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Rufus Wainwright: Release the Stars

Rufus Wainwright: Release the Stars

Desc:CD REVIEW: ARTIST: Rufus Wainwright

For all of those who worried that that the twisted cathedral-ism of Wainwright’s Want Two was signaling the end of the progression so winningly scorched by its similarly named predecessor, Want One, this should come as a relief. Wisely, Wainwright’s sifted down all of the most enjoyable fruits of his ambition – breaking-glass crescendos, biting humor that spills its own drink all over itself – tossed out some of his counterintuitive complexities, and delivered a glorious summation of the wild-eyed artist sick of self-destruction and ready to embrace his prime, this time in lederhosen. Opener “Do I Disappoint You?” burns its rhetoric in an orchestral blaze of God-tinged glory screams (“Why does it always have to be holy wine?/Destruction!/Of all mankind!”); “Going to a Town” channels his cantankerous father in a loping protest lament against our warlord state (“I’m so tired of America,” he sings). Executive produced by drama king Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, Release the Stars seemingly does just that in one long, glorious mood swing. It all culminates in the title track, a woozy spectacular that marries the unlikely bedfellows of gospel and big band in an attempt to strip artifice of its ornaments by throwing the sparkly bits up into the air for all to see. Breathtaking, indeed.
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