RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

Rating: NN Rufus, j'adore you you're my favourite reluctant gay messiah. I.


Rating: NN



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Rufus, j’adore you you’re my favourite reluctant gay messiah. I thrill to your Wagnerian histrionics and crushed-velvet piano serenades. But, sweetheart, you need a steady hand to keep you in check. In theory, self-producing Release The Stars made perfect sense – especially when you intended to make a spare, personal statement with open spaces and cocktail confessions. After all, you have a better pedigree (and taste) than most of your peers. But the outlandish baroque-cubed excess here, from the warbling chorales to the bleating woodwinds, weighs down track after track after track after track – often, sadly, at the expense of your songwriting. Even in the thick of the gay hell years, I can’t imagine you would’ve penned something as graceless as the line “I shed a tear / between my legs.” The more considered ballads here, like the languid Leaving For Paris No. 2 and the arch Going To A Town, are strongest, and I’m totally into the seething political critique that’s become more prominent in your music, but I wish you’d had, say, a Van Dyke Parks on board to help focus this disc. Expecting camp-crazy Neil Tennant (who exec produced) to lay down the law is just loopy.

Rufus Wainwright hits the Danforth Music Hall June 11 and 12.

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