Rufus Wainwright is not ashamed of the fact that he likes to be noticed. To that end, he's crafted "Poses" -- released June 5 by DreamWorks -- an album on which he deftly walks the line between the qu

Rufus Wainwright is not ashamed of the fact that he likes to be noticed.

"It's a minor addiction," he admits with a soft chuckle. "It's probably one of the many reasons why I make music. I have a need to be heard."

To that end, he's crafted "Poses" -- released June 5 by DreamWorks -- an album on which he deftly walks the line between the quirky, Tin Pan Alley-esque flavor of his self-titled 1998 debut and more mainstream pop concepts. Wainwright continues to be far more literate than your average tunesmith; he's just couching his tales in more concise and contagious musical environments.

"There wasn't a conscious effort to be more user-friendly," he says. "Rather, anything that felt too much like it could've fit on the last album was tossed out. The ultimate goal was to be fresh."

Among those more accessible songs is "Shadows," an uptempo collaboration with Alex Gifford of the electronic duo Propellerheads that's spiced with rock-edged guitars and a forceful funk backbeat.

"Working on that song was one of the more amazing recording experiences I've ever had in the studio," enthuses Wainwright. "Alex has this wonderfully inquisitive nature. For him, part of the fun in making music are the acts of exploration and experimentation. He's always trying to take a song one step further."

In addition to Gifford, the artist also re-teamed with Pierre Marchand, who helmed his debut. "He was incredibly helpful with the process of sorting through which songs worked-and which ones didn't."

One song that was a fast-lock for the set was the title cut, a cautionary tale about an innocent young man's descent into life-altering decadence.

"When I started writing that song, I was living in [New York?s] Chelsea Hotel, and life was crazy. I'd step out of the hotel, and it was like stepping into a universe where beautiful boys reign supreme and are coveted by everyone who sees them. [Living in that world] can ruin you if you let it."

With the music in place, Wainwright (the son of folk legend Loudon Wainwright) is looking forward to "the best part of making a record" -- getting on the road. The next six months will see him touring, playing gigs that range from intimate venues to mid-size halls.

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