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Melanchloy and Theatrical,
This review is from: Rufus Wainwright (Audio CD)
Listening to Rufus Wainwright's debut album is not only a pleasant esthetic experience, it's probably a very healthy thing to do to your brains and senses, like eating fresh salmon or avocado or viewing an Olafur Eliasson installation. His breathless vocals and guitar and piano arrangements fuse in cabaret-like compositions that ooze in through your ears and keep you from doing anyting else but listen.
His lyrics are frequently sad yet never dire, counting some very personal songs like Danny Boy, a love ballad, and Beauty Mark, a tribute to Rufus's own mother, folk legend Kate McGarrigle. Rufus's quite uncloseted sexuality is one of many themes his lyrics touch upon, but not to the point of tediousness; today he's arguably the most significant gay icon alive, at least for the younger generations.
The album's opening track, Foolish Love, epitomizes Wainwright's style by building up slowly and gradually, in different phases, until it reaches a theatrical and danceable pace. It's mellow, but definitely with a silver-lining, a confessional with wit and pop-sensibility, setting the tone for a fantastic debut album which a lot of people are discovering now, 8 years after its release.