Out Of The Game is quite a definitive title for Rufus Wainwright’s seventh studio album. Produced by Mark Ronson, Rufus takes a left-of-field approach as he enters the challenging boundaries of pop, soul and a touch of jazz music into this record.
The title track Out Of The Game is a very fitting opening track. It sets the mood as very calm and collective. The backing vocals provide a soulful twist, with a relaxed yet empowering guitar solo that completes the song. Jericho could very well be the song that entices you to your first wedding dance. Within the first three seconds, a smooth piano and bass line introduce a vibe of romance in the air.
Any fan of Mark Ronson would not have to guess that Rashida was produced by the man himself. Rufus Wainwright brings aspiring vocals, though perhaps over produced; this song is more appropriate to take the album to its end. Taking us back a step, Barbara provides another smooth bass line rendition. The lyrics “Drinking rosé in the rain or listening to the same song over and over again” are a perfect description of how you would endure this song.
“I will never be defeated, I will never come undone” are the opening lines of Welcome To The Ball. It contains a very uplifting tempo with a prominent horn section that makes for a very confident yet slightly engaging musical work. It is only desirable that Rufus creates a song about Montauk. Reflecting on his new life as a family, it instantly becomes a classic of an arpeggio-induced piano ballad.
Bitter Tears creates a thrilling energetic atmosphere for the anticipated second half of the album. The very subtle appearance of an acoustic guitar in Respectable Dive creates another powerful feel of romance, which could be seen in a 1970’s film, while Perfect Man takes on a different approach that sees Rufus broaden his vocal range into the deeper, yet superior sound that he manages to do successfully.
The raw sounds of emotion are evident in Sometimes You Need. This provides the combination of acoustic and electric guitars that encourages a relaxed feeling to the song. Again, Rufus takes us back to before we were born with the superb sounds from Song of You. By now, it is natural that this sound is here to stay. Closing the album is a slow and soothing rendition of Candles. As a prolonged tribute to his late mother, it is an emotional song complete with the sound of bagpipes fading out that will be forever remembered.
By the end of this album, it is observant that it will be played on repeat. Rufus Wainwright’s new and insightful sound contributes to possibly one of the best albums of his career. Following the death of his mother to the birth of his daughter, he may have been ‘Out Of The Game’, though he is clearly not anymore.