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Want One
     

Want One

4.7 10
by Rufus Wainwright
 

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In interviews, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has been exceptionally honest about his problems with addiction and family strife, particularly his volatile relationship with his singer-songwriter father, Loudon Wainwright III. The younger Wainwright's songs are unusually honest, too, though it's not just in the lyrics that he

Overview

In interviews, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has been exceptionally honest about his problems with addiction and family strife, particularly his volatile relationship with his singer-songwriter father, Loudon Wainwright III. The younger Wainwright's songs are unusually honest, too, though it's not just in the lyrics that he lays bare his soul. He adheres to the centuries-old notion that the music must add meaning to a song's words -- which isn't so surprising coming from someone who claims Schubert and Verdi as his musical idols. Aided by veteran producer Marius deVries, Want One takes the opulent arrangements of Wainwright's first two albums (Rufus Wainwright and Poses) a step further, underscoring the emotional richness and inherent theatricality of these confessional songs. The results are often surprising. Originally conceived as "an angry rock thing," "Vicious World" becomes a deliriously hazy dream (or nightmare?) with gently throbbing keyboard harmonies. "14th Street" is built around the down-to-earth, country-esque refrain, "Why'd you have to break all my heart? / Couldn't you have saved a little bit of it?," yet the music is an unexpectedly elaborate honky-tonk symphony. Not all the songs are so lavishly realized, though. "So Pretty" is an intimate number with piano accompaniment, and "Harvester of Hearts" evokes the low-lit atmosphere of a smoky jazz club. Wainwright's struggles with big issues have always been plain in his music, and though he looks to be on the path to recovery, it's the listener who reaps the biggest bounty: Rufus's poignant, often powerful songs offer themes and melodies that burrow deep into one's consciousness.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Rufus Wainwright croons and cries through another set of obscenely lush and opulent pop operettas on his third album Want One. As is to be expected, the songs are meticulously layered and richly textured, with full orchestral passages and many-throated harmonies. Producer Marius deVries (Björk, Massive Attack, Madonna) didn't mess with the already successful Wainwright sound, allowing for the young singer/ songwriter/multi-instrumentalist to explore his familiar themes of love, loss, and "singin' about places" with the anticipated fanfare and flourish. The album's strongest segment comes in the middle, beginning with the intimate-to-epic "Go or Go Ahead," barreling through the wildly spinning rock opera "14th Street," and landing softly on the gently chiming "Natasha." Oddly, unlike his previous two releases, Wainwright's musings seem less focused and a little meandering on a handful of the songs. The lazy, loping "Want" is much more stream-of-consciousness than anything else he's recorded, and the slightly goofy "Vibrate" (with its references to Britney Spears and electroclash) may sound dated before the album is played a second time. The sessions that produced Want One were apparently so prolific that another volume (Want Two?) is in the works, but it could turn out to be that distilling both albums down to one would have made for a more complete overall work. Who knows, this new looseness to his rigid pop constructivism may end up being a good thing, and, frankly, Wainwright could be singing lists of names out of the phone book and it would still be more exciting and inventive than 99 percent of the other albums out there.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
A record of breathtaking, eccentric opulence.
Entertainment Weekly - Marc Weingarten
If Sondheim had been reared on old Van Dyke Parks records, he might sound like this. (A-)

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2003
Label:
Dreamworks
UPC:
0600445046108
catalogNumber:
000089612
Rank:
138660

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rufus Wainwright   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Recorder,fender rhodes
Charlie Sexton   Guitar
Sterling Campbell   Drums
Simon Clarke   Flute,Alto Flute,Piccolo,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Marius de Vries   Piano,Vibes
Levon Helm   Drums
Kick Horns   Brass
Roddy Lorimer   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Jenni Muldaur   Vocals
Tim Sanders   Tenor Saxophone
Paul Spong   Trumpet
Linda Thompson   Vocals
Annie Whitehead   Trombone
Jimi Zhivago   Guitar,Piano
Kate McGarrigle   Banjo
Martha Wainwright   Vocals
Nick Hitchens   Tuba
Joyce Smith   Harp
Adrian Hallowell   Bass Trombone
Gary Leonard   Guitar,Mandolin
Bernard O'Neil   Bass
Teddy Thompson   Vocals
David Stewart   Bass Trombone
Maxim Moston   Concert Master
Jeff Hill   Bass
Alexandra Knoll   Oboe
London Oratory Choir   Choir, Chorus
David Sapadin   Clarinet
Daniel Shelly   Bassoon
Matt Johnson   Drums

Technical Credits

Gary Thomas   Engineer
Andy Bradfield   Engineer
Marius de Vries   Programming,Producer,Orchestral Arrangements,Choir Arrangement
John Holbrook   Engineer
Lenny Waronker   Executive Producer
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader
Rufus Wainwright   Composer,Orchestral Arrangements,Choir Arrangement,Cover Art
Jacquelyn McKeever   Engineer
Chris Elliott   Orchestral Arrangements
Alexis Smith   Programming
Tom Shick   Engineer
Maxim Moston   Orchestral Arrangements
Bob Ebeling   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Want One 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought Rufus Wainwright's second album, Poses, was the best you could get. I was thrilled to discover that 1) He wasn't dead (I have an annoying tendency to like Singers of the Long Since Past) and 2) He had more albums that I hadn't gotten my paws on yet. The first song 'Oh What a World' is a song that I regularly sing along to in the car, from the simple beginning, to the multi layered finale. It leaves me happy, and leaves me thinking "Well. It certainly is a strange world that we live in!" There isn't a bad song on the record, which is a rare thing for me to say. The only song that I would occasionally skip is 'Want.' The melody doesn't intrigue me as much as I would like it to, nor do the lyrics, which fall slightly from their high caliber on this song. But, 'Want' is still an enjoyable listen, but just not my cup of tea. Overall, five out of five. This singer is definitely someone that you should keep your eyes on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the opening refrain of "Oh What a World" to the simply-put lyrics and rambling thoughts of "Vibrate" it should be abundantly clear that Rufus Wainwright has a great sense of humor and a deep appreciation of honesty in lyric and simplicity in muse. I'm still shocked at the number of people that have not "discovered" Rufus Wainwright and had an opportunity to enjoy his art, spoon feeding top-40 radio to the next generation? Such a shame and to quote Rufus..."Oh, what a world, it seems we live in."
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rufus' music has always been a symbol of inherent energy and a depressing escape of love. He has once again delivered a musical blend of songs to rejoice with and numbers to cry with. I listened to this album over and over for an entire day while I was working. I kept feeling the hairs stand up on my neck at certain times each time and numb at moments each time. Brilliant, simply brilliant!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have all of rufus wainwright's cds and i just have to say ALL of them are wonderful. he has the best voice ive ever heard, i highly recommend this cd!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Want One is such a well thought out album that will definitely put Rufus Wainwright on the map as a great composer, pianist, and vocalist.
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