Rufus Wainwright seems to have lost interest in the pop music world after 2012’s Out of the Game (a prophetic title in hindsight). Since then he has written and recorded an opera and a collection of Shakespeare sonnets set to orchestral music. Not exactly Top 40 material.
I don’t begrudge Wainwright his musical path, but I miss the old stuff. From 1998 to 2007, Wainwright released five amazing albums that married his classical sensibilities with a real knack for pop songcraft.
Earlier in the first round of Montauk Madness, I voted for Paul Simon over Elton John. Now Simon shows up again, paired with Art Garfunkel, to take on Rufus Wainwright.
Simon & Garfunkel were one of my first musical loves. I owned all of their albums on vinyl more than a decade after they broke up and was delighted by every poetic turn of phrase, every gorgeous harmony.
I was about to write something about thoroughly gay Rufus Wainwright’s decision was to recreate Judy Garland’s Carnegie Hall concert song for song. But the sentiment seemed familiar. And sure enough, two years ago another song from this album popped up on a Random Weekend and prompted that very sentiment.
In fact, I’m pleased enough with the little joke I told then that I am simply going to repeat it now:
Here’s another album that I kept off my list of the top 20 of the decade so far because I didn’t want to show undue favoritism.
Rufus Wainwright’s 2012 Out of the Game was a splendid return to art-pop form after a five-year span in which he released only an album of somber piano ballads.
This is the second time a cut from Rufus Wainwright’s live recreation of Judy Garland’s concert at Carnegie Hall has shown up on a Random Weekend.
The first time, I took advantage of the opportunity to land a pretty good joke, which I’ll paraphrase here:
“Buying this album is the gayest thing I’ve ever done. At least so far.”
Recreating Judy Garland’s iconic Live at Carnegie Hall performance just might be the gayest thing Rufus Wainwright has ever done.
Buying it is definitely the gayest thing I’ve ever done. At least so far.
I can’t say I’ve listened to this album very much (maybe once all the way through) but I applaud its fanboy spirit.
Of all the songs I’ve written about over the past couple of weeks, today’s SOTD is the first that I remember hearing for the very first time.
In part that’s because it’s the most recent song of the batch, but it’s also due to the tremendous impact it had on me right out of the gate.