Review: Rufus Wainwright, ‘Out of the Game’

Review: Rufus Wainwright, ‘Out of the Game’: Aidin Vaziri | On his new album, Rufus Wainwright plays it straight. The Canadian singer-songwriter, who is prone to all manner of creative detours (the note-for-note tribute to Judy Garland, the much-maligned French opera), has claimed that “Out of the Game” is his last earnest stab at making pop music. He almost gets it right. The record features some of his most accessible songs in ages, made all the better with the warm vintage glow lavished on them by Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson. Soulful horns and backing vocals punctuate “Rashida,” the title track sounds like a leftover from Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” sessions, and a deep ’70s groove permeates “Barbara.” But Wainwright can’t give up his eccentric airs entirely – especially with that melodramatic voice. On standout songs like “Bitter Tears” and “Montauk,” he merely ends up sounding like a more disciplined version of the auteur he’s always been – which is certainly no bad thing.

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