Rufus Wainwright: Take All My Loves (9 Shakespeare Sonnets)

If, like me, you love Rufus Wainwright and Shakespeare, then this album will make you very, very happy. If, however, you like neither Shakespeare nor Rufus, it’s probably not your cup of tea. This unique collection of Shakespearean sonnets set to theatrical rock music features guests Florence Welch, Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska, Siân Phillips, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher and William Shatner. But the true stars are Rufus Wainwright and William Shakespeare.



The first two tracks are okay, but a somewhat lackluster start. The album truly begins with the dazzling title track, which is far more Rufus than the Bard.

The standout track is “Unperfect Actor,” in which Helena Bonham Carter gives brief poetic recitation before the song explodes into rock symphony featuring Martha Wainwright and Fiona Cutler.

Other highlights are “When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men’s Eyes,” which is sang as a lovely ballad by Florence Welch, and Anna Prohaska’s operatic “Farewell.”

The album also features new, alternative versions of three sonnets Rufus originally recorded for his Songs for Lulu album: “When Most I Wink,” “For Shame” and “A Woman’s Face.”

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Rufus Wainwright

Muruch.com’s Top Albums of 2015

20 Beth May: The Family Arsonist (poetry)


19 Wolf Alice: My Love is Cool

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Wolf Alice Official Site


18 Elise Cabrét (EP)


17 Anielle Reid: Ain’t Like Them (EP)

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Anielle Reid Official Site


16 Kat Robichaud & The Darling Misfits

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15 Dengue Fever: The Deepest Lake

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14 The Innocence Mission: Hello I Feel the Same

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13 Darlingside: Birds Say

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12 Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi: Cold Moon

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11 Hayley Cannon: Who Are You

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10 Allison Crowe: Sylvan Hour


9 Alessia Cara: Know It All

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Alessia Cara Official Site


8 Chris Stapleton: Traveler

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Chris Stapleton Official Site


7 Andra Day: Cheers to the Fall

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Andra Day Official Site


6 Rhiannen Giddens: Tomorrow is My Turn

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Rhiannen Giddens Official Site


5 Lizabett Russo: Running With the Wolves

(album review)

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Lizabett Russo Official Site


4 V V Brown: Glitch

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V V Brown Official Site


3 Muruch.com Presents: Allison Crowe

(best of)

Allison Crowe Official Site


2 Muruch.com for RAINN benefit album

(more info)

Donate $10 (or more) at Muruch’s RAINN.org fundraising page to receive the free 25-mp3 album.


1 Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher’s Daughter

(album review)

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Brandi Carlile Official Site

I debated including the Muruch-curated albums, but they are truly the two albums I have listened to most frequently and loved most intensely this year. Besides, it’s the artists and their music that make them so undeniably spectacular. I was just the DJ. That being said, every time I’ve been asked during the year what I think my #1 album of 2015 would be, my immediate answer has been: “Brandi Carlile’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter.” I love it more with each listen and it has the timelessness of the greatest classic albums.

Introducing Miner…

L.A. folk-rock band Miner have been accurately compared to The Avett Brothers. I especially like the song “Carousel” from their debut album, Into the Morning.

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Fiona Bevan: Talk to Strangers

Fiona Bevan’s debut album, Talk to Strangers, more than lives up to the promise of its first single. The British singer-songwriter’s quirky soul-pop style falls somewhere between Sheila Nicholls, Joanna Newsom and Corinne Bailey Rae, but these are tenuous reference points at best. Fiona is really carving a niche of her own here.

Fiona’s rich lilt and jaunty instrumentation are particularly charming on “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Slo Mo Tiger Glo” and the lovely “Us and the Darkness.”

The standout track “The Machine” dives into murkier, funkier waters.

Other highlights are Fiona’s exquisite, multi-faceted vocal on “Monsoon Sundance,” the enchanting, buoyant “Pirates and Diamonds” and the simpler beauty of “Forwards.”

I expect Fiona Bevan’s Talk to Strangers to make it on my best of the year list for 2014.

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Fiona Bevan Official Site