In what has been a very hectic week for music - not one but two new cds this week, first Battles, now the new Rufus Wainwright cd.
I was first introduced to the wonderful man a few years ago. Of all places, he was performing “Oh What A World” on The Frank Skinner Show. I was flicking through the channels and suddenly heard this incredible music. Slightly strange, yet gloriously uplifting.
Like I usually do I made a mental note to remember his name and investigate further. And, just like I usually do, I quickly forgot. Luckily, back in those days, living in Birmingham, I had a Dave.
Everyone should have a Dave, it's very good to have a Dave. Dave in this case is the boss at Nostalgia and Comics. He's always reliable to come up with some very good recommendations for most things, books, cds, movies and comics. One Saturday he told me about Rufus and put the cd on.
I was hooked from that moment on.
There's a certain magic about his work that absolutely fills me with awe, joy and wonder. His first album, to be honest, is a little hit and miss, his second; Poses, has moments of huge potential, but he really came into bloom on the incredible Want albums.
Want One and Want Two are such wonderful pieces of music, full of moments of sheer, heartfilling wonder. On tracks like Oh What A World, Beautiful Child, I Don't Know What It Is on Want One there's an almost religious joy to his music. Want Two is perhaps a more restrained cd, but by no means inferior to Want One.
So, after two almost perfect albums I approached his new album with more than a little trepidation. And I think I was right to be cautious.
This seems a little too polished and clipped compared to the exuberance and vastness of Want. Gone is the lavish production, gone the epic reach that I loved on the Want albums. It's pretty much Rufus by the numbers and it's a disappointment.
Do You Disappoint Me Rufus? Sadly, based on this cd, yes.
But I won't give up on you yet.
Of course, having written that a few days ago, I've now had chance to listen to the cd a little more. It's growing on me. I don't think it will ever reach the wonderful heights that Want One & Two attained, but I think over time it's going to be a great album.