This month I’m featuring my top 20 albums of the past decade, to celebrate 10 years of This Must Be Pop! Click here to see all the Decade of Pop posts so far.
With Tom Odell’s album released today, it seems a good time to celebrate my favourite Rufus Wainwright album. Rufus is everything angst-ridden, middle class Tom would love to be – he is convincing as the Bohemian intellectual pop star. Rufus’s sense of humour, the layers of meaning in his music and his fascinating life story all distinguish him from the parade of much-mocked wannabes. His music isn’t completely unpretentious, but he can pull it off.
The main reason Rufus gets away with this hint of pretention is because he has written some excellent pop songs. Much of his best work is featured on Want One, the first and most commercial-sounding half of his mini-collection, Want. If you like a bit of drama in your music, you will love this album. Rufus went on to work with Neil Tennant and Mark Ronson, but actually the best pop tracks he has written are on Want One, produced by Madonna collaborator Marius de Vries. I Don’t Know What It Is, Oh What a World, Beautiful Child and Movies of Myself are just a few of the tracks that should appeal to any lover of a great pop melody and majestic production.