Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
The scrutiny of success that came early on--being named Best New Artist by Rolling Stone in 1998, the year of his debut album, for example--would have smothered many another emerging talent. But it failed to stopper the ... more »
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001
The scrutiny of success that came early on--being named Best New Artist by Rolling Stone in 1998, the year of his debut album, for example--would have smothered many another emerging talent. But it failed to stopper the singular, unclassifiable, ranging gift of singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright. His sophomore album, Poses, advances beyond the earlier, cabaret-inspired effort with a suite of songs marvelously varied in arrangement and texture but linked by Wainwright's characteristic theatrical panache. "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" catalogs excess with playful self-censure, but Wainwright's whimsical ironies often take a bruising, poignant turn, whether in the pseudo-upbeat "California" or, most movingly, on the title track. The dying fall of Wainwright's lusher melodies--echoes of "Across the Universe" as well as ultrachic Beatles tunes such as "Michelle"--meshes remarkably with the poetic substance here as he explores a landscape of wistful self-knowledge caught between longing and decadence. Yet even through all the layers of picturesque, postmod observation, Wainwright conveys a sense-filtered experience that gives urgency to his hauntingly mumbled opacities. With Poses, the young artist proves his authenticity. --Thomas May
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Rufus Wainwright's Brilliant Journey of Self Discovery
cdset | Saylorsburg, PA United States | 06/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Poses" continues Rufus Wainwright's brilliant and insightful journey of self discovery that he began in his compelling debut CD. While, on the first CD, he saw the world through an aching, burning romantic haze with an almost unbearable intensity, "Poses" mutes that intensity just like adulthood tones down youthful passions and replaces them with realistic insight as to how the world truly functions. "Cigarettes and Choclate Milk" is the perfect song with which to frame this journey. It is precisely the "cravings" mentioned in the song that lead him to the heartbreak and emptiness that he so poignantly expresses in the remainder of the tunes on the CD. "I suggest reading of a 'lesson in tightropes' or 'Adios Kansas', he cries, as the world he has seen on his journey is not what he expected or wanted. The song "Poses" beautifully articulates the emptiness he feels in the world in which he has found himself. "I did go from wanting to be someone...now I'm drunk and wearing flip flops on Fifth Avenue..." In "Shadows" he laments, "I could be a great star..I'm far from happy."Although his romantic spirit has been dampened by the harshness of the world, he has not lost it entirely. Deep down inside he knows that love is the "copious prize". "The sights of Paris pale inside your iris..I saw it in your eyes what I'm looking for..," he croons in "The Tower of Learning"- sentiments as unabashedly romantic as any lyrics on his debut CD. "One man Guy" serves a double purpose. This beautiful folkish melody written by his father illustrates the self reliance he was forced to learn all through his journey, but it also reinforces the romantic ideal that he truly has not lost.Rufus Wainwright is undoubtedly one of the most gifted musical artists of his generation, and this extraordinary CD, with its lush musical arrangements and penetrating, reflective lyrics just serves to confirm this. I think he has only just begun to mine his enormous talent."
Good music is good music
John C. Lynch | Chapel Hill, NC United States | 01/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of Rufus Wainwright before I saw him singing
with Sean Lennon in the John Lennon tribute concert on TV
(fall of 2001). I was impressed by the strength of his voice,
and that he was singing with Sean Lennon seemed like a strong
endorsement to me. So I went on line and read the reviews of
his disks and picked this one up based on the the rave reviews.
I am not disappointed. I mean, wow.There is incredible talent here. The songwriting is beautiful
and as well crafted as anything Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Michael
Penn or Aimee Mann (just to name a few of the songwriters I like and
who might be crafty in a vaguely similar way that Wainwright
is). And the arrangements are simply astounding. Is
Wainrwright entirely responsible for everything on this album,
or do Alex Gifford, Ethan Johns and Damian Legassick deserve
a share of the credit? I don't know, but the whole thing works.It's deep. It lush. It's grand. It pops. It rolls. It sticks
in your head. Great great stuff, this."
Possibly better than his debut; and I loved that record
John C. Lynch | 06/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rufus' first album was such a distinct, assured collection of music that I almost dreaded the follow-up; it did not seem likely that the same cool magic could occur twice. Then I heard that Jon Brion, the producer of the first disk and a guy I happen to consider a genius, wasn't going to be working on the album and my expectations began to sink lower. Then I heard "Poses" was going to have a "stripped down" approach and I braced for the sophomore slump.So when I got a Secret Advanced Copy of the disk and played it one evening, I was surprised to discover... it might be even better than the first album.The first album was like a busy tapestry on the Wall of Sound; it's a little cabaret, it's a little "Pet Sounds," the production is built around lots of instruments and big music, Mellotrons and strings, and each song is a bit like a fantastic circus pushed into a small room."Poses," on the other hand, smartly steps back and just lets Wainwright sing and play. There's no way he could recapture the same, intricate atmosphere of the first one (either it wouldn't measure up, or if it did he'd be accused of re-hashing his own style) and it's good to hear his voice and the melodies clearly against the simple production. "Greek Song" is like a sensual, droning remake of Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" and "Rebel Prince" smacks of a jazzier, smokier version of "Mack the Knife." In fact, if you're a newcomer to the Sound of Rufus, this might be a better place to start than his debut. It's a relatively calm, quiet collection and, to me, it sounds like the soundtrack to a rainy evening."