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All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 20, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Written by Rufus Wainwright, produced by Rufus (with Pierre Marchand on three songs) and mixed by Marchand, who produced Poses, this 12-track record is steeped in beauty. It is a hugely personal album for Rufus and deeply emotional, channelled through Rufus fingers, his voice and a piano. The album title All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu is both a reference to Shakespeare's Sonnet 43 and Rufus own concept of Lulu , which he describes as a "dark, brooding, dangerous woman that lives within all of us." Lulu is Louise Brooks who starred in the film,'Pandora's Box.' Rufus admits that recording All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu was one of the most difficult things he has ever done. After hiding behind a 70-piece orchestra with my opera you can blame everything on the tuba player. With this album when the curtain is raised it s me on my own, says Rufus. Strapped with a resounding emotional heft, the intense 12-track record opens in arresting fashion with Who Are You New York , Rufus ode to the city and his most positive America song. Les Feux D Artifice T Appellant , which is the final aria from Rufus debut opera Prima Donna is another highlight. Zebulon, a song about one of Rufus high school sweethearts will be familiar to fans who have seen his recent concerts, is a majestic performance. Also featured are three Shakespeare sonnets, which Rufus has gorgeously crafted in his very own inimitable style. They are selected from 24 pieces of music that Rufus wrote for a theatrical production directed by Robert Wilson in Berlin last year.

About the Artist

Affectionately referred to by Elton John as "the greatest songwriter on the planet" and praised by The New York Times for his "genuine originality," Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. He has just written and composed his first opera, "Prima Donna," which premiered last summer at the Manchester International Festival. It will make its North American debut in June 2010 at Toronto's Luminato Festival and also be at London's Sadler's Wells in April of 2010. He has released seven albums and three DVDs to date, as well as appearing on numerous soundtracks and compilations and collaborating with artists including Elton John, David Byrne, Burt Bacharach and the Pet Shop Boys. Wainwright was nominated for a Grammy for the live recording from his Carnegie Hall concert, Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall, which has been released concurrently with a live DVD, Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!, which captures his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium. His previous album, Release The Stars, has achieved Gold sales status in Canada and the U.K. Last year, he released an album and DVD of a live concert with his band titled, Milwaukee at Last!!! Rufus' forthcoming album is called All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, is set for a April 20th, 2010 release.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0038JH3AU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,625 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Rufus Wainwright is so often over the top and extravagant with his music, that you tend to forget that there is an actual human being underneath all of the showmanship and bombast. All Days are Nights is a stunning reminder that Rufus is not only a very real, very fragile individal, but also one of the most gifted vocalists and composers of his generation.

Fueled by the grief from his mother's passing in January, Rufus wipes away all the fancy trappings of his previous efforts and keeps things simple working with only a piano and his own emotionally rich vocals. That's it. No strings, horns, etc. This is Wainwright at his most intimate and unguarded. The result is his best album since Poses, although this one will not instantly burrow its way into your head as that album did. These songs require pateince and repeated listens before their subtle melodies fully unfurl. But even if the songs aren't as instantly catchy as some of his other work, there is no denying the waves of emotion that wash over you while listening to this starkly beautiful album.

Rufus Wainwright has gone for broke with this album, and laid his wounded soul bare for all to see. It's a brave move from the normally difficult to read musician, but it's one that pays enormous artistic and emotional dividends. My guess is that he hopes that he never has to do it again.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a little behind the curve with Rufus Wainwright as I only discovered him in 2009. During this brief period I have purchased each of his albums and formulated my impression of him as an artist and songwriter. A reader here doesn't need my opinion of Wainwright's considerable talent but in 'All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu' we see an artist simply laying his emotions on the table for all to see. It's an intensely personal recording full of the pain of loss and the perspective of life, love, and caring.

After opening with 'Who are you New York' which seems to be Wainwright's call to a nebulous person of fantasy or almost faceless faces of the city he then moves into the darkness of 'So sad with what I have'. He is wearing all the despair of his mother's inevitable passing, his own feelings of loneliness and regret, and tinges of hope for the future on his sleeve. All of this turbulence shines through his voice and piano. The raw recording listens as though Rufus simply walked into the studio and said "turn on the mic" and started playing. After the desperate plea to his sister in 'Martha' and the one upbeat song on the record 'Give me what I want...' we come to 'True Loves' for an extravagant foray into an almost burlesque style of playing with a direct homage to Gershwin. It's absolutely brilliant. The Shakespearian sonnets are a bit of a left-turn in the proceedings, but not a bad one, and Wainwright turns back into the shadows with 'The Dream' conjuring a driving statement of love and loss. The record closes with the absolutely stunning 'Zebulon' that puts Wainwright's grief on display by using his entire singing range, restrained piano, and tempo allowing us to share his conversation with an old friend.

This is certainly the best I've heard from Rufus Wainwright and for me this record is in a class with the best singer/songwriter albums ever recorded. Think Joni Mitchell's 'Blue'.
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Early in Rufus' career, he sang of how studying Schubert made his head explode. Well, the Schubert has paid off. The musical compositions here, all expressed in voice and piano alone, are suitably complex and very accessible. Rufus has a wonderful piano-playing technique, and his songs are quite nice. This is a beautiful recording, an instant classic, and a must-have for all fans of good music, and especially all fans of Rufus. God Bless Rufus Wainwright!
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Format: Audio CD
Intense pain wrapped into hauntingly beautiful music is what we get with Rufus's new album. All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu is the Canadian-American singer-songwriter's sixth studio album, after a series of other projects, reaching from the re-enactment of the legendary Judy Garland concert 1961 at Carnegie Hall to the world premiere of his first opera. The album's eponymous '"Lulu" refers to the "dark, brooding, dangerous woman that lives within all of us," as Rufus stated in a recent interview, adding that his personal "Lulu" is Louise Brooks in the 1929 movie Pandora's Box. Most of the album's twelve songs were written while dealing with his mother's losing battle against cancer. The result is a stunning homage to her, the brilliant folk musician Kate McGarrigle, who passed away earlier this year. All the songs feature just Rufus's unique and compelling voice, with him accompanying himself on the piano. The grandeur of past albums and projects has been replaced with a stripped-down, bare version of the singer. What is left are spectacular piano arrangements, ranging from bright, sophisticated, even witty compositions to heartbreakingly drawn-out laments.
One of these laments is the song "Sad with What I Have," which reflects upon the feeling of intense sadness although being in a seemingly happy relationship. It does leave us, however, on a slightly optimistic note "Sad with what I have - except for you" is the song's last verse. As a nice contrast to these depressing sounds stands "Give Me What I Want And Give It to Me Now," a very bright, lively, yet highly demanding song that addresses - according to Rufus - the critics who reviewed his first opera, Prima Donna, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival last summer.
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