This is one of THE albums of 2007. Rufus Wainwright - the crown prince of singer-songwriters - is back with a new album - `Release The Stars'
`Release The Stars' is a 12-track masterclass in songwriting and production - this is his first new material since 2005's remarkable `Want Two'. The album is written and produced by Rufus himself, with Neil Tennant as executive producer. Long time collaborator, Marius de Vries, has also sprinkled magic dust over the tracks in the mix.
Recorded in Berlin and executive produced by the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant, Rufus Wainwright's fifth album offers an ounce of restraint from the man that dressed up as Sir Lancelot's crossed girlfriend Lady Shallott on the cover of his last. Well, not really. Having fallen in love and curbed his self-destructive streak, the New York-born singer-songwriter has certainly sharpened his wit on Release the Stars
but the songs remain as ornate and over-the-top as ever, drawing as much inspiration from opera and the musical theater as the desire to purge personal demons. So while Wainwright spends considerable time here pondering the state of the world ("Going to a Town") and his own battles with drug and sexual addiction ("Sanssouci"), every note is punctuated by a choir, orchestral swell, or big burst of brass. It wouldn't be Rufus with anything less. --Aidin Vaziri