by Robert Bell
7:30 p.m. UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall. $30-$40.
Rufus Wainwright has described his most recent long-player, "Out of The Game," as being "the most pop album I've ever made." It's also, courtesy of producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Adele), imbued with a sublimely '70s vibe and a refreshingly loose, live sound.
As Wainwright recently told Jian Ghomeshi, host of the CBC's Q talk show, the album was recorded on actual tape and mostly with live takes of him and his band performing together. That's something I wish more artists were willing to try.
The title track that opens "Out of The Game," is a gorgeously languid gem, a lamentation about the exhausting world outside, with awesome female backup singers magically transported from some mid-'70s Lou Reed recording session. By contrast, "Bitter Tears" has a decidedly '80s sound, with a pulsing beat that's way down in the mix and icy synthesizers contrasting with the song's uplifting melodies.
The whole album is really good. Despite the album title, Wainwright is in no way out of the game; he's absolutely on top of it. Concerts of this stature don't come around every week, so the discerning pop fan is hereby advised not to miss what will in all likelihood be a fantastic concert from a distinctive musical voice.