Rufus Wainwright’s newest release, a live CD and accompanying DVD, dropped on September 22nd here in the US, but for those of you who haven’t been able to get your hands on it yet (Amazon is holding mine hostage, sigh), the album is streaming in its entirety on Rufus’ imeem page. You have to sign up for an imeem account to access it there, however, so you may just want to check it out through other sites which have embedded the content. I used Starpulse.com, but a quick Google should find some others for your listening pleasure. The CD is only 10 songs long (11, if you count the fact that “Not Ready to Love” and “Slideshow” are together on one track), so it’s a fairly quick listen. Just enough to give you a taste of Rufus’ live show, but not enough to really get the full picture.
I’m going to hold off on a review for now, until I get the package in my hands, but I will say that I think the DVD will go over better than the CD. Rufus’ live performances barely deviate from the recorded versions of the songs, so for me, most of the charm and attraction to his live show is because of his banter and stage presence (and ridiculous outfits). Given that most of the banter’s been excised from the tracks on the CD, there’s very little to make the live versions of songs really stand out. It does, however, show what a solid show that Rufus puts on, which is definitely not something to downplay.
Go check out the streaming audio and see what you think.
[ Entry updated to correct information about the source of the streaming audio. ]