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Want One (UK Version)

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Album Review

Rufus Wainwright croons and cries through another set of obscenely lush and opulent pop operettas on his third album Want One. As is to be expected, the songs are meticulously layered and richly textured, with full orchestral passages and many-throated harmonies. Producer Marius deVries (Björk, Massive Attack, Madonna) didn't mess with the already successful Wainwright sound, allowing for the young singer/ songwriter/multi-instrumentalist to explore his familiar themes of love, loss, and "singin' about places" with the anticipated fanfare and flourish. The album's strongest segment comes in the middle, beginning with the intimate-to-epic "Go or Go Ahead," barreling through the wildly spinning rock opera "14th Street," and landing softly on the gently chiming "Natasha." Oddly, unlike his previous two releases, Wainwright's musings seem less focused and a little meandering on a handful of the songs. The lazy, loping "Want" is much more stream-of-consciousness than anything else he's recorded, and the slightly goofy "Vibrate" (with its references to Britney Spears and electroclash) may sound dated before the album is played a second time. The sessions that produced Want One were apparently so prolific that another volume (Want Two?) is in the works, but it could turn out to be that distilling both albums down to one would have made for a more complete overall work. Who knows, this new looseness to his rigid pop constructivism may end up being a good thing, and, frankly, Wainwright could be singing lists of names out of the phone book and it would still be more exciting and inventive than 99 percent of the other albums out there.

Customer Reviews

Compellingly camp and musically outrageous - a must-buy

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this. I think I was intrigued by some of the press he was getting, with praise coming from all sorts of people in the music biz (I think it was an Elton John quote that first piqued my interest, but there were all sorts of Radio 1 DJs with this album on their iPods). The first song is a good taster of what's to come: it has a thundering Bolero-esque orchestral backing, multi-part harmonies, and a supremely catchy vocal refrain. 'I don't know what it is' is another lilting song, quite gentle, and with excellent orchestration and harmonies. If you are still unsure after these two, go straight to 'Beautiful Child', Natasha', or 'Vibrate'. Beautiful Child reminds me of Pat Metheny, in a strange way, but don't let this put you off! It's a lifting, lilting piece of musical gorgeousness! And Vibrate is such a cheeky piece: "Call me any time/I'll leave my phone on vibrate for you!" The whole album is theatrical/musical/operatic/harmonic/melodic... utterly gorgeous.

GENIUS!

Rufus is a true genius of our generation! This album is no exeption to the quality songwriting that he has brought to us over the last few years. Both Want 1 & 2 are filled with enough heart warming, angst ridden, beautiful songs that Morrissey, Robert Smith and Jeff Buckley wouldd be proud of.

rufus is wright

i came to this with an open mind not expecting to like but it blew me away, totally different to anything ive heard recently.five all the way.x x

Biography

Born: 22 July 1973 in Rhinebeck, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A singer/songwriter whose lush, theatrical pop harked back to the traditions of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, and even opera, Rufus Wainwright was born in 1973; the son of folk music luminaries Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, his parents divorced while he was a child, and he was raised by his mother in Montreal. Beginning his piano studies at age six, by 13 he was touring with his mother, aunt Anna, and his sister Martha in a group billed as the McGarrigle Sisters and Family; a year later, Wainwright...
Full bio