Want One - Rufus Wainwright
Want One Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The Canadian singer-songwriter worked with producer Marius deVries (Björk, Massive Attack) for this third LP, which is actually the first half of what was originally planned as a double album ('Want Two' will instead arrive next year).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. If Sondheim had been reared on old Van Dyke Parks records, he might sound like this. [26 Sep 2003, p.94]
  2. The musical scope is breathtaking. [Dec 2003, p.139]
  3. More scattered than his past works, Wainwright's skills bubble to the surface here only after repeated listens.
  4. Painful as the backstory gets, the work itself remains lovely and luxuriant.
  5. Wainwright’s powers of observation recall both Morrissey and Cole Porter.
  6. Want One matches the eclecticism of Poses and his eponymous debut, but suffers from a lack of memorable songs.
  7. All but a couple of tracks here are dipped in the melodramatically thick strings of the opener- and the sum result is that it’s almost too much to take the whole LP in one sitting.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. RobbieC
    Nov 10, 2007
    Grandiose, tragic, dramatic, beautiful, and HONEST. A wonderful achievement.
  2. TraciN.
    Oct 26, 2003
    In my opinion this album is near perfect manifestation of it's potential.
  3. MarkS
    Sep 25, 2003
    This album is nothing short of spectacular!
  4. Jack
    Aug 29, 2004
    The cunning sample of Ravel's Bolero in the opening track is worth the "10" alone!
  5. GarthB
    Sep 25, 2003
    The critics who say this album isn't up to snuff genuinely say so because they listen to justin timberlake and since rufus isn't justing timberlake, they give him low marks. Rufus is something more - he is musically lucious and his extravagence is used to match his lyrics, not overtake them. The songs here are heart-wrenching. Very little fault to be found here. There is a reason Rufus is awesome....this is it. Expand
  6. DaveV
    Dec 4, 2009
    If it were not for a couple of clunker tracks, the album as a whole would have been a perfect work of art.
  7. JasonL
    Sep 24, 2003
    So sad this record was so far underpar with his first 2. Though I just bought it today I listened to it twice at work ( w/ two diff. pairs of headphones) and once at home tonight. It's very monotonous and has little of the unique energy that I find on both "Poses" and Rufus' first CD. Sounds like someone's been medicated, but by a real doctor this time. It's flat and unimaginative, e.g., he mentions "Trains" in 3 different songs. It's overproduced, in a bad Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" way, with it's chorales and loud, fancy orchestration (tubas farting about). And sleepy. It's very sleepy. The songs sort of wash into the next one, and you have to check the CD players' digital display, lest you think "hey, didn't I already hear this song?". With his first two, I was hooked as the record unfolded, song by song, with my first listening. There's no question of the beauty and completeness of those two. They, in my opinion, are both perfect recordings. I do not know of many recordings l feel that way about. However, "Want One" I find to be a task to listen to. Given, I'm someone who knows what he likes musically quickly. "Want One" doesn't sound like anyone but Rufus (except maybe a couple of moments of Queen and The Beach Boys -Van Dyke Parks influence)? as usual which is why I love his other CD's. I know of no one who sounds like him. I compare my experience w/ "Poses" and my inability to go more than a few days from hearing it to what I felt with "Pet Sounds" (obviously, not a direct comparison; they both just have so much to hear and learn from, and more is revealed each time you listen). I want to like this CD, I really do! I want to add this one on my shelf for the perfect 'Holy Trinity' of Rufus, But as it stands, I'll probably sell it soon after a few more tries. Expand

See all 29 User Reviews