Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. All Days Are Nights is both a housecleaning and a soulful wallow. Wainwright's voice rises from the despair with breathtaking beauty, in a friendly rivalry with his rippling piano.
  2. 86
    All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu is Wainwright's most personal album since Poses. He makes pain sound beautiful.
  3. Some fans may miss Wainwright's more complicated orchestral numbers, but a single piano is all that's needed to show off his immense vocal talent.
  4. Never one to hide his emotions previously, Rufus Wainwright offers a sparse but staggeringly heartfelt collection of songs for voice and piano, influenced, at least in part, by the long-term illness and recent passing of his mother.
  5. Intimate, intense and up close with the openly flamboyant Wainwright as he offers up himself with no full band to hide behind. It works, too.
  6. The song, as with most of of All Days Are Nights, is a bold, absolutely emotionally naked statement that still retains Wainwright's devastating talent for artful, universally compelling songcraft.
  7. It's a flabbergasting, intense album that demands intense listening. [May 2010, p.123]
  8. Dropped in with the more conventional compositions like Who Are You New York? there are wonderful arrangements of three of Shakespeare's sonnets (43, 20 and 10) all sung in Wainwright's elegiac husky timbre plus a song from his opera Prima Donna (the aria Les Feux d'Artifice T'Appellant). Gracefully, though, it all hangs together as one piece. Splendid.
  9. All Days Are Nights is the sound of the man doing what he does best: bruised, tender, emotional and, at times, quite brilliant music.
  10. Wainwright is definitely not an artist short on ambition, and while you occasionally wish he'd show a bit more restraint, most of the time you love him because he doesn't.
  11. These songs require patience: Right when you think they'll get stronger, they lose momentum. But then, that's how grief works, too, and Wainwright lays it bare with heartbreaking simplicity here.
  12. These songs (which include settings of three Shakespeare sonnets) are so well-tempered with raw, emotional moments that the album never seems dour or austere. On the contrary, this is one of his most personal, sanguine releases.
  13. Like a Shakespearean monologue you're either going to be living every moment with the narrator or gazing on indifferently as your attention drifts away. For those in the former camp, this is a challenging listen where life mirrors art in a profoundly resonant way.
  14. Just voice and piano, uncluttered by his hallmark orchestral bigness, it's Wainwright's most nakedly emotional music yet.
  15. All Days remains deceptively complex, no matter its stream-of-consciousness flow and sparse instrumentation. Though subtle, the projected image of Wainwright sitting at a piano merely playing as his whims dictate veils a traditional melodic sensibility.
  16. More fascinating than strictly enjoyable, All Days is the sound of an artist shaking his thoughts out onto paper to see what they look like and get his hands around them.
  17. So one third's great and two thirds grate, which is an improvement at least.
  18. Despite his innate ability to tread just above the banal, Wainwright's lyrics are often glaringly common. [Spring 2010, p.71]
  19. 60
    In the world of the gilded musical scion, sixth album counts as stripped back. [May 2010, p. 93]
  20. 60
    The music starts to grip most powerfully when it's more allusive and introspective.
  21. Despite being culled from different projects, far from feeling like a smorgasbord, the songs are undoubtedly all of a piece.
  22. There are no crescendos, no peaks or valleys. It's a straight line all the way through, which, as we all know from watching medical dramas on TV, can only mean one thing--the lack of a pulse.
  23. The only things you hear on the album are Wainwright's voice and his piano, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that he wants you to luxuriate in both when it's far more likely you'll feel like you're drowning, given how rarely Wainwright buoys the listener with an actual melody or memorable lyric.

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