Nigh on essential
Rufus Wainwright - House Of Rufus

Thirteen years on from a jauntily ambitious debut, and with six studio albums now to his name, has been anthologised in suitably flamboyant fashion. While fans may express dismay at the prospect of paying again for his catalogue to date, all of which is included here, there is a sizeable bundle of bonus material to sweeten the deal. If Wainwright’s slightly slurry coo is not your thing then move along, but, for the initiated, there are impressively few wrong moves to be found amongst almost two hundred tracks.

The near-perfection of ‘Want One’ and ‘Two’ demonstrates his knack for operatic and meticulously orchestrated pop music, with the ‘Bolero’ cannibalising ‘Oh What A World’ as fine a pop song as has been released in the last decade. The bonus material features early demos, rarities and an avalanche of collaborations. One disc collects Wainwright’s soundtrack work, ranging from an understated reading of ‘Hallalujah’ to a beautiful take on ‘He Ain’t Heavy... He’s My Brother’.

Amongst the six DVDs present are several full-length concerts, capturing his charismatic stage presence, and the frank documentary ‘All I Want’. While this is clearly not a cheap sampler for the curious, it’s a fine way to get up to speed and the quality of the bonus material makes it nigh on essential for the hardcore.



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