Volume 95, Issue 4
Thursday, June 14, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT||
Rufus proves he's Queer As Folk
Soundtracks can be a risky business, particularly if they are soundtracks from television shows.
Although music may fit well within the context of the show, it's sometimes difficult for it to stand on its own. Queer As Folk: Music from the Original Soundtrack is no exception.
The American show, which airs on Showcase in Canada, but is based on a series by the same name that originally aired in Britain, follows the lives of a group of gay men living in Pittsburgh.
Although Queer As Folk has gained notoriety for its flamboyant club scenes and brazen, sexually explicit content, the show's soundtrack is easily forgettable.
This hour-long collection of dance club duds originates from the series' many scenes at the fictional club, Babylon. Most are conventional, B-grade club tracks, with heavy, pounding bass and coy, inconsequential lyrics. When the bass is not throbbing, the ballads are equally weak. Jay-Jay Johanson's “Suffering” is insufferable to say the least.
Yet despite its weaknesses, the Queer As Folk soundtrack includes a pair of impressive tracks. Barry Harris and Pepper Mashay's “Dive in the Pool” is a popular club anthem, with its playful lyric, “Let's get soaking wet!” constantly repeated over an ever-building crescendo. Antiloop's “Start Rockin'” has a frenetic pace and infectious energy which makes it quite hard to sit through without tapping your foot.
Though there were some bright moments, the Queer As Folk soundtrack
is about as unoriginal as the show itself — a second rate knock-off of
its British superior.
On “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,” Rufus Wainwright asks, “please be kind if I'm a mess.” However, after a listen to his second album, Poses, it seems Wainwright has it all together — at least with respect to his music.
Although Poses is an album with a few standout tracks, it has an overall addictive quality that can only be attributed to the cozy cohesiveness generated throughout its dozen tracks.
By incorporating strings, woodwind instruments and guitar, Wainwright's strong piano playing is nicely complemented by the luscious quality of his trademark voice.
Other tracks of note include both versions of “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,” the remake of Wainwright's father's “One Man Guy” and the passionate title track. The latter is a piano ballad with a subtly sad feel created by its personal lyrics.
Although far from horrible, a song like “Evil Angel” is barely memorable
and sounds better suited for a place on a movie soundtrack. Nonetheless,
as a whole, Poses is an appropriate record for those lazy summer
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