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Album: Rufus Wainwright, Out of the Game (Polydor)


Rufus Wainwright believes this to be "the most pop album" he's ever made, and he's probably right, so long as you're thinking 1970s pop.

The title-track, addressing maturity and the desire for "something that can't be found on the main drag", has a genial country-pop tone that recalls Bread. There are echoes of Elton and Abba in "Bitter Tears", and Queen in the stodgy pomp-rocker "Rashida". But Rufus can't prevent his inner cabaret crooner taking over on "Barbara" and "Montauk", a cute song anticipating the day his daughter will visit her daddies in civil-partnership bliss. Mark Ronson's production has some interesting touches, notably the Van Dyke Parksian tootling brass on "Welcome to the Ball", and the cowpoke lilt of "Respectable Dive", where twangy guitar – by Wilco's Nels Cline, perhaps – lends it the retro feel of Richard Hawley.

DOWNLOAD THIS Out of the Game; Montauk; Respectable Dive; Candles