The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Music Picks

Less Lonely Hearts Club

New Wainwright: goodbye cynicism, hello romance.

By Elaine Corden 24 May 2007 | TheTyee.ca

Elaine Corden writes a pop culture column and music picks column on The Tyee. She regularly discusses music and media villainousness on her blog, Trifective.

image atom
Gorgeous, grandiose crooning.

"Do I disappoint you?" croons Rufus Wainwright, at the outset of his new album, Release The Stars.

"Hardly," the listener is tempted to reply. The fifth album proper from Montrealer/New Yorker Wainwright (both cities can and do lay claim to him) is everything we've come to expect from him: grandiose, romantic, wildly innovative and sounding like no other artist making music today. But one thing is missing: the cynicism. Wainwright has fallen in love, and Release the Stars reflects it: gorgeous, and sincere and laden with choruses and strings that are the sonic equivalent of gushing sweetly about a new lover.

Of late, Wainwright has made his affection for such old-school cabaret singers as Judy Garland apparent (he even re-created Garland's legendary 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall last year), and on Release The Stars, he seems intent on casting himself in the same tragic light as Garland -- a wistful broad too sensitive for this world. That Wainwright seems a little melancholy even when in love is a huge part of his appeal -- the tragicomic who, even at his happiest, senses the sword of Damocles hanging over his head.

Produced by the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and recorded in Berlin, Release The Stars is lush and littered with ridiculously pretty ballads (especially the tender love song to love, "Tiergarden"), almost to the point where one misses the old Rufus -- the one who put one or two catchy pop songs on every album, to offset his overt opera-queeniness.

The album sometime ventures into adult-contemporary territory with its refusal to change its morning-after tone ("Sansouci" attempts to duplicate one of Wainwright's traditional swingy pop numbers, but never really takes off), but even the dull moments are at least unconventional, and the great moments ("Leaving for Paris No. 2") are beautiful enough to break your heart 10 times over while casually evoking classical touchstones. (Wainwright's piano part on "Paris" tosses off a breezy reference to Erik Satie like its no big thing, echoing the "Gymnopedies No.1"'s rainy-day maudlin before haphazardly discarding it.)

Release the Stars isn't the greatest record Wainwright has ever made, but compared to 90 per cent of other albums right now, it's a winner, and viewed in the context of Wainwright's whole career, it's rather extraordinary.

Related Tyee stories:

 [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll