Ellis Parrinder
Gregory Kirschling
May 11, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Release the Stars

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Rufus Wainwright
genre
Pop

We gave it a B+

Last summer, in a rave-reviewed show, Rufus Wainwright channeled Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, and now he’s writing an opera. His ambitions, it seems, are increasingly outsize, and on Release the Stars, his fifth studio album, it feels like a mere pop album can’t contain him. Alas, adorned with more strings, horns, choirs, and piccolo flute (!) than ever, his melodies — and what melodies they are — are drowned out by the bombast (see: the syrupy ”Nobody’s Off the Hook”). But he still yearns more beautifully than anyone.

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