Out of the Game

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Out of the Game
Studio album by Rufus Wainwright
Released April 20, 2012 (2012-04-20)
Recorded May–December 2011 at Dunham Sound (Brooklyn) and Sear Sound (Manhattan)
Genre Baroque pop,[1] pop rock,[2] pop,[3] soft rock[4]
Length 50:28
Label Decca/Polydor
Producer Mark Ronson
Rufus Wainwright chronology
All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu
(2010)
Out of the Game
(2012)
Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright
(2014)
Singles from Out of the Game
  1. "Out of the Game"
    Released: March 2012
  2. "Jericho"
    Released: July 2, 2012

Out of the Game is the seventh studio album by singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, released in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada in April 2012 and in the United States on May 1, 2012 through Decca Records/Polydor Records.[5] The album was produced by Mark Ronson.[6] Recording sessions began in May 2011. Guest musicians include his sister Martha Wainwright, Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett, drummer Andy Burrows, guitarist Nels Cline, members of the Dap-Kings, Sean Lennon, the alternative rock band Wilco, Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner.

Wainwright and Ronson began recording the album in New York in May 2011. Following initial recording sessions, Wainwright participated in a five-night residency at the Royal Opera House in London to promote the release of his compilation box set House of Rufus. He resumed recording in the fall of 2011 after taking the summer off to spend time with his newborn daughter Viva. By December 2011 Wainwright and Ronson were finished mixing the album with Tom Elmhirst and several publications included Out of the Game on their lists of most anticipated releases for 2012. Recording and mixing took place at Dunham Sound in Brooklyn and Sear Sound in Manhattan. Wainwright claimed that Out of the Game contained the "poppiest", most "danceable" music in his repertoire to date and was influenced by the birth of his daughter and the death of his mother, Kate McGarrigle. Musical influences included David Bowie, Elton John and Queen.

Wainwright began touring to promote the album in April 2012. "Out of the Game" was the album's first single, released in March via iTunes and April via Decca/Polydor.

Background[edit]

I just want to make something that you love, driving around in your car listening or losing your mind to on a dance floor. Something to serenade us through these very, very troubling times.

Wainwright on his goal for the album[7]

Wainwright and Ronson began recording the album in New York in May 2011.[7] Gigwise.com reported then that former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows had been invited to contribute to the recording sessions.[8] Wainwright also revealed that the album would contain the "poppiest" music in his repertoire to date, with the "main objective" that it should mostly be "danceable".[7] In May 2011, Rolling Stone reported that candidate tracks for the final release included a tribute to Wainwright's late mother, Kate McGarrigle, called "Candles", "I'm Out of the Game", about "giving up stardom", and a song about Montauk, New York (where Wainwright and his partner have a house).[7] Wainwright shared that his daughter Viva influenced the album, stating: "There's nothing like impressing a little girl – nothing quite as lovely, and sometimes nothing quite as difficult. I've written three songs about her already."[7] Following May recording sessions, Wainwright participated in a five-night residency at the Royal Opera House in London to promote the release of his compilation box set House of Rufus. He took the summer off to spend time with Viva and resumed recording in the fall of 2011.[7]

Wainwright told Rolling Stone in October 2011 that he and Ronson were recording in Brooklyn with the Dap-Kings, a process he described as "fantastic".[9] Sean Michaels of The Guardian reported in December 2011 that Wainwright and Ronson were mixing the album after less than two months of recording and that Out of the Game would be released in the spring of 2012.[5][10] Wainwright described the collection as "manly", "sexy" and his "most sort of 'pop' and commercially viable, radio-friendly work". He also revealed that guest artists appearing on the album included his sister Martha Wainwright, Sean Lennon, the alternative rock band Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett.[5][11] According to Ronson, mixing with Tom Elmhirst completed on December 15.[12] Recording and mixing took place at Dunham Sound in Brooklyn and Sear Sound in Manhattan.[13] It was revealed in February 2012 that Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt had also contributed to Out of the Game;[14][15] later that month, Drowned in Sound revealed that Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner would also appear on the album.[16]

According to Wainwright, he provided to Ronson demo recordings of tracks nearly one year prior to production.[17]

Promotion[edit]

The music video for "Out of the Game" features actress Helena Bonham Carter.

In March 2011, Wainwright performed "Out of the Game" at the Hope North Ping-Pong Ball, a fundraiser for the Uganda boarding school dedicated to educating orphans and young refugees.[18] The album received attention in December 2011 when Wainwright appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and performed the French version of "O Holy Night" with The Roots.[19][20] In late 2011 and early 2012 several publications included Out of the Game on their lists of most anticipated releases for 2012.[21] "Montauk" was featured as KCRW's "Today's Top Tune" on February 17, 2012, marking the song's world premiere.[22][23] Several days later, Drowned in Sound released an exclusive album "teaser" video offering music samples, photo shoot footage, and clips featuring Wainwright and Ronson.[16] Drowned in Sound also revealed that "Out of the Game" would be the first single from the album and would be available for purchase on March 16 via iTunes and April 16 via Decca/Polydor.[16] Ronson posted a long excerpt from "Out of the Game" on his Tumblr page on February 22.[24][25][26] The album's cover art was revealed on Facebook and Wainwright's official site on February 28.[27][28] "Out of the Game" premiered in the United Kingdom on February 29 when Wainwright appeared on the Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2.[29][30] The song was made available on YouTube soon after.[31][32]

The music video for "Out of the Game" was filmed in London in early March.[33][34] It features actress Helena Bonham Carter, a friend of Wainwright's,[17] as a "straight-laced librarian driven into a lustful frenzy" by Wainwright's multiple personalities.[35] His personas include a "debonaire" man wearing a fedora, a woman (Wainwright in drag), and a "drugged-out Sonic Youth-obsessed dope fiend".[36] Bonham Carter lip syncs to Wainwright's lyrics throughout the video; by the end she is lying in the bed dressed in a lace corset, having succumbed to the passion exuded by Wainwright's characters. Wainwright said of the video: "It features the two of us being naughty in the library... We have been friends for years. Not only is she very beautiful, very glamorous, but she is also incredibly funny... At the end of the video she is basically wearing a bra. So I very much appreciate her friendship for furthering my career."[37] The music video received mixed critical reception; many reviewers offered commentary on Wainwright's use of drag and noted that his characters appear to have sex with one another.[38] Rich Lopez of the Dallas Voice thought Carter "anchored" the music video and found Wainwright's performance "distracting".[39]

Tour[edit]

To promote the album, Wainwright began touring in April 2012. He performed songs from the album during a six-date European tour including performances in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.[40][41] Wainwright also performed at the Sundance London Music and Film Festival on April 29.[42] Another mini-tour is scheduled from May 9–13 and will feature performances in Brooklyn and three cities in California (Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego).[43][44] Wainwright will return to Europe for concerts in Spain, Israel and Portugal in June 2012.[40][45] He is scheduled to perform in Dublin on July 18.[46][47] Between July 24 and August 11 he will tour throughout the United States.[48] Ten concerts are scheduled in the United Kingdom between November 16 and December 14.[49] Additional concerts are scheduled in Europe, including Belgium, Sweden, Norway and France during late November and early December.[42]

Composition[edit]

Songs appearing on the album were influenced by the music of David Bowie, Elton John and Queen.[50] The opening title track, which served as the album's first single, was influenced by "YouTube obsessed" youth. Wainwright said of the track: "For the first two verses I'm complaining, but in the third verse, it's tinged with envy as well. I'd like to be that age again and that silly, that excited about idiotic things. So I'm not being insensitive, just tired."[16] Wainwright wrote "Welcome to the Ball" years prior to the album's release for a possible Broadway musical and described the composition as "completely wild and orchestral".[13] "Montauk", addressed to Wainwright's daughter about the home in the New York town of the same name where he and his partner live, has been described as having a "lazy, infectious carousel-like" rhythm.[23][51]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[52]
Drowned in Sound (6/10)[53]
Entertainment Weekly A-[54]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[55]
The Independent 3/5 stars[56]
Paste Magazine (9/10)[57]

Following the premiere of "Montauk", which received mixed reception, several reviewers noted the rolling arpeggio-driven, ballad nature of the song contrary to Wainwright's description of the album as pop music.[58] After Ronson posted "Out of the Game" on his Tumblr page, Andrew Winistorfer of Prefix magazine wrote that Wainwright sounded as though he belonged to the Rat Pack, a "slick crooner with some old-timey backing music". Winistorfer felt "Out of the Game" was more accurate of Wainwright's description of the album.[26] The Huffington Post's Mallika Rao complimented both "Montauk" and "Out of the Game" prior to the album's release.[59]

In the April 2012 issue of German Rolling Stone magazine reviewer Arne Willander concluded about the album: "The sheer brilliance leaves us exhausted: We have listened to a genius."[60]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Rufus Wainwright.

  1. "Out of the Game" – 4:06
  2. "Jericho" – 3:44
  3. "Rashida" – 3:00
  4. "Barbara" – 3:56
  5. "Welcome to the Ball" – 3:26
  6. "Montauk" – 3:57
  7. "Bitter Tears" – 3:32
  8. "Respectable Dive" – 4:55
  9. "Perfect Man" – 3:58
  10. "Sometimes You Need" – 3:21
  11. "Song of You" – 4:51
  12. "Candles" – 7:42
iTunes bonus track
  1. "WWIII" (co-written with Guy Chambers) – 3:56

Personnel[edit]

  • Alala – engineer
  • Tom Arndt – release coordinator
  • Victor Axelrod – organ, piano, synthesizer
  • Ben Baptie – engineer, mixing assistant
  • Jodie Barnes – stylist
  • Pat Barry – creative director
  • Thomas Bartlett – Fender Rhodes, organ, piano, synthesizer
  • Charysse Blackman – backing vocals
  • Angee Blake – backing vocals
  • Stuart Bogie – tenor saxophone
  • Thomas Brenneck – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele
  • David Budge – drums
  • Nels Cline – electric guitar
  • Ross Cullum – A&R
  • Rose Elinor Dougall – backing vocals
  • Tom Elmhirst – mixing
  • Ian Hendrickson-Smith – baritone saxophone
  • Barry J. Holmes – photography
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Joshua Blair – drum engineering
  • Cheri Keating – groomer
  • Kevin Keys – backing vocals
  • Sean Lennon – acoustic guitar
  • Michael Leonhart – cornet, flugelhorn, mellophone, trumpet
  • Anna McGarrigle – accordion
  • Vaughan Merrick – engineer, Pro-Tools
  • Evelyn Morgan – A&R, production coordination
  • Nick Movshon – bass, drums, percussion
  • Jenni Muldaur – backing vocals
  • Al O'Connell – engineer, vocal engineer
  • Julian Peploe – art direction, design
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche – backing vocals
  • Mark Ronson – bass, drum programming, producer
  • Anthony Rossomando – guitar
  • Rutger – groomer
  • Oliver Schrage – release coordinator
  • Homer Steinweiss – drums
  • Chaim Tannenbaum – backing vocals
  • David Thomas – stylist
  • Ted Tuthill – assistant
  • Tina Tyrell – photography
  • Loudon Wainwright III – backing vocals
  • Martha Wainwright – backing vocals
  • Rufus Wainwright – acoustic guitar, composer, piano, synthesizer, vocals
  • Sloan Wainwright – backing vocals
  • Andrew Wyatt – backing vocals
  • Nick Zinner – electric guitar

Charts[edit]

Immediately following release in the United Kingdom, the album earned a midweek position of number two, equaling the initial success of Wainwright's 2007 album Release the Stars and surpassing the peak position of his previous studio album All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu (2010).[61]

Overall, Out of the Game has charted in 13 counties, including Top 10 positions in Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[62] 38
Austrian Albums Chart[63] 32
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[64] 26
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[65] 97
Canadian Albums Chart[66] 11
Danish Albums Chart[67] 5
German Albums Chart[68] 22
Netherlands Albums Chart[69] 12
Norwegian Albums Chart[70] 29
Portuguese Albums Chart[71] 17
Spanish Albums Chart[72] 34
Swedish Albums Chart[73] 43
Swiss Albums Chart[74] 59
UK Albums Chart[75] 5

Release history[edit]

  • Australia – April 20, 2012 (CD, deluxe edition, digital download)
  • United Kingdom – April 23, 2012 (CD, deluxe edition, digital download, LP)[76]
  • Canada – April 24, 2012
  • United States – May 1, 2012

Release history adapted from Wainwright's official site.[77]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://hearhearmusic.com/2012/05/01/album-review-out-of-the-game-rufus-wainwright/
  2. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "Out of the Game". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/9wrj
  4. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/out-of-the-game-mw0002301177
  5. ^ a b c Michaels, Sean (December 7, 2011). "Rufus Wainwright getting 'manly' with Mark Ronson on new album". The Guardian (London, United Kingdom: Guardian Media Group). ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ Saxberg, Lynn (November 13, 2011). "Concert Review: Rufus Wainwright at National Arts Centre". Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Canada: Postmedia Network). ISSN 0839-3222. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Vozick-Levinson, Simon (May 20, 2011). "Rufus Wainwright Working With Mark Ronson on Poppy New Album". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ Gregory, Jason (May 20, 2011). "Rufus Wainwright Recording 'Danceable' Album With Mark Ronson". Gigwise.com. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (October 26, 2011). "Rufus Wainwright Reviving His Family's Annual Christmas Concert". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ Rachel, T. Cole (December 6, 2011). "Progress Report: Rufus Wainwright". Stereogum. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ Kelly, Brendan (December 23, 2011). "Rufus Wainwright teams up with Mark Ronson for new album Out of the Game". The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Postmedia Network). Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  12. ^ Ronson, Mark (December 15, 2011). "Twitter / @iamMarkRonson: last day of mixing @rufuswainwright with Tom Elmhirst. it is my best work, hands down". Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Eccleston, Danny (February 2012). "The Uptown Boys". Mojo (London, United Kingdom): 77. ISSN 1351-0193. 
  14. ^ Slater, Luke (February 2, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright to release Mark Ronson-produced album". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Rufus Wainwright sets release for 'pop' album". College Music Update. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c d Adams, Sean (February 21, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright reveals a teasing taster of his new Mark Ronson-produced album". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
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  18. ^ Suskind, Alex (March 28, 2011). "Rufus Wainwright Performs New Song at Hope North Benefit in New York". Spinner. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
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  25. ^ "Rufus Wainwright – "Out Of The Game"". Stereogum. February 23, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Winistorfer, Andrew (February 23, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright: "Out Of The Game"". Prefix. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Out Of The Game Album Cover Revealed". rufuswainwright.com. February 28, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Gay singer socially networks his new album art". ChicagoPride.com. March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
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  31. ^ Spielberg, Theo (March 2, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright 'Out of the Game' -- Piano Man Unveils New Song". Spinner. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
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  35. ^ Sources:
  36. ^ Matthews, Cameron (April 3, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright, 'Out of the Game' Video: Helena Bonham Carter Plays Librarian". Spinner. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  37. ^ Magrath, Andrea (April 4, 2012). "The lady is a vamp: Helena Bonham Carter plays a sexy librarian in new music video". Daily Mail (United Kingdom: Daily Mail and General Trust). Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  38. ^ McDonald, Natalie Hope (April 5, 2012). "Watch: Rufus Wainwright in Drag". Philadelphia. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Metrocorp. ISSN 0031-7233. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
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  40. ^ a b Roffman, Michael (February 23, 2012). "Check Out: Rufus Wainwright – "Out of the Game"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
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  42. ^ a b Young, Alex (April 24, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright announces summer tour dates". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  43. ^ Madison, Tjames (February 23, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright lines up spring mini-tour". Sound Spike. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
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  47. ^ Murphy, Lauren (April 6, 2012). "Etc". The Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland: Irish Times Trust). Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
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  49. ^ "Rufus Wainwright announces autumn tour – ticket details". NME (United Kingdom: IPC Media). April 12, 2012. ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
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  52. ^ McCormick, Neil (April 20, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright Out of the Game, CD review". The Daily Telegraph. London, United Kingdom: Telegraph Media Group. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  53. ^ Woolley, Hayden (April 19, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
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  58. ^ Sources:
  59. ^ Rao, Mallika (March 3, 2012). "Rufus Wainwright Releases 'Out Of The Game,' Title Track Off Forthcoming Album (Audio)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  60. ^ Rolling Stone magazine (German edition), April 2012 issue, page 67, "Alles blüht"
  61. ^ Williams, Paul (April 25, 2012). "Midweek Charts: XL's White set to earn chart stripes". Music Week (United Kingdom). ISSN 0265-1548. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
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  65. ^ "Belgian Charts". UltraTop.be. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  66. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/2012-05-12/canadian-albums?order=gainer
  67. ^ "Danish Charts" (in Dutch). DanishCharts.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
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  70. ^ "Norwegian Charts". NorwegianCharts.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  71. ^ "Portuguese Charts". PortugueseCharts.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  72. ^ "Spanish Charts". SpanishCharts.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  73. ^ "Swedish Charts". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  74. ^ "Swiss Charts". SwissCharts.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  75. ^ "UK Chart Archive". ChartArchive.org. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  76. ^ "Out Of The Game by Rufus Wainwright". London, United Kingdom: 7digital. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  77. ^ "Pre-Order 'Out of the Game'". rufuswainwright.com. January 31, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]