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Rufus Wainwright

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Album Review

What separates Rufus Wainwright and the other second-generation singers who sprang up at the same time (Sean Lennon, Emma Townshend, and Chris Stills the most notable among them) is that Wainwright deserves to be heard regardless of his family tree; in fact, the issue of his parentage is ultimately as immaterial as that of his sexuality — this self-titled debut cares little for the rock clichés of an earlier generation, instead heralding the arrival of a unique and compelling voice steeped most solidly in the traditions of cabaret. Like his folks, Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, he's a superb songwriter, with a knack for elegantly rolling piano melodies and poignantly romantic lyrics; while the appearance of Van Dyke Parks and his trademark orchestral arrangements hints at an affinity for the pop classicism of Brian Wilson or Randy Newman, the vocals come straight out of opera, and although Wainwright is unlikely to be starring in La Boheme anytime soon, he conveys the kind of honest emotion sorely lacking in the ironic posing of many of his contemporaries. Maybe the kids are alright after all.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant

A strong first album. "Millbrook" and "April Fools" stand out as particularly catchy. Wainwright's voice is distinctive, soothing and able, and his songwriting is the same. A must-listen for fans of Jack Johnson, Simon and Garfunkel, and Elliot Smith.

perfect

The arrangment of these songs is perfect, as is everything else. My favorites are "April Fools", "Matinee Idol", and "Imaginary Love". This album is well worth buying and playing to death, as it should be. Rufus Wainwright is the most talented music artist today and I hope that you listen to all his music and agree.

about time!

i love rufus wainwright! i am so glad itunes finally added him!

Biography

Born: July 22, 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