Filed under: Issue 22, Issue 22 Reviews | Tags: kate mcgarrigle, new album, On All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, Rufus Wainwright
Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts
PREVIEW: CLICK here to visit Rufus Wainwright‘s Myspace
Rufus Wainwright has never been one to spare the listener the most troubling details of his family life. On All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, the death of his mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle, adds another dark emotional dimension to his saga of troubles.
The song “Martha” is a collection of answering machine messages to his sister, in which Wainwright expresses concern about his parents’ aging. In a world of personal lost, Wainwright’s piano remains his most consistent companion, following him through his emotional journeys until the final track. “Zebulon,” finds Wainwright wandering home from his mother’s funeral.
In an interesting turn for the literary, Wainwright puts three different Shakespearean sonnets to music with “When Most I Wink,” “A Woman’s Face,” and “Shame.” The tracks seamlessly blend into one another and create beautiful homogeny of sonic repetition. Wainwright’s knack for lyrical metaphors and sad piano melodies does not fail him aesthetically on this album. Rather, These techniques work as a sobering substitute for the flashiness and grandeur seen in some of his previous work.
While this collection is doubtlessly beautiful, it was not constructed for a population plagued by a short attention span. Wainwright’s voice and hands battle each other through the tracks, creating a challenging emotional odyssey, perpetually unaware of its final destination. The casual listener should be wary of where such a journey might leave him.
BY Jen Littman