Review : RUFUS WAINWRIGHT - Out of the Game
L.A. TimesOne of the best opening lyrics so far this year comes near the middle of Rufus Wainwright’s seventh studio album, “Out of the Game.” Following a stutter-step, loping piano-drum introduction suggesting a Patsy Cline ballad, the singer with a perfect tenor starts with a suggestion: “Let’s meet in a respectable dive/On a somewhat safe street/And have a beer.” Over the next five minutes Wainwright offers intimate recollections to an unnamed lover, and one of the best lyrical turns of his career, on an album that follows through on the promise of his 1998 debut and his impressive, if at times uneven, work between then and now.
One of the catchiest and most immediately accessible albums Wainwright, 38, has made, “Out of the Game” was produced by Mark Ronson and features as its backing band the Dap-Kings, best known for its work supporting both Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse. Other guests include Nels Cline of Wilco, Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow and guitarist Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, all of whom steer the Dap-Kings and company away from a retro vibe and toward something much more vivid....full text
BuzzinRufus Wainwright's latest album, Out of the Game, finds him settling into a life that perhaps neither his fans or the artist himself would have predicted. The title is a reference to the fact that the former debauched, Wilde-esque troubadour of the "Poses" and "Want" years has been engaged for a few months now, and has seemingly settled down (sorry, boys). There's very little genuine regret at this turn of events on the album. Frankly, he sounds more than a little relieved in the way his life is developing, and it’s a relief that shows in Out of the Game's laconic charm....full text
Av ClubRufus Wainwright has recorded plenty of ambitious, idiosyncratically personal, not-always-accessible albums, but every so often he goes full pop, releasing an eclectic, catchy record designed to be embraced. Out Of The Game is one of the latter, joining Poses and Release The Stars as the Wainwright album most likely to disarm listeners less inclined to appreciate his occasional forays into the operatic, theatrical, or maudlin. Working with power producer Mark Ronson—who knows how to handle strong vocalists from his time shaping Amy Winehouse—Wainwright varies his approach from track to track on Out Of The Game, but generally works in a more laid-back singer-songwriter mode than he ever has before. Songs like the twangy, gospel-tinged “Jericho” and the murmuring acoustic ballad “Sometimes You Need” are oddly reminiscent of Ryan Adams, or of Wainwright’s own father, Loudon. Ronson brings in a few elements of R&B and club music, but mostly he just creates a suitably lively setting for Wainwright’s ’70s style roots-pop....full text
Paste magazineFew people twist the opposing aesthetics of lush and stark with the dexterity of Rufus Wainwright, the chanteuse with the steady aim on broken hearts and sumptuous agony. On Out of the Game, Wainwright does not disappoint: whirling string sections and a chorus of women exhale grief behind the brash songwriter who knows no shade of blue that eludes him.
Even opening with the incandescent “Out of the Game,” a song about not seceding, but getting specific, the pang of yearning is present and accounted for. The chorus collects momentum, swells and overflows with the blanket of soul queens for echo and the notion of buoyancy from the object of desire providing a jubiliance....full text
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