Album review: Rufus Wainwright – ‘Milwaukee At Last!!!’ (Decca)

Album review: Rufus Wainwright - 'Milwaukee At Last!!!' (Decca)


Drama queen steps back and showcases the songs

The popular image of Mr Wainwright is of a petulant, opera-loving egotist. The type of guy who’d blast into a funeral, screeching “Where are the garlands dedicated to me?” as the congregation attempt to sing ‘Ave Maria’ over the coffin. [b]‘Milwaukee At Last!!!’[/b], however, attempts to subtly re-shift the focus away from him and onto his songs. And as a bite-size CV of the last five years of his career, it’s pretty good. Whether he’s addressing the personal in [b]‘Nobody’s Off The Hook’[/b], about BFF Teddy Thompson, or the Big Topics on [b]‘Going To A Town’[/b] (a portrait of the Bush-infected US), what stands out is his Randy Newman-like quality of mixing lyrical economy with an ear for an ever-so-sombre, opulent melody.

[b]Priya Elan[/b]

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