Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright 
/dreamworks; 1998/

Well, winter's coming. I know it's not autumn yet, but i hate autumn and spring. I never know what to wear. I feel better looking forward winter. or summer. 

About four years ago I fell in love. how surprising. It was a very sudden crush. I was with a cute blonde boy at the time but he had moved to the sea to go on studying dolphins and other cute fish. Far from the eyes far from the heart, as we say in the neighbourhood. So I met this cute boy. I was a big smashing pumpkins fan at the time, and i went to see billy and the corganites on 5 dates. That was quite foolish considering the poor performances and the money spent, but meeting people was cool. He was very cute in a modest but undeniable way. I'm pretty sure he's incredibly good-looking now. Anyway. We had a crush on each other and wrote each other just like 6th graders do, except that we were in college already. I sent him copies of cds and he sent me a package with Ben Folds Five's Whatever and Ever, Amen, Tricky's Angels with Dirty Faces, Sparklehorse's Good Morning Spider and Rufus Wainwright's debut album.

The album starts with this killer line:

I don't want to hold you and feel so helpless / I don't want to smell you and lose my senses / and smile in slow motion / with eyes in love

now that's romantic. The whole album reminds me of early winter days, fireplaces, Christmas presents and snow that always fails to fall. 

I wish Rufus Wainwright wasn't gay. When i learnt that he wasn't a bit straight I was quite disappointed. I'm a bitch, but men are even nastier, and I guess that for a couple of months, Rufus Wainwright made me believe that men could be romantic and sensitive without being completely pathetic. Ruffie (let's call him Ruffie) sounds like he wishes he was born in the late 19th, early 20th century and I can relate to that. I know it's stupid, considering the lack of comfort and the state of society at the time, but I wish I was born rich in the late 19th century. My idea of the "late 19th, early 20th century" is basically based of movies and plays, so it may not be totally accurate. But still. Clothes looked better, men were men and I can totally picture myself as Madame de Merteuil.      

This idealistic nostalgia is exactly what makes Rufus Wainwright's debut album so charming. Paradoxically, it's also what makes Want One, and to a lesser extent, Poses, a bit, well, gay. Want One sounds like the musical embodiment of Art Nouveau, bombastic la Moulin Rouge, and in comparison his debut album sounds almost sober. Van Dike Parks produced the album, which was recorded over a long period of time, adding a luxurious 60s pop feeling to Wainwright's flamboyant vaudeville pieces, building a bridge between classical music and pop, exploring a territory no one ever set foot on. 

Every kind of love/ or at least my kind of love/ must be an imaginary love to start with

One of the most refreshing things about him is the complete absence of irony. Rufus Wainwright dares. That's what makes his music so unique. Rufus Wainwright shows a very talented and helplessly touching man, way more punk than a thousand Offsprings. His music is familiar, unique and incredibly charming.

Thank you, Pris.

-Barbara H

/oct 1st 2003/