Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rufus Wainwright- Want One

This has been a rather interesting weekend for me. I volunteered to be a subject in sleep study which is looking for links between sleep deprivation and weight gain. I slept in the lab on Thursday and Friday nights, and I spent all day and night in the lab yesterday, and I'm here until 8 pm tonight. Part of the study required that I stay up from 8 am until 5 am yesterday, and then sleep from 5 am until 8 am today, so I am currently running on 3 hours of sleep. I'm not good at pulling all-nighters when I have something that needs to get done (I'm a procrastinator with limits!) but last night wasn't so bad. However, today I'm just not in the mood for yet ANOTHER movie. Yesterday I watched 1) March of the Penguins 2) half of the first season of Sex and the City 3) Sideways 4) Robin Hood: Men in Tights and 5) A Walk in the Clouds. (I'm sensing that it might be the perfect opportunity for a 6 hour Pride & Prejudice marathon today. I'll let you know what happens there.) However, not yet being up to another movie, I'm on to the music. I've got about 1200 songs now, so that should keep me occupied for a while, and below is my pick of the morning.

Today's Subject: Rufus Wainwright's album Want One.

In case you haven't heard of him yet (lots of people haven't), Rufus Wainwright is a Canadian-American singer and piano player. His music is sometimes described as "baroque pop" because of his penchant for dense lyrics and using classical instruments and settings. For example, the first song on Want One, "Oh What a World" is framed by the theme from Ravel's "Bolero- you'll know it to hear it. Rufus himself is quite a quirky character- he has dual citizenship, is openly gay, has a past history of crystal meth addiction, and writes songs in both English and French (he grew up in Montreal). If any of you have seen the film Moulin Rouge, one of his songs, "Complainte de la Butte", is on the soundtrack.

But the things that I find the most special about this album are the orchestration and Wainwright's lyrics. I'm a huge classical music fan, and unlike a lot of commercial music nowadays, Wainwright really takes the time to layer sounds, do things differently, and use the richness of classical instruments to their full potential. There's a fullness to the sound of Want One that I love. And Wainwright's catchy and quirky lyrics are hard to beat. I love the fun of lamenting someone who never calls in a song called "Vibrate", where the first line is "my cell phone's on vibrate for you." It's gorgeously sad and sweet.

So there you have it- Want One. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Listen with headphones for the full effect, because there's always a lot going on. And If you get a chance, check out Wainwright's commentary on each track and videos of his performing some of the songs from the album in Montreal. Oh, and for any of you who are familiar with the name, Rufus' sister is Martha Wainwright, another singer.


Anonymous said...

hey Mel! I love rufus too, sadly i wasintroduced to him in the Shrek soundtrack, lol but I enjoy his work too :) <3 Mar