"I usually wake up around three and sit at the piano
completely naked and play for two or three hours. That
gets the juices flowing. Then I dress and go eat after
starving myself .I wait until I'm completely delirious…it's
a good way to stay thin".
Rufus chose to work with producer Pierre Marchand
(who had worked with Rufus mother, Kate McGarrigle),Marchand
and Wainwright were attentive to keeping the focus more
on the songs rather than the arrangements(a problem
that Wainwright felt made his debut lopsided).The partnership
certainly garnered a stella resultant product. However,
Wainwright did not appreciate the 'tough love' techniques
used by Marchand.
was extremely tough on my own ego, and there were serious
moments where I wanted to fire (him) and sue him for
how he made me feel…He didn't want to use any of the
old songs (I'd written)…He also edited some of them.
I had some serious cutting up, and he was never impressed.
He's really hard on himself and the artist. But it's
a matter of passion as opposed to being a bitter person."
"Poses" gathers together all the experiences Wainwright
has gone through since becoming a critical 'hit', but
if there was one particular 'theme' to the album?
"'Poses' means a lot of things to me" he says "For
one it's 'poser'-just sitting there being kind of vapid,
transparent…It's very much about the physicality of
life and trying to make sense of it…at one point being
very seduced by it-by what you see on the surface-and
on the other hand watching out not to be destroyed by
it. The beauty and shallowness of beauty".
So what do Crud think about the album?
Like a fine wine that has matured, Wainwright's songwriting
has become more palatable since his eponymous debut
album. It has lost the overwrought pretentions that
kept many listeners away. Wainwright's songs have become
more accessible but importantly, they still contain
many nuances apparent in musicals and classical music
that made him such a special talent to begin with. "Poses"
was written in New York's infamous Chelsea Hotel.
The disreputable debauchery that used to take place
in that hotel has now been replaced by corporate take
over (Wainwright admits that the hotel is no longer
rife with Caligula like happenings;"(it's) mainly filled
with German tourists "he recently said ).This irony
is not lost on Wainwright , and so he muses on the theme
of : hotel as catalyst for a loss of innocence (recalling
the hotels most tragic inhabitants ;Sid and Nancy) with
a rye smile on his face.
and "Poses" are written from the perspective
of the jaded twenty first century boy, the latter has
the memorably Brett Easton Ellis like couplet of "There's
never been such grave a matter as comparing our new
brand name black sunglasses" From the deceptive simplicity
of the album opener" Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk"
to the wonderful "Rebel Prince" Wainwright, like his
vocal sound a like Thom Yorke, writes lyrics that are
literate and densely layered (spot the references to
"Death In Venice").Lyrics which complement a
rich and complicated musical world..
Using strings like some bands use guitars, Wainwright
and main producer Pierre Marchand's musical creations
recall a world where the romanticism of Tin Pan Alley
meets the bleak realism of Leonard Cohen, via The Propellerheads(literally
in the Alex Gifford produced and co-written stunner
"Shadows"). With the sudden glut of male singer
songwriters it is hard to spot an Elliot Smith
in the crowd of Matthew Jays. Rufus Wainwright
is way ahead of the pack by virtue of his unique talent,
and "Poses" delivers on the promise of his debut, with
many glittering returns.
Report by: Priya Elangasinghe