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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Rufus Wainwright
Release The Stars
Geffen

Rating: 8.8/10 ?


June 11, 2007
It's obvious someone forgot his initial focus. When Rufus Wainwright set out to record his latest album, Release The Stars, he envisaged "a kind of pared down bare bones affair." Those sentiments must have been lost in translation, as Release displays an elaborate pomp and pageantry from beginning to end.

The popera that Wainwright is known for is again at work, beginning with the impressive "Do I Disappoint You." The track features swirling orchestration peaking in all the right places, with light fluting when the mood is airy and a crash of cymbals when Wainwright asks, "Why does it always have to be chaos?" It's this intelligent consideration of musical and lyrical convergence that marks Wainwright as profound.

The ostentatious nature of Release The Stars continues throughout on tracks like "Slideshow" and the shortened "Tulsa." The former delivers a cacophony of horns that work only because Wainwright knows when to pull back, while the latter clocks in at just over two minutes, serving as the perfect pivot point to bring the show toward its denouement.

In between, Wainwright produces the intimacy needed between such bombastic numbers. The piano-driven "Leaving for Paris No. 2" relies on a wintry arrangement as he sings a sorrowful goodbye. The saloon piano of "Going to a Town" finds Wainwright making his most political statement, simply remarking how tired of America he is.

Release The Stars swoons and sweeps until the final curtain and Rufus Wainwright has delivered music perfectly suited for the elaborate set of the world around us.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner

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