Poses

Poses

by Rufus Wainwright
     
 

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On "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," the opening track of his stunningly sophisticated sophomore album, Poses, Rufus Wainwright confesses to his indulgences: "Everything it seems I like is a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me." Set to a seductively simple keyboard vamp that slips into occasionally dissonant chords, the song isSee more details below

Overview

On "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," the opening track of his stunningly sophisticated sophomore album, Poses, Rufus Wainwright confesses to his indulgences: "Everything it seems I like is a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me." Set to a seductively simple keyboard vamp that slips into occasionally dissonant chords, the song is as artful as it is amusing, especially when it ends in an ironic flourish with, "So please be kind/ if I'm a mess." Although he is the son of singer-songwriters Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III (Rufus covers one of his father's best-known tunes, "One Man Guy," here), his songs are indulgently theatrical, more suited for the cabaret than the coffee house, and given to sweeping, swooning piano-based melodies and crescendoing string arrangements. The stately, poised title track features witty wordplay worthy of Stephen Sondheim -- "Life is a game and true love is a trophy" -- and lovely background vocals from his sister, Martha Wainwright. Elsewhere, "Shadows," a collaboration with the Propellerheads' Alex Gifford, overlays a sexy funk groove with a string section, while "California" is a shining pop moment masking disillusionment with the state's shiny veneer: "So much to plunder that I think I'll sleep instead." Poses is a remarkable album, one that establishes Rufus Wainwright as one of pop music's most exciting and unique young voices.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Talented chamber pop troubadour Rufus Wainwright followed up his startlingly fresh debut album with the 2001 release Poses. While his self-titled first album was very much a work by Wainwright (aided by his contributing producers), Poses seems to be more of a group effort, with the young composer allowing the other performers on the album to lend their talents, creating an even fuller, more "live" sound. Both Wainwright's younger sister Martha and son of British folk near-legends Richard and Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson contribute harmony vocals which soar above Rufus' affecting moan like the choir he must hear in his head. Produced by Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan), the album continues the same outstretched, enveloping sound established by Wainwright's earlier work, but contributors like contemporary composer Damian le Gassick and Propellerheads' Alex Gifford push in different directions, adding understated drum loops and gritty beats in unexpected places. Above all of the studio gimcrackery and pedigreed guest stars floats Wainwright himself, whose introspective, wry, and heart-wrenching songwriting remains his true strength (although his leisurely operatic tenor is not far behind). The clunking, loping "Greek Song" evokes the sprawl of an impossible Ingmar Bergman spaghetti Western, while the swaggering "California" shows a sunny exterior masking the song's satirical sneer. Amidst this sonic barrage, a high point comes in the cover of patriarch Loudon Wainwright III's "One Man Guy." Performed by Rufus, Martha, and Teddy Thompson's simple acoustic guitar, these three grown children of the '70s folk movement embrace the song faithfully, basking in their own harmonies and offering a respite from the blissfully lush orchestral pop that surrounds it. While Poses shows growth and worthwhile exploration, the album's "group" feel suffers only slightly from being less intimate than Wainwright's first album. Although his contributors add much, there was something blushingly personal about his debut that may have gotten a little buried this time around. That being said, Poses is still a spectacular album, brimming over with Wainwright's trademark popera and young romantic wishes. At times the album is beautifully discordant and sonically chilling, but often hints at warm grins with mischievous winks.
Rolling Stone - Ben Ratliff
Let's not overstate: Wainwright is not the second coming of Cole Porter.... But the best of Poses transmits the impatient, careening, manic life of a pleasure-seeking New Yorker and still keeps a carefully calibrated lightweight focus, the way those old, literate pop songs did.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2001
Label:
Dreamworks Uk
UPC:
0600445023727
catalogNumber:
450237
Rank:
170863

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rufus Wainwright   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Piano,Vocals
Jim Keltner   Drums
Julianna Raye   Background Vocals
Benmont Tench   Hammond Organ
Bernadette Colomine   Background Vocals
Dennis Farias   Trumpet
Normand Forget   Oboe
Alex Gifford   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute
Christine Giguere   Cello
Kevin Hupp   Drums
Victor Indrizzo   Drums
Ethan Johns   Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar
Pierre Marchand   Bass,Piano
Greg Wells   Bass,Drums,Keyboards
Ashwin Sood   Drums
Damian leGassick   Guitar,Keyboards
Martha Wainwright   Background Vocals
Stéphane Allard   Violin
Yves Desrosiers   Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Slide Guitar
Teddy Thompson   Guitar,Background Vocals
Ian Rathbone   Viola
Michael Chaves   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Richard Causon   Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,chamberlain,Wurlitzer
Geneviève Beaudry   Violin
Jeff Hill   Bass,Background Vocals
Pete Wilson   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Tom Banghart   Engineer
Alex Gifford   Producer,Engineer
Ethan Johns   Producer,Engineer
Pierre Marchand   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Steve Sidelnyk   drum programming
Lenny Waronker   Executive Producer
Greg Wells   Producer
Bryan Martin   Engineer
Damian leGassick   Producer,String Arrangements,drum programming
Rufus Wainwright   String Arrangements,Art Direction
Janet Wolsborn   Art Direction
Dominique Grand   Engineer

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