Rufus is too young to be so precociously talented, but there you have it. This album oozes a maturity, guile and wit that you might expect from such veterans as Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan. The opening track 'cigarettes and chocolate milk' with it's almost 'thrown together in ten minutes' feel, evokes a world weariness in the mould of Leonard Cohen or Randy Newman, while 'shadows' demonstrates a slick sophistication, reminding me very much of KD Laing's 'Ingenuie'. But before you think I see Wainwright as some sort of pastiche composite of other artists, let me assure you this is one of the best albums I have heard in 2002. Hauntingly familiar but refreshingly original this album surfs a variety of moods from dark and slinky to light and poppy with engaging and intelligent lyrics all the way through. I hope it reaches a sizeable audience.
This was an album which I picked up after reading an exellent review in People magazine. I had absolutely no idea what the music was like or wheather it would appeal to me in any way. I have not heard anything from his first album, but let me tell you, I will. This record is absolutely unique. It hits emotional depths in the most unexpected places. I give it a 4 star rating, instead of a 5, because, I believe it drops in quality about halfway through and leads to what is basically an anti-climax. However, I love that it ends with a reprise of "Cigarettes and Chocolaite Milk", one of the strongest singles. Other favourites of mine include the eerily haunting "Shadows", the catchy, ironic, self-mocking"California" and one of the best songs of all time, the absolute masterpiece"Poses". I urge everyone to have this CD. It is a shame that it is going by unnoticed. Rufus deserves more than that.
Having heard Want One and Want Two first I was reluctant to listen to Rufus Wainwrights earlier work in the fear that it would taint my view that Rufus is definitely a special musician. Poses is with no exception an outstanding album and each song possesses the distinct perfection of every track that I have heard. If you have enjoyed any of Rufus' music you will undoubtedly enjoy Poses, listen out for 'Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk' and 'California'.
Boy, is this record fantastic! I can't believe it's taken me so long to finally get round to picking it up, but now I'm really struggling to play anything else at the moment! The tunes are nothing short of fabulous - complex, detailed, subtle melodies are stamped all over this album, and it's been such a long time since I last fell for a record like I've fallen for this one. The only comparison I can really think of is to Jeff Buckley's "Grace", but only in that they share a very similar vibe and maturity - like "Grace" this record certainly doesn't reveal itself straight away, and even now I'm picking up quirks that I didn't spot immediately. Highly recommended!
I am ashamed to say i knew nothing of Rufus until the closing credits of a certain episode of Queer As Folk (U.S.) and was reduced to tears by Poses! I was blown away and haven't recovered yet! I got the album the next day, then the next album, and the next! - and then the DVD... I couldn't get my head around the music or him, and it's that 'unassimilateability' that keeps me hooked. I find him and it to be full of contradictions: he'll write a turn of phrase that makes me think of the Mamas & Papas and then follows it with a phrase of sheer inspiration. He'll write something that i would send back in a GCSE composition but follow it up with utter profundity. (Track 1 starts with utter triviality and becomes a song i'll never forget!) He does things that shouldn't work musically but put a hole in your heart. In short, what a breath of eternally fascinating, honest and touching fresh-air. The colour he brings to my life i would not be without.