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Listening To: Out of the Game

“Rufus Wainwright is a chameleon and I mean that as the sincerest form of flattery. Every album he has released defies classification unless you bought into the "Popera" description so widely bandied about (even by him early on). I did not. Baroque and roll? Maybe.

This album comes on the heels of his mother's death and the birth of his daughter (with his hero, Leonard Cohen's, daughter and his longtime partner). On that note the album is upbeat and clear-headed, contemplative obviously, but with Mark Ronson on board as Producer, Rufus' sound is a bit more "manageable." And as a maturing artist, that is good.

A ‘70s vibe is clear, especially on "Barbara" and "Rashida." Think Avocado and Harvest Gold and Benedict Canyon parties. For me "Jericho," "Song of You," and "Respectable Dive" are the standouts. "Candles," a lament and a prayer to and for his mother, is classic Rufus — gorgeous and solemn with passion dripping from the speakers. Lyrically he remains in a class all alone, certainly.

Being that Rufus is my number one, my Elton John, Michael Stipe and Burt Bacharach all rolled into one, I admit I am too biased to write a review that is "fair." But if you want "fair," then hit the midway at your local carnival. If you want the perfect early summer album for 2012, look no further. How can you be out of the game when you never left it?”

Johnny Hooks

∞  June 7, 2012 — 9:00AM