on ‘out of the game’April 25, 2012
Jessica and I recently discussed how at this point in our lives we’re mostly into listening to pleasant background music we can pretty much ignore (Washed Out, Small Black), but sometimes when I’m trying to ignore other things (people’s voices, responsibilities), I funnel songs with harmonies and the occasional brass section through my headphones.
To admit that I’ll only listen to Rufus Wainwright’s new record, Out of the Game, all the way through once, ever, is a big deal for me, and hurts my heart, because if you haven’t yet noticed, Rufus has his own category on this blog (because this blog is one million years old), and I was once an obsessed superfan who stalked him by the stage door of a London gig in 2004. WEARING A TRENCHCOAT, no less!
Out of the Game evidences his trade of meth-fueled promiscuity for a very tall German husband and baby daughter; of zebra print for pinstripes; and of acoustic strumming and lush orchestra backing for “smooth” and “groovy” elevator guitars (quoting other reviews here) and aged doo-wop lady vocal blends.
It’s cool, though. He’s grown older and settled down, and I admire his choice to swap destructive for responsible behavior.
I’m kind of air-handjobbing all over the inclusion of Mark Ronson as producer, though. If Rufus has resigned himself to the future described in the song “Montauk” (One day you will come to Montauk and see your dad wearing a kimono / And see your other dad pruning roses / Hope you won’t turn around and go), why get the guy who clothes-pinned the lead singer of Phantom Planet’s sagging vocals to classic Radiohead to spray Sgt. Pepper all over everything? Couldn’t Rufus decorate things himself? (Disclaimer: I was once obsessed with Phantom Planet.)
Rufus’ evolved life rules, but the music about his advanced state of being kinda bores me (one exception: this song). And while I don’t really care about “Montauk,” I’d certainly give birth to a first-born child just to trade it for an invite to his bathrobe garden party. So at least something was achieved here.