Review Summary: Rufus Wainwright's third album is full of amazing songs by a fantastic songwriter and wonderful composer.
The king of baroque pop returns with his third album, Want One
Here he continues the mixture of rock, opera, pop and folk which he developed on his previous album. The "Rufus sound". Only, here - he takes it even further. It is hard to describe the sound of this album; but if I were to give it my best shot, I'd say this sounds like an even broader sounding version of Poses
(the previous album), packed with your favourite vulnerable lyrics about true feelings.
This album is almost just as mainstream-friendly as Poses
, but its experimental nature makes it more unpredictable.
The lyrics found on the opening song, "Oh What A World" is nothing short of spectacular and brilliant. Wainwright comments the current state of the world with genius, clever lines like "Men reading fashion magazines?/Oh what a world it seems we live in, straight man
". In this song he's looking at the world, and what it concretely has to offer him.
And he's talking about traveling. He's talking about being on a train, that's going to arrive somewhere, sometime - even though it's a strange world. Confused? You should be. Rufus Wainwright
's lyrics aren't your standard pop lyrics.
The melody is as unaccustomed to the mainstream charts as any of Rufus's songs, with its focus on the tuba and Rufus's voice - which by the way keeps getting better and better on every album. Not especially verse-chorus-verse.
Anyway. This song really gets your hopes up, in other words. Is this the rest of the album as great?
This might not actually come as a shock to you (we're talking about Rufus Wainwright here); but it is. It really is.
This album contain some really catchy songs, just as the previous, sophomore album, Poses
, did. Songs like "I Don't Know What it Is", "Go or Go Ahead" and especially the giant composition that is "14th Street" will have you head-banging more than any death metal album ever would.
And not only are the mentioned songs (and others) catchy - they are quite experimental, musical-wise. They all sounds kind of familiar, but at the same time they don't sound like anything you've ever heard before.
In addition to the lovely catchy popish anthem-like tracks - there's these slower songs with the focus primarily on Rufus's voice and lyrics. The song "Vibrate" - for instance, demonstrates what a powerful voice Mr. Wainwright possesses; whilst songs like "Harvester of Hearts" really proves what a songwriting genius this guy is. With lines like "If a person should ever like a person/How funny that would be/If a person should ever like me
" this song's genuine vulnerability will definitely provoke some kind of emotion; be that happiness, sadness, or whatever emotion.
While I'm on the topic - lyrics, I cannot avoid the song "Dinner at Eight". This is probably the most personal song he has ever written. This song was written after Rufus and his father had a fight about a Rolling Stone
photo-shoot, and is mainly about how his father abandoned Rufus earlier. Rufus seems so full of hate, and so cruel when stating "Daddy, don't be surprised/If I wanna see the tears in your eyes
" - using a word like "daddy", a symbol of love, whilst making such an honest and such an angry and sad statement. This song is such a moving song, you won't ever hear anything like it - I promise.
The song "Want" is another great song. Such a hopeful song about how Rufus is content with his life - and how everything doesn't have to be perfect. He "Don't want to make it rain [,,,] [or] see the light
" - he'll "Settle for love
". Just another amazing song by Rufus.
This album is full of just that. Amazing songs by Rufus Wainwright, a fantastic songwriter and wonderful composer. Even though this album is at times "weird" and "exotic" sounding, it's still a hell of an album! And well worth your money. So go buy this album, and enjoy the immense talent of Rufus Wainwright.