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Release The Stars

Release The Stars

1 Jan 2007
4.0 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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3:24
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5:49
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4:48
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3:45
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I can understand why Release The Stars has disappointed *some* of Rufus Wainwright's fans. But I suspect they may be resentful that he has tried to produce a more popular style of music. With admittedly only a week's acquaitance, I have enjoyed this album more than any of the first four.

His last studio album, 'Want Two', was a niche record for a loyal audience. But I think Rufus had reached a limit for that particular type of music. It was difficult to tap into as a new listener, and wasn't a record for all occasions (Rufus himself said that it should never be played at dinner parties: "I think it would make everybody regurgitate blood and then turn into werewolves."). Release The Stars feels like it enjoyed an easier birth, and the music is more enjoyable for it. My personal favourites are 'Do I Disappoint You', 'Going To A Town', 'Tiergarten', 'Rules and Regulations', and 'Sanssouci'. 'Slideshow' and 'Tulsa' have wonderful back stories and lyrics to match. In fact, it is a very consistent album.

In years to come, I think this will be regarded as a more complete piece of work than his previous efforts. It feels imbued with a stronger sense of melody, restraint and care. It is therefore more advanced, but also more accessible to fans and newcomers. For that, it should be highly applauded. Start or continue your Rufus fan-ship here!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Overall, these boring 60 minutes do not exactly hold the distance and clearly this album should have been 10 minutes shorter.
The template of bloated, overlong and overproduced pop records that seem to have been the norm pre-financial crisis is for all to hear here, and it is a bit of a shame as Wainwright is clearly a real talent - but a lot of things are wrong.
The first thing to go wrong is the style of the album as a whole. By choosing uniformly mid- to low-tempo songs, Wainwright precipates the listener into some sort of sugar-coated musical environment where it is difficult to make up one track from the other. At the same time, any interesting melodic line is terminally swamped under an orchestrations which is more of a lability than an added-value.
Wainwright's voice has a beautiful tone with a very sexy medium, in particular. Unfortunately, the delivery is lazy, and Wainwright drawls more often than not, while the high notes can really be a shriek..The instrument is very nice but Rufus should work on his technique.
The big mistake also in my view (and here is the Pet Shop Boys fan speaking) is to have hired Neil Tenannt as exec producer on the album. At the time "Release the stars" is produced, Pet Shop Boys are in the middle of an artistic nadir and their Trevor Horn-produced album "Fundamental" is a bombastic affair that should have never been made in the first place. As "Release the stars" suspiciously sounds like "Fundamental" it seems that Tennant has passed the wrong vibes of his own PSB album to poor Rufus.
Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater though? Nah.
I can complain about über-orchestration, but "Do I disappoint you?
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
On first listen I felt disappointed with this album but now I love it. There is only one weak track (track 4) in my opinion, the others are either instantly brilliant or need a bit of careful listening. The lyrics are clever and revealing as ever and the songs range from full ochestration to Rufus and a piano. I particularly like the recorder at the end of Rules and Regulations and the little theme from Sanssouci that gets inside your head. You just never know what to expect with RW - Slideshow starts off as a bit of a gloomy lovesong and turns into a meglomaniac's call to be "prominently featured in your next slideshow". Witty, fun and beautiful to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD
rufus has exceeded his own expectations on this 5th long player. after his more outre sister's intimate torch songs and the blissed concoctions from joan wasser, it was difficult to know what to expect, given his recent judy garland tribute.

more show tunes? even bigger choruses? more introspection? the overall feel is a lttle more mainstream in places ( the arrangements by neil tennant, particularly on 'rules and regulations' - his most direct 'pop' song since 'one i love' from want two), but loses none of his grandiloquent gestures, as typified on most of want one and parts of two.

he has seized the nettle and drawn himself further up the ladder marked 'drama' and fired off star-shaped rockets into the stratosphere. 'do i disappoint you' and ' between my legs' are the 2 standout tracks. the former is lushly orchestrated and resplendent, billowing into excess with crescendo after crescendo - lovelorn still.. the latter is cheeky from the off, cheerful, then the coda kicks in and the spine starts to shiver, quiver, not wanting the joy to end.

there is contemplation, as on all his work, but it is placed more in the foreground than before. 'going to a town' is a personal, political stab at the bush administration with touching, sometimes bittersweet lyrics - it feels like a genuine protest song...

'leaving for paris' and ' not ready for love' are the weakest offerings, although the segue into ' slideshow' is immaculate. these two work better live.

by the end, you feel that rufus is more content with his lot. the rumour is he is off for a sabbatical to complete a nascent opera. now that will be something to behold.

this is a work of ART and will leave you wanting more. not perfect but near enough. he is still one of the most fascinating and original composers of the last 10 years. long may he reign,the crown prince of palatial pop !!
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