Release the Stars

Release the Stars

by Rufus Wainwright


If ever there was an artist that embodied both the urbane popular songsmithing of Cole Porter and the epic winged grandeur of Richard Wagner it is Rufus Wainwright. Having not so much perfected as succumbed to this yin-yang pull on his laboriously ambitious and intermittently inspired 2003 and 2004 albums Want One and Want Two, Wainwright once again delivers a baroque collection of songs on 2007's Release the Stars. Recorded at least partially in Berlin and London with Pet Shop Boys lead Neil Tennant, the album finds Wainwright casting himself as a kind of expatriate torch singer, a veritable Marlene Dietrich of emotion who, as he laments on "Going to a Town," is "so tired of America." In that sense, Release the Stars is at once intensely personal and utterly theatrical with Wainwright playing both ingénue and femme fatale in a series of increasingly cinematic pop-operas about true love gone not so much bad, but sad. He pleads to make it to the other side of town, and possibly the other side of monogamy, with his brown-eyed lover in "Tiergarten" and dreams lazily about, "the boys that made me lose the blues and then my eyesight" on "Sanssouci." While these songs are lushly produced, often with full orchestration, and while Wainwright has a knack for pretty, lilting melodies and concrete imagery there is nonetheless a distinct lack of pop hooks here. In fact, only the chugging T. Rex inspired glam rock of "Between My Legs" gets at any real pop meat. The main problem is that it's never quite clear if Wainwright, who has always been to pop music as cabaret is to Broadway, is dressing opera up as pop or vice versa. But when you wear custom Lederhosen as well as Wainwright does throughout the album liner notes, does it really matter? [The CD was also released with a DVD.]

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2007
Label: Geffen Records
UPC: 0602517301610
catalogNumber: 000876702

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rufus Wainwright   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Guitar (Nylon String)
Richard Thompson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Julianna Raye   Tambourine,Background Vocals
Barry Danielian   Trumpet
Marius de Vries   Conductor,Breathing
Rachelle Garniez   Accordion,Claviola
Dan Levine   Trombone
London Session Orchestra   Strings
John Medeski   Piano
Jenni Muldaur   Background Vocals
Larry Mullins   Bongos,Castanets,Cymbals,Bass Drums,Glockenspiel,Marimbas,Tabla,Tambourine,Triangle,Bells,Timpani,Vibes,Shaker,cowbell,Wood Block
Jack Petruzzelli   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Tony Scherr   Upright Bass
Neil Tennant   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Sampling,Vibes,Loops,Breathing
Gerry Leonard   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Carl Albach   Trumpet,Piccolo Trumpet
Smokey Hormel   Guitar
Briggan Krauss   Baritone Saxophone
Kenny Wollesen   Drums
Kate McGarrigle   Piano
Martha Wainwright   Background Vocals
Joan Wasser   Violin,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Sharon Jones   Background Vocals
Dominic Derasse   Trumpet,Piccolo Trumpet
John Chudoba   Trumpet
Dave Trigg   Trumpet,Piccolo Trumpet
Siân Phillips   Spoken Word
Brad Albetta   Bass
Rob Burger   Organ
Perry Mason   Leader
Jason Hart   Organ,Background Vocals
Steven Bernstein   Trumpet,Conductor,Leader
Teddy Thompson   Background Vocals
Paul Shapiro   Tenor Saxophone
Jeff Hill   Bass,Electric Bass,Background Vocals,Upright Bass
Matt Johnson   Percussion,Drums,Recorder,Background Vocals
Louis Schwadron   French Horn
Lucy Roche   Background Vocals
Dávid Adorján   Cello
Gabriel Adorján   Violin
Ozan Cakar   French Horn
Florian Dörpholz   Trumpet
Lygia Forrest   Background Vocals
Pirmin Grehl   Flute
Raphael Mentzen   Trumpet
Ronith Mues   Harp
Rahel Rilling   Violin
Raphael Sachs   Viola
Jörg Sandner   Piano
Anna Prohaska   Vocals
Ian Thomas   Drums

Technical Credits

Marius de Vries   Programming,Producer
Neil Tennant   Executive Producer,Audio Production
Rufus Wainwright   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements,Audio Production,Piano Arrangement,Cover Art,Cover Photo
Tom Schick   Engineer
Steven Bernstein   Arranger
Tom Stephan   Programming
Jason Boshoff   Programming

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A+++++++++ This album is amazing!!!! Many say it's Rufus's best yet. I advise everyone to buy it whether you're a fan of pop, rock, classical, opera, or just great songwriting- Rufus manages to take all of his influences into brilliant masterpieces on this album.
Banapple More than 1 year ago
I am a HUGE fan of Rufus Wainwright, first discovered him from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and has fallen in love with his music ever since. His music has also helped me through some serious times and I know it sounds cheesy and a lot of people say his music is only for depressed people, it's true and not true. His music is for everyone. Favorite songs from this album: Going to a Town, Between my Legs, Slideshow, Sanssouci. All of the songs on this album are EXCELLENT. There are powerful pop opera ballads and wonderful danceable tunes, this album has everything ! Love Rufus !
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