He’s got a model’s cheekbones, a voice to put Thom Yorke in the shade, the lyrical skills of Morrissey and battled and won against a drug habit as damaging as the most debauched Libertine. But still only musicians seem to fall in love with Rufus Wainwright.
Less talented artists like Keane and Scissor Sisters count themselves as fans, but despite already having three albums of genius in the bag, the lack of a killer radio-friendly chart hit means Rufus’ grand musical vision has refused to translate into the public adoration he richly deserves. And despite being another glorious, rollercoaster of a record, ‘Want Two’, his fourth, is unlikely to change that.
Recorded during the same sessions as its staggering predecessor ‘Want One’, the follow-up is darker and more introspective, but no less brilliant. As is his trademark the album ranges hugely in style, from the religious opera of ‘Agnus Dei’ to the pop of ‘The One
You Love’ and ballad ‘Memphis Skyline’ – written in tribute to kindred spirit Jeff Buckley. But amazingly, ‘Want Two’ still sounds like a coherent album rather than
an outtakes compilation. And if played back-to-back with ‘Want One’ it becomes one of the most ambitious double albums in years, showcasing Rufus as one of, if not the best songwriters of his generation.