ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Despite the excesses of Want One — lush instrumentation,
musical-theatre-style arrangements and busy cover art — Rufus
Wainwright is just a lonely guy.
During 14 introspective songs, Wainwright wonders why he’s “always
on a plane or a fast train” (“Oh What a World”)
and asks the Lord what he’s done to himself (“Vicious
Like most of the Wainwright catalogue, Want One is wrapped
in romanticism and it doesn’t get more passionate than
the melodic “Go or Go Ahead,” a drop-dead gorgeous
mini-epic that starts softly, but eventually kicks into an
atmospheric rock ballad akin to mid-’90s Radiohead. As
soon as Wainwright ponders, “What has happened to love?” you
want to shake him and make him realize he put it all into his
Though NME bestows them the honour of the “treasured
title of the New Radiohead,” Leaves sound closer to a
Coldplay cover band, though they are unable to produce anything
nearly as catchy as Coldplay. They also lack the creative vision
and sheer ingenuity of Radiohead.
Overtop the typical drum-guitar-bass-whiny-guy-voice foundation
lies a beautiful and complex series of trippy layered guitar
effects, brooding string arrangements and delicate piano. In
fact, some of the most enjoyable moments on the album are purely
instrumental, unfortunately, even the ornate production can’t
compensate for the mediocrity of the songs. If you simply can’t
wait for the next Coldplay, Breathe is a quick fix; but don’t
worry, you’re unlikely to get hooked.
—Colin J. Fleming
Mysterio’s debut album Agent 000 comes complete with
accolades of self-proclaimed greatness, but in reality, the
CD is average. High expectations are great for bands taking
risks, but Mysterio’s music is way too benign for such
Agent 000 is not a bad album, but there are no particularly
stellar passages. The music comes off as a competent but bland
display of blustery hoopla; it’s easily digestible, but
somewhat hollow, reflecting pop at its most simplistic. The
vocals are pleasant, but often affect the same overblown, falsetto
sincerity of Matt Good at his worst.
The grand designs of Mysterio may exist with the best intentions;
unfortunately the execution reeks of true blue cheesiness.
Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot
Since the early ’60s, singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot
has inspired countless musicians. This 15-track album includes
sublime covers by the Cowboy Junkies, Ron Sexsmith and Blue
Rodeo, to name a few. These and other contributors add their
own instrumentation to the songs without ruining their sentimental
Bruce Cockburn creates his own version of “Ribbon of
Darkness” using the baritone guitar and mandolins to
enhance the track’s epic quality.