On "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," the opening track of his stunningly sophisticated sophomore album, Poses, Rufus Wainwright confesses to his indulgences: "Everything it seems I like is a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me." Set to a seductively simple keyboard vamp that slips into occasionally dissonant chords, the song is as artful as it is amusing, especially when it ends in an ironic flourish with, "So please be kind/ if I'm a mess." Although he is the son of singer-songwriters Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III (Rufus covers one of his father's best-known tunes, "One Man Guy," here), his songs are indulgently theatrical, more suited for the cabaret than the coffee house, and given to sweeping, swooning piano-based melodies and crescendoing string arrangements. The stately, poised title track features witty wordplay worthy of Stephen Sondheim -- "Life is a game and true love is a trophy" -- and lovely background vocals from his sister, Martha Wainwright. Elsewhere, "Shadows," a collaboration with the Propellerheads' Alex Gifford, overlays a sexy funk groove with a string section, while "California" is a shining pop moment masking disillusionment with the state's shiny veneer: "So much to plunder that I think I'll sleep instead." Poses is a remarkable album, one that establishes Rufus Wainwright as one of pop music's most exciting and unique young voices.
Performance CreditsRufus Wainwright Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Piano,Vocals
Jim Keltner Drums
Julianna Raye Background Vocals
Benmont Tench Hammond Organ
Bernadette Colomine Background Vocals
Dennis Farias Trumpet
Normand Forget Oboe
Alex Gifford Bass,Guitar,Piano,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute
Christine Giguere Cello
Kevin Hupp Drums
Victor Indrizzo Drums
Ethan Johns Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar
Pierre Marchand Bass,Piano
Greg Wells Bass,Drums,Keyboards
Ashwin Sood Drums
Damian leGassick Guitar,Keyboards
Martha Wainwright Background Vocals
Stéphane Allard Violin
Yves Desrosiers Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Slide Guitar
Teddy Thompson Guitar,Background Vocals
Ian Rathbone Viola
Michael Chaves Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Richard Causon Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,chamberlain,Wurlitzer
Geneviève Beaudry Violin
Jeff Hill Bass,Background Vocals
Pete Wilson Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsTom Banghart Engineer
Alex Gifford Producer,Engineer
Ethan Johns Producer,Engineer
Pierre Marchand Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Steve Sidelnyk drum programming
Lenny Waronker Executive Producer
Greg Wells Producer
Bryan Martin Engineer
Damian leGassick Producer,String Arrangements,drum programming
Rufus Wainwright String Arrangements,Art Direction
Janet Wolsborn Art Direction
Dominique Grand Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Poses based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
He sings about strange love and partners, excesses and challenges. Personal experience is the basis for his work and therein lies the fear that his candle is burning at both ends. The work is brilliant, of course, and the vocal range amazing. Hang in there Rufus! You will be a STAR some day.
So I haven't heard the album yet, but I just saw him open for Tori Amos Saturday and I can't wait to get this cd in the mail. What a charming, talented, and beautiful man. Can't wait!
Discover Rufus now before he gets REALLY big!! Already a hit with the critics (his contributions to the Shrek and Moulin Rouge soundtracks were the only shining moments on both), I'm still hard pressed to find anyone who knows about this gem! His debut CD was amazing, and Poses is a perfect follow up. Agreed, it isn't as personal as his previous CD, but overall, his songwriting is a million times more confident. The only misstep is Evil Angel, which is an amazing melody, but botched up production. It should have been INTENSE, but now it's only powerful (This CD's amazing even in failure!)
Never heard him before Dec. 14th when he opened for Sting in Las Vegas. He's very talented! Definitely worth listening to.
Poses sucks! And not because the music is bad. Poses sucks because it is another collection of brilliantly written and performed songs that will serve to torment me in my own song writing efforts. I heard a friend mention the name Rufus Wainwright and I bought it on a whim at Barnes and Noble. I haven't spent my money this well on music in quite a while. I've also just broken my rule to never give anything five stars! And like the lyric from the second track, ''Greek Song'', I too ''dream in Barnes and Noble''.
The first time you hear this album, you know it's good but it takes a couple more listens to absord all of it. The harmonies, melodies and production are so on target that sometimes I can't even listen to the whole album in one sitting. ''Shadows'' is one of my favorite, in which the chorus nearly reduces me to tears because of how perfect it is. ''Evil Angel'' is another, it's very orchestrated and beautiful. The whole album is entrancing and I find it hard to believe that any real music fan could hate it.
Like everybody else who knows how incredible Rufus Wainwright is, I've been waiting a long time for the follow-up to his debut CD. I'm not disappointed AT ALL. Poses is just as melodic, just as interesting, and just as deep as its predecessor. I particularly like his cover of ''One Man Guy.'' ''Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk'' and ''Greek Song'' are both awesome, too.
The music is so haunting and poignant, especially the title song. This artist strives for fibers of potent emotion that is missing in the vast majority of other artists' works.
I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rufus' second CD. His first one was so amazing that I just had to have more. I was not disappointed! I am still amazed that I can't find anyone else who even knows who Rufus is. Is everyone living in caves or hiding under rocks? These songs should be playing everywhere, every day, initiating people into the wonders of this brilliant singer/songwriter. I feel as if I have found a spectacular gem and everyone around me thinks I only have a lump of coal. Once you hear this CD, you will wonder how you ever lived without knowing Rufus!