New Release (Decca)
This is the Rufus Wainwright album for people who couldn’t get past the Judy Garland side of his persona. Working with star producer Mark Ronson, he’s made a pop album that tones down the cabaret flourishes and often gets proudly Lennonesque. The elegy for his mother, “Candles,” is nicely understated; and a couplet early in the album — “I’m out of the game/I’ve been out for a long time now”— ranks as one of his best sexual identity jokes.
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