Album: Rufus Wainwright, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu (Decca)

The pleasure of Rufus lies in the balance he strikes between complex texture and warm gush.

Here you get the gush. Rufus and piano. No orchestration; form dictated by the expediencies of cod-Romantic self-accompaniment; a determination to expose his inner poetry, and outer voice, to as much light as possible. The three Shakespeare sonnets benefit from, well, being Shakespeare. The rest, with one exception, "Zebulon", is an essay in pianistic histrionics with dull supporting melody. You can see what he's getting at. It's called showing off.