The singer’s new album is a great testament to love in all its forms.
Rufus Wainwright’s new album, Out of the Game, arrives May 1, a velvet-wrapped gift for the weary, ill at ease, and lovesick. The acclaimed and versatile singer, whose nearly two-decade career includes soaring pop, opera, and covers of beloved standards, collaborated with celebrated producer Mark Ronson on this album of wry, forthright love songs. Wainwright, thirty-eight, has been out since his teens, and wears his sexuality as comfortably as his bespoke suits. Whether he sings about his fiance, Jörn Weisbrodt, or their baby daughter, his adoration for them is boundless as it is matter-of-fact. Out of the Game is the grand result of what occurs when we approach love as our true selves.
This is best exemplified by the song “Montauk,” which finds Wainwright singing to his daughter’s eventual adult incarnation. When he sings, “One day you will come to Montauk/ And see your dad wearing a kimono/ And see your other dad pruning roses/ Hope you won’t turn around and go,” it’s with the confidence of an artist and a man who knows who he is. Wainwright has always spoken out against homophobia, so it’s not as if he’s unaware that intolerant people could misread the entire song as a testament to the heterosexual nuclear family. (One can hear them wailing, “If she had a mom and a dad she’d want to stay.”) But they’d be missing the song’s beauty and humor, and the point of, well, everything.
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