• Record Label: Geffen
  • Release Date: May 15, 2007
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 75
  2. Negative: 3 out of 75

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  1. elizag
    May 17, 2007
    2
    big fan of the first four cds; he laid an egg with this one. 2 stars for a few moments with potential--going to a town has a decent hook, but is too strident, sanssouci is melodic but trite, tulsa has some amusing cheekiness to it. been a fan since poses, hoping rufus can finally produce a breakout album and get the widespread acclaim he deserves. this is not that album, tho--too bad.
  2. PeteM
    May 14, 2007
    4
    Over-the-top arrangements suck the life out of the melodies. Maybe it will grow but I'm disappointed.
  3. NatalieH
    Jun 4, 2007
    10
    Rufus Wainwright is by far the most incredible musician that has EVER graced this earth. He's phenomenal!
  4. MargaretS
    Jun 5, 2007
    10
    We have just seen him at the Old Vic-he is just fantastically talented. The depth of his music, the intracacies of the melodies and rythms just knock you back. His voice soars,his musicality sills the theatre- and this album.
  5. ericd
    Jun 6, 2007
    8
    This album is very strong at the start to middle. It does however have a drop off point!? Rufus makes original sounds and I think the industry sometimes doesn't know what exactly to write about him. Some of the critics are harsh and ignorant but ironically in there poor reviews of him they don't really make solid points why the music is bad. Then the positive reviews always have This album is very strong at the start to middle. It does however have a drop off point!? Rufus makes original sounds and I think the industry sometimes doesn't know what exactly to write about him. Some of the critics are harsh and ignorant but ironically in there poor reviews of him they don't really make solid points why the music is bad. Then the positive reviews always have this twist of evil...I dunno this album is very good, in fact it's great! Just have a listen yourself. If you get it, it's beautiful! Key Tracks: Going To A Town, Between My Legs, Do I Disappoint You, Nobody's Off The Hook. Expand
  6. StaciaM
    Jun 7, 2007
    8
    Finally, something to stand up to his debut album.
  7. SYanoff
    Oct 4, 2007
    6
    It's no Poses (his previous album, which is just excellent). There's a couple of skip-able songs on here, some go on too long, and nothing that grabs you the way Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk or Tower of Learning do. Rufus shines on the politically-charged spots (Going to a Town) and risque (Between My Legs).
  8. GioSCerbo
    May 14, 2007
    9
    Rufus proves once again, his musical genius! Fabulous album! BUY IT! DOWNLOAD IT! NOW!
  9. PaulC
    May 15, 2007
    9
    As Want One/Two is my favourite all time album, I was anxious that this follow up would fail to live up to expectations. Its early days still (I have only heard it through three times) but early signs are that Release The Stars is every bit as good as I could have hoped for, with Rufus' trademark ecstatic songwriting and production in full flight. Nay-sayers who scoff at the As Want One/Two is my favourite all time album, I was anxious that this follow up would fail to live up to expectations. Its early days still (I have only heard it through three times) but early signs are that Release The Stars is every bit as good as I could have hoped for, with Rufus' trademark ecstatic songwriting and production in full flight. Nay-sayers who scoff at the overblown dramatics are completely missing the point of Rufus, possibly the closest thing modern pop has to a contemporary classical composer. There are highlights aplenty on the album, growers too, and in I Disappoint You and Slideshow, two best ever tracks to rank alongside I Don't Know What It Is, Go or Go Ahead and, oh, so many others. The man's a genius. Expand
  10. madsl
    May 15, 2007
    4
    wainwright has one of the most annoying vocals in all of music. it is a cringeworthy experience having to sit through a whole hour of his operatic vocal tics devoid of any sense of the art of phrasing...
  11. HelenB
    May 16, 2007
    10
    An amazing artistic album. Something that would make any money-making artist (britney etc) feel bad on selling out just for people's money. Rufus never ever disappoints :]
  12. amber
    May 16, 2007
    7
    Less is more as they say but in this instance Rufus has opted for MORE, its just too much for me I'm afraid. His songs are individually beautiful and touching, but as an album, its just too much to take in. I
  13. joser.r
    May 22, 2007
    9
    It´s very absurd the ratings in your web....This records belongs to more than 80 category. You posh people of the press !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It our new Mozart but you don´t notice. So keep listening Panda Bear and go insane men!!!!
  14. wander
    May 3, 2007
    9
    best album from rufus - great job
  15. EdwardR
    May 30, 2007
    10
    As a long-time Rufus fan, this is by far his best CD to date. All 12 tracks are stunning, it has a cohesive whole, and the melodies and hooks are impossible to get out of your head. A fantastic release.
  16. PhilippeD.
    Jun 22, 2007
    7
    Been a Rufus fan for some time now. He is an amazing artist. Release The Stars is not his best work but still pretty good. Listen to # 2,8,9,10,11 and 12. I've been waiting a while for new stuff from Rufus and I must say that I am very happy with his lastest work. Good job Rufus.
  17. WillyS
    Jun 4, 2007
    5
    The record is a meandering mess. Outside of "Going to a Town" there are no specifically memorable moments. Each time I listen to it, I finish with no memory of hooks, progressions or melodies that hold any significant water. Layering new orchestra over ideas from Want One and Two does not equal new material. Rufus's massive talent is sidelined by his penchant for flash and flamboyance.
  18. AdamW
    Nov 17, 2007
    9
    Exce[tional - a real grower of an album - sounded like a bit of an albatross on first play but now I just can't get enough of it. The grandiose "Slideshow" and the exuberant "Do I Disappoint You" are standout tracks, but the tender and vulnerable "Not Ready To Love" is also exceptional. Production-wise, a shower of an album. Musically, a definite grower. Give it a chance.
  19. Michelle
    May 14, 2007
    10
    Amazing!
  20. RalphS
    May 14, 2007
    6
    The album lacks good compositions and hooks and ends up beeing superficial. It's boring and nothing compared to Want 1 + 2. Actually think this is the worst album from Rufus. (But still better than the rest out there)
  21. Jonnym
    May 14, 2007
    7
    Ranges from the sublime to the innocuous..which brings me to TJWells comment...LCDSoundsystem is the best album of the year so far, just ahead of Modest Mouse.
  22. ChrisS.
    May 14, 2007
    9
    it's amazing how allmusic has really not understood rufus' music ever. i think this is a great great album
  23. ArmenS
    May 14, 2007
    6
    This album starts out OK the first three tracks are great, then comes the excessive "stuff". From over-the-top lyrics to over-the-top production. On the backside of the CD Rufus mentions that this album is dedicated to his mother: "who still whispers he is great in his ear"... well then, that pretty much sums this one up. Although this is classic Wainwright with some great songs, in the This album starts out OK the first three tracks are great, then comes the excessive "stuff". From over-the-top lyrics to over-the-top production. On the backside of the CD Rufus mentions that this album is dedicated to his mother: "who still whispers he is great in his ear"... well then, that pretty much sums this one up. Although this is classic Wainwright with some great songs, in the end it esentially the same thing he has been doing forever. Perhpas it's time that he "grow up" and make music which explores a bit more rather than the same old thing that mommy likes... Expand
  24. Corey
    May 14, 2007
    9
    The only reason I give this a 9 is because it just doesn't match the Want albums which are amazing. Still this is a terrific set of songs from a musical prodigy. Some people just don't "get" Rufus. It is so rare to find an artist that produces such intelligent, thought provoking and goosebump inducing music with such consistancy. Wonderful album.
  25. pimpap
    May 15, 2007
    10
    A MASTERPIECE! An emotional rollercoaster that shatters you, makes you happy, sad, in love and in doubt.
  26. ElizabethA
    May 15, 2007
    10
    Simply amazing. Rufus has definitely done it again.
  27. Carrie
    May 15, 2007
    10
    He just keep getting better.
  28. DavidD
    May 15, 2007
    10
    What a ride! This will definately carry me through the summer (and fall and winter)
  29. [Anonymous]
    May 15, 2007
    10
    Gorgeous, huge, and absolutely wonderful. Best ever from Rufus.
  30. rufusi.
    May 17, 2007
    10
    beauteous, glorious, delicious. He doesn't do it for his mother's approval, when he gets that, it's because he's gifting her. He's brilliant!
  31. LisaL
    May 21, 2007
    10
    He is a genius, plain and simple. Those happen to be two words I would never use to describe his music. It is rich and layered and I hear something new everytime I listen. Love it!
  32. Oliver
    May 20, 2007
    9
    Er, don't you think you should update the reviews for this album. Where are the glowing reviews from Uncut, Mojo, Q magazine and most UK publications?? This is a great idea for a website but it's biased towards the US reviews.
  33. MattD.
    May 22, 2007
    7
    The production is just too much after a while, but his mind is very active, leading to quite a few thrilling moments.
  34. TJWells
    May 8, 2007
    10
    I STRONGLY recommend everyone checks this out. I haven't listened to it enough to decide if it's better than LCD Soundsystem (my favorite album of the year), but it is definitely in the top two. Haunting, beautiful, melodic, and catchy all at the same time...this man is a genius.
  35. melindak
    Jun 11, 2007
    10
    Rufus is back with maybe one of the greatest albums he ever did. The more i listen it the more i adore it!
  36. PeterB
    Jun 16, 2007
    9
    I don't get why so many of the critics dislike this album. I contains nothing but amazing songs! Highlights are first-single, "Going To A Town", the beautiful "Tiergarten" and the hilarious "Between My Legs".
  37. SteveW.
    Jun 20, 2007
    10
    One of his most brilliant works yet. Rufus is easy for many to overlook - melodies that seem simplistic at first take on layers and dimensions one doesn't always sense at first. I also believe many miss the opera that is inherent in nearly all of his works. Opera is over-the-top, dramatic, and intense (if you love opera this is exactly what it's supposed to do). Graded by this One of his most brilliant works yet. Rufus is easy for many to overlook - melodies that seem simplistic at first take on layers and dimensions one doesn't always sense at first. I also believe many miss the opera that is inherent in nearly all of his works. Opera is over-the-top, dramatic, and intense (if you love opera this is exactly what it's supposed to do). Graded by this standard this album is pure genius. Expand
  38. MaxC
    Jun 7, 2007
    8
    Impressive follow-up to Want Two. There are some fantastic songs on this album such as "Going to a Town", "Between My Legs", "Rules and Regulations", the incredibly over-the-top "Slideshow" and the heatbreaking "Leaving for Paris" but there is a tendency to go a little overboard with the arrangements and production values on a couple of numbers. ("Do I Disappoint You", "Release the Impressive follow-up to Want Two. There are some fantastic songs on this album such as "Going to a Town", "Between My Legs", "Rules and Regulations", the incredibly over-the-top "Slideshow" and the heatbreaking "Leaving for Paris" but there is a tendency to go a little overboard with the arrangements and production values on a couple of numbers. ("Do I Disappoint You", "Release the Stars"...) This doesn't necessarily ruin the songs... it just makes them slightly challenging and a feeling a little messy. He's a brilliant songwriter though and he's carrying the Lennon/McCartney/Brian Wilson torch gorgeously ... with a touch of Verdi and co. Expand
  39. FrankieC
    Jun 8, 2007
    9
    He finally manages with this album to perfectly illustrate the paradox embodied in his music right from the start : to make the listener reach the purest and the rawest feelings with the most luxurious and intricate music that pop can offer.
  40. lauriem
    Jun 9, 2007
    5
    HIs voice is way too beautiful and his lyrics way too catchy for me to have given this a lower score, but I was waaaay underwhelmed by this. Everyone else's comments apply. It's overblown, overproduced, and over the top, even for Rufus. I should've seen it coming when that little insert about the 'world's greatest entertainer' and the Liza Minnelli covers HIs voice is way too beautiful and his lyrics way too catchy for me to have given this a lower score, but I was waaaay underwhelmed by this. Everyone else's comments apply. It's overblown, overproduced, and over the top, even for Rufus. I should've seen it coming when that little insert about the 'world's greatest entertainer' and the Liza Minnelli covers came fluttering out of the jewel case. Expand
  41. SteveS
    Jul 10, 2007
    9
    This is one of Wainwright's best works yet, with a wide variety of styles, instrumentation, and topics. The catchy melodies hook listeners early on, & the complex arrangements keep them coming back.
  42. RobbieC
    Jul 22, 2007
    5
    Pretty much disappointing. There are definitely stand out tracks, Going To A Town is pretty awesome. But the album as a whole lacks cohesion and is much less compelling than Want Two, which was slightly less compelling than Want One. Overall, this is his worst album.
  43. JasonV.
    Aug 3, 2007
    10
    I think music lovers so respect and revel in Rufus' music, that many of them desperately want to see him reach the level of what the media tells us is great. I'm personally glad he's not Rob Thomas, or Fergie. 40 years from, when the pop mainstream as we currently know it is lumped into a genre of the time, Rufus Wainwright will be noted as a genius and standout, who's I think music lovers so respect and revel in Rufus' music, that many of them desperately want to see him reach the level of what the media tells us is great. I'm personally glad he's not Rob Thomas, or Fergie. 40 years from, when the pop mainstream as we currently know it is lumped into a genre of the time, Rufus Wainwright will be noted as a genius and standout, who's work will continue to intrigue and inspire musicians and music lovers for generations to come. I don't think we'll be able to say the same for Maroon 5, but man they sure do know how to get on the charts!!!....who cares? Rufus is one of the greatest composers of our generation...try and enjoy it. Expand
  44. JimK.
    Aug 7, 2007
    9
    very good album, touching and emotional.
  45. matta.
    Aug 9, 2007
    6
    the results are very mixed. Slightly better than Want Two (which is his worst easily), a little bit below Want One, and not even close to the revelations that his debut and Poses were. Those albums still sound great several years later and they give me hope that maybe Rufus can get his shit together again someday (hopefully soon) and put out a complete album again.
  46. OpharelleJ
    May 14, 2007
    9
    One of the greatest albums I never listened to in all my life. Mr. Wainwright is unique. Both his music and lyrics are very brilliant. What worderful moments I'll have for years and years with this album.
  47. JakeL
    May 14, 2007
    10
    A masterwork. Soaring vocals, incredible arrangements, beautiful song after beautiful song. Best album of the decade.
  48. JoAnneY
    May 15, 2007
    10
    Rufus never disappoints! I heard all of these songs live last month and I'm so glad the CD is finally here!
  49. Eileenzi
    May 15, 2007
    10
    Rufus does it again! I can listen to "Going to a Town" an "Do I Disapoint" over and over again! Rufus is way ahead of the rest of the world! Rufus, you are GREAT! and I am shouting it!!!!
  50. mikes.
    May 17, 2007
    8
    his best since poses, a critically underrated album. Amg was way off on their review. This is his rufus at his best.
  51. anon
    May 17, 2007
    10
    Gorgeous-big-gentle-mature-vulnerable-able-anyone who states he cannot phrase properly cannot hear well-simple as that!
  52. ChristopherD
    May 19, 2007
    2
    Oh Rufus, what became of you? Remember when song craft trumped bombast? When the lyrics actually mattered? What a horribly disappointing mess from such a talented man.
  53. JimP
    May 25, 2007
    2
    I'm a big fan of Rufus' work to this point, but I just can't get into this album. Way too heavily produced. As for songcraft, these would have been on the cutting room floor if they were laid down during the Want or Poses sessions.
  54. FaridT
    May 25, 2007
    9
    Amazing, mind blowing...just listen to it!!!
  55. JoeG
    Jun 14, 2007
    9
    Over the last couple of years I've gone off Rufus. I can really do without the whole gay icon/Judy Garland thing. However I NEED music like this... compositions of a quality so rare in popular music. Production and performance values here (orchestra, strings and horns) are truly excellent, I can't remember hearing better. The tunes aren't any better than Rufus has done Over the last couple of years I've gone off Rufus. I can really do without the whole gay icon/Judy Garland thing. However I NEED music like this... compositions of a quality so rare in popular music. Production and performance values here (orchestra, strings and horns) are truly excellent, I can't remember hearing better. The tunes aren't any better than Rufus has done before, but nonetheless some of them are annoyingly good even in the songs I don't particularly like! Lyrically, I think it's his least interesting, and feel it might be time for Rufus to concentrate on his Met opera. Overall, for a baroque pop fan... essential! Expand
  56. NatashaH
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    Inspired and inspiring. Everything he does is very special
  57. NickE
    Jul 23, 2007
    10
    Basically this is not a pop record; if you want a pop masterpiece out of Rufus check out "Poses". This, in the complexity and direction of the arrangements, is more reminiscent of classical music, where arrangements are an art in and of themselves. That said, the music is really lovely. My advice to anyone who didn't like this on the first pass is to listen to it for a couple of Basically this is not a pop record; if you want a pop masterpiece out of Rufus check out "Poses". This, in the complexity and direction of the arrangements, is more reminiscent of classical music, where arrangements are an art in and of themselves. That said, the music is really lovely. My advice to anyone who didn't like this on the first pass is to listen to it for a couple of months; once all the random-sounding melodies start to gel in your mind, you might be very impressed. Expand
  58. Apr 7, 2012
    7
    Altogether it's a good & enjoyable effort -- and a welcome end to the Want One's & Two's! As Rufus sings "I'm tired of writing elegies to boredom!"
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. It's an ornate, dizzying affair, where all his interests and talents collide in one brazen gesture. It's impressive in scope, but where does that leave the listener? Possibly with a headache.
  2. Such frequent attempts to elevate the banal into the meaningful ultimately keep Release the Stars from achieving any significant momentum and only add weight to the notion that Wainwright's shaky aim-- rather than his lack of talent-- might be his biggest downfall.
  3. This is so rich, so intelligent, so feeling, that most of us will throw our hands limply in the air and join voices with mum Kate McGarrigle who, according to the dedication on the back, "still whispers in my ear that I'm great".