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Rufus...is it just me?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:56 pm
by don
Am i the only one who finds Mr. Wainwright to be nearly constantly just under pitch? There are a couple of his tracks where he seems to hit the mark (what a world, ???....possibly others), but in general I think his is about the most grating voice/style in current "adult contemp. pop" genre. He slides up to notes and just never quite gets there. Sounds like a perpetual whine.

Note that I wouldn't mind all of this so much, but the fact that he's become such a resounding "hit" of late... There's a radio show here in the US called "World Cafe" (which Charlie apparantly visited during his US trip) that I can't much stomache -- there's next to no world music on it and the host (David Dye) fawns all over his guests which generally fit the RW mould (which I would describe as pompus and boring singer/songwriter wanna-be's). David Dye *loves* Rufus Wainwright.

And now we even have Charlie fawning all over him. What gives? What the heck am I missing? Oh, what a world.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:00 am
by Charlie
I usually have little idea if a singer's in tune or not. I like him/her, or I don't. But I think Don's comments apply to just about every indie rock vocalist over the past ten years, notably the singer in that Nashville-based band, Lambchop. Or Wilco.

Everytime the music press raves about a new discovery, apparently better than all predecessors, I am lured into checking them out. And every time I reel away, incredulous that anybody can bear the sorry-for-itself singing style.

Gerry Lyseight, who used to have his own show on GLR and now sits in my seat when I'm away, has been a keen fan of Rufus from the beginning, but despite having been a fan of the McGarrigle sisters and of Loudon Wainwright, I couldn't hear what Gerry could hear in Rufus.

But with Oh What a World, I not only love the song and its arrangement, but find the tone of Rufus' voice is apt.

But I apologise if I sounded like I was fawning, no excuse for that.

Now, who's got that Martha Wainwright album that I've been told is good?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:48 pm
by Guest
Hi Charlie

Martha's website - http://www.marthawainwright.com/ - refers to the album as "BMFA" for reasons that will become clear if you check out the site. According to Amazon.co.uk, it's due for release over here November 22nd. I'm just glad it's not me that she's singing about on the title tune.

Rob

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:53 pm
by RobHall
I forgot to mention a couple of things: (1) the UK distributors/record company, Drowned in Sound, say that it's available 15/11; (2) it's an EP, not an album; (3) it appears to be the 3rd EP that Martha has produced, but I can't see that the previous 2 are still available anywhere.

But from the reviews/comments that I've come across while in the process of looking it up, BMFA certainly sounds interesting.

Rob

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:05 pm
by NickH
I must have an advance copy of Martha's new EP, then.

BMFA is a great song and was a highlight during the Martha, Rufus and McGarrigle sisters Festival Hall show earlier this year.

Loudon Wainwright III also has a wonderful new song (the anti-Bush Presidents' Day), which is only available as a download on his website.

http://www.lwiii.com/lwpresidentsday.html

A very talented family!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:17 pm
by howard male
I didn't think you were fawning Charlie, just showing your usual intense enthusiasm. You were exactly the same when Oliver Mtukudzi joined you.

I too love 'Oh What a World' and think Rufus's voice works perfectly with the songs unique mix of world-wearyness and joyful celebration, but I do find his voice gets a bit much after a while on his other material.

I was glad you asked the man about how he ended up using Ravel's piece as the end of the song. So few music journalists ever ask the most important questions - about the music itself!

rufus wainwight

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:32 pm
by gerry lyseight
As the originator (along with the David Hepworth) of the 94.9fm Rufus Wainwright Appreciation Society I should say that I know exactly what you mean. I happen to like his voice and maybe what you see/hear as off-key is part of it's attraction. Many critics didn't appreciate the blues because of the habit of bending notes and Coltrane because he slurred the notes and who could say that Bob Dylan has ever hit a note smack in the middle, but I would much rather listen to Bob or Leonard Cohen than, say, Mariah Carey but there's no question which is the better singer. Personally I was immediately smitten and knew that listeners' responses would be variable but that's part of the joy and freedom of 'specialist' radio.

g x