For the past two days I’ve basically listened to Rufus Wainwright’s new album, Release The Stars, and nothing else. I’m pretty sure, after listening to the album about 20 times, that it’s my favorite Rufus Wainwright album. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s 33, or that he’s survived a drug addiction, but something feels different about this album. It feels more fleshed out, more mature.
But the album is still full of Rufus-isms, singing about love, devotion, sex, and fame. The tracks are also very worldly, ranging from German parks and palaces (Tiergarten & Sanssouci, most likely influenced by his boyfriend Jorn Weisbrodt), to Tulsa, Oklahoma and Paris.
I think my two favorite songs are, ‘Nobody’s Off the Hook’ and ‘Release the Stars’. ‘Nobody’s Off the Hook’ reminds me of Jeff, and makes me smile every time I hear it. I know I’ve listened to it more than any of the others. ‘Release the Stars’, the title track, is the album ender. It’s an amazing song about Hollywood and the stars who live here. What makes it so great is the tremendous build up, with piano and organs wailing, horns blaring and strings rising and falling, and soul singers harmonizing with and bolstering Rufus’ hypnotic voice.
Release The Stars comes out May 15th on Geffen Records.