Monday, November 22, 2004

Parental Advisory: Excessive Whining

For reasons I can't quite figure out, the latest Rufus Wainwright album comes with a "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content" warning. Sure, there's some gender-bending (Rufus sings of having been just a girl, and the album cover depicts Rufus as some kind of fairytale heroine), some themes that might offend the religious (a "gay messiah" makes an appearance), but, as far as bad words, I only noticed one "cum" and one "fuck," both of which are nearly obscured by the increased whininess of Rufus's voice, compared with how he sounded on earlier albums.

Is Rufus himself, by virtue of being gay and flamboyantly so, the reason for the warning? I spent a lot of time listening to Rufus's first album during 10th grade, and I can safely say that listening to Rufus in no way led to any high school debauchery, as far as I was concerned.

The main problem with the album is that his whininess, which once seemed to convey heartbreak and despair, now feels overly dramatic and forced. Or maybe Rufus hasn't gotten worse, but my music taste has changed since I was 15.

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