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First Impressions: Rufus Wainwright, “All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu”

By Daniel Kohn on March 10, 2010


First Impressions: Rufus Wainwright, “All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu”
Rufus Wainwright
All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu
Release Date: 4/20
1. Who Are You New York?
2. Sad With What I Have
3. Martha
4. Give Me What I Want and Give It To Me Now!
5. True Loves
6. Sonnet 43
7. Sonnet 20
8. Sonnet 10
9. The Dream
10. What Would I Ever Do With A Rose?
11. Les Feux d’artifice t’appellent
12. Zebulon
First Impressions:

-Rufus Wainwright is releasing his sixth studio album (the first since 2007’s Release The Stars) on Decca Records. The album is partially inspired by William Shakespeare, as demonstrated in the album's title (All Days Are Nights comes from Shakespeare’s "Sonnet 43," which is the name of the sixth track on this album). The second part of the title, Songs For Lulu, refers to what Wainwright has called “a dark, brooding, dangerous woman that lives within all of us,” which is comparable to the Shakespeare’s Dark Lady.
-The album starts off with “Who Are You New York?” which features Wainwright's trademark crooning over an intricate piano melody.  The track is a positive look at the U.S.'s largest city.
-“Martha” is a cry to Rufus’ sister, Martha Wainwright. “Martha, it's your brother calling,” is a refrain throughout the track, which seem like a plea from Rufus. The piano gives the track a sense of urgency, along with the general tone of the vocals and lyrics.
-“Give Me What I Want and Give It To Me Now!” sounds like it could have been written and performed during the Prohibition Era. It is an up-tempo number and you can envision Wainwright playing in it in a speakeasy. It clocks in at a brisk 2:09.
-The middle of the album has Wainwright tackling three of Shakespeare’s sonnets. His versions would make the English bard proud. 
-The album’s final track, “Zebulon,” is a tribute to Wainwright’s recently deceased mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle. He wrote it while in the hospital with her in Montreal.
Key Tracks:
 “Who Are You New York?”, “Martha”, “Give Me What I Want and Give It To Me Now!”, “Les Feux d'artifice t'appellent.”
Per usual, Wainwright makes pain sound beautiful. The man who Elton John dubbed "the greatest songwriter on the planet" won’t let anyone down on this deeply personal, melodic, intelligent album.

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