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Rufus Wainwright: All Days Are Nights – Songs for Lulu

(Polydor)

4 out of 5

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  1. Buy the CD
  2. Rufus Wainwright
  3. All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu (Digipack)
  4. Polydor
  5. 2010

Rufus Wainwright recently told the Observer that this record was his "mourning for his mother while she was still alive". As you'd expect from the writer of songs like Dinner At Eight and from a member of a family whose major form of communication seems to be via song, it's intensely personal – especially in the wake of Kate McGarrigle's death. The whole thing is played just on piano, giving the effect of Rufus sat playing in a hotel corner, pouring his heart out to inattentive guests as he sings of ringing his sister Martha to discuss heading back to Canada to visit their ailing mother. The move from functional singer-songwriter to modern renaissance man seems complete, too: dropped in with the more conventional compositions like Who Are You New York? there are wonderful arrangements of three of Shakespeare's sonnets (43, 20 and 10) all sung in Wainwright's elegiac husky timbre plus a song from his opera Prima Donna (the aria Les Feux d'Artifice T'Appellant). Gracefully, though, it all hangs together as one piece. Splendid.


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