Want One — Rufus Wainwright

The first two songs on this album are so good that I can’t even remember what the rest of it is like.

Rufus Wainwright’s music had never really appealed to me before: what I had heard seemed a bit too earnest and folky. But last year I heard and liked a track from this album on the radio. Intrigued, I read some reviews and finally bought the album.

Want One album cover

The first two songs are magnificent. Oh What a World interweaves its lament nicely with Ravel’s Bolero, building to a stirring crescendo. I Don’t Know What It Is is a lot quieter, with a nice quirky melody and toe-tappin’ rhythm. This was the song that had piqued my interest last year.

I like these opening songs so much that the rest don’t leave so much of an impression on me. Even so, there are some more high points: Vibrate is quite fragile and beautiful despite the jokey refrain (“My phone’s on vibrate for you”), and 14th Street is a fun rollicking singalong.

It took me so long to buy this album that his next album, Want Two has been released. Maybe I’ll pick that one up in a year or two.

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