Rufus Wainwright

By - Dec 1st, 2004 02:52 pm
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By Erin Wolf

Want Two, Rufus Wainwright’s follow-up to last year’s Want One, is quite the veritable mobile of whirling sonic fancies. Like its predecessor, Want Two hops from cabaret tunes to operatic orchestrations. Borrowing influences from Latin, French and classical sources, Wainwright pens grandiose songs that are rightly focused around his beautifully satiating vocals.

Wainwright’s trademark flamboyancy isn’t quite as prevalent as it was on 2001’s Poses. Want One and Want Two are Wainwright toughening up his writing chops, and lyricizing with a bit more introspection and indulging in the morose and despairing, but always shining a ray of light on seemingly dark subjects.

Wainwright’s ability to work humor into his lyrics (“I’m so tired of waiting in restaurants / reading the critics and comics alone / with a waiter with a face made for currency“) and his ability to incorporate odds-and-ends instruments such as banjos into his orchestral-like epics-and to make that incorporation seem like a perfectly natural occurrence-is refreshing and uplifting for such serious songs.

Therein lies the talent of Rufus Wainwright-with his ability to make the oddly unnatural seem perfectly ordinary, he creates a solid album that is anything but concrete in its structure.

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