustrious career. Ostensibly an eulogy for his fallen mother, it is as poignant and passionate as he has ever been.

The best part about Out of the Game is that Rufus did something different. He could have made a ballad-heavy album of baroque pop and revisit the same material he has before. But he wanted to mix it up. He enlisted the help of one of the world's hottest producers and left his comfort zone. That Out of the Game is as strong as it is proves to be nothing more than a testament to Wainwright's innate abilities.

God bless that DNA.

Recommended If You Like Elton John, David Bowie, Mark Ronson, the Rat Pack


Find Him Here http://www.rufuswainwright.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
02:42 AM on 07/06/12
#2
georgedcc
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Great review, this album is fantastic. One of my favourites released this year and a return to a form after the slightly lacklustre Songs For Lulu.
05:12 AM on 07/06/12
#3
Jeff_Ryan
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Rufus is the best. I still really want that House of Rufus box
06:35 AM on 07/06/12
#4
Gregory Robson
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Rufus is the best. I still really want that House of Rufus box
I do too. So badly.
06:36 AM on 07/06/12
#5
Gregory Robson
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Great review, this album is fantastic. One of my favourites released this year and a return to a form after the slightly lacklustre Songs For Lulu.
It was indeed lackluster, but I still found some winning moments in it. The way I see it. He was just trying too hard to eulogize his mother. I think he realized that and went back to what he does best. This album owns.
06:53 AM on 07/06/12
#6
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
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At the very least someone who has it could upload a torrent of the rarity albums...

But really, if that was a vinyl set I would have been all over it
07:08 AM on 07/06/12
#7
georgedcc
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It was indeed lackluster, but I still found some winning moments in it. The way I see it. He was just trying too hard to eulogize his mother. I think he realized that and went back to what he does best. This album owns.
Oh, yeah it was still a very good album, really tender and really touching, but I thought it was lacking the little spark that made albums like Poses and Want One so spectacular. Out of the Game has recaptured that spark.
07:52 AM on 07/06/12
#8
ThisIsNotDan
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I've been obsessed with Poses these last two months, gonna have to start listening to his other stuff. good review
11:44 AM on 07/06/12
#9
Keagan Ilvonen
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I still need to listen to this.
01:53 PM on 07/06/12
Gunwalls
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I was worried that after "Release the Stars" and "Songs for Lulu" that I was just falling out of love with his music. I'm definitely pleased with this one.

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