Albums to watch

Unfollow The Rules

Rufus Wainwright

Unfollow The Rules

Tenth album and first in eight years from the Canadian baroque pop singer-songwriter produced by Mitchell Froom (Suzanne Vega, Los Lobos)

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BMG Rights Management
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  1. 9.0 |   Uncut

    A spectacular return to the tower of song and the game he plays best. Brimming with memorable melodies, swooning arrangements and smart lyrics dreamily sung. Print edition only

  2. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    This is a quality record. In fact, it’s an excellent record. Given it’s a Rufus Wainwright record, did you expect anything else?
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  3. 9.0 |   Clash

    Unfollow The Rules feels like a gentle stroll through the various stages of Rufus’s career; far from creating the impression of Rufus covering his own back catalogue, the effect is like a timely reminder of everything that’s wonderful about Wainwright
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  4. 8.0 |   The FT

    After writing an opera, the singer and composer returns with a lavish new album and a more refined voice
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  5. 8.0 |   All Music

    Wainwright's growth as a composer/arranger and his experiences in the classical realm are apparent here. Though, to his credit as a tunesmith, his words and melodies remain center stage
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  6. 8.0 |   The Music

    The album offers richness that rewards re-listens
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  7. 8.0 |   Record Collector

    If this does end up marking the end of the first act of his career, as well as this glorious album, it feels perfectly fitting
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  8. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    The burst of energy on Unfollow the Rules might come as a surprise, but perhaps not an inexplicable one; the energy once spent blazing the trail forward is now spent dancing in place
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  9. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Reaching middle age is an interesting landmark to acknowledge with such a bold artistic statement, less so once you realise Wainwright wanted to emulate the classic periods of Leonard Cohen and Frank Sinatra
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  10. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    With a couple of extravagant exceptions, the songs are structurally lean, yet everything takes flight, and that is truly a sound to behold
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  11. 8.0 |   Q

    For all the finely crafted, impeccably produced numbers there are enough stripped-back torch song moments to remind us of the simple power of Wainwright's talent. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   Mojo

    It is a relief to see Wainwright honouring his formidable songwriting talents with songs as luscious as those on Poses or Want One. Print edition only

  13. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Big, baroque, occasionally operatic with lots of multilayered Wainwright vocals, Unfollow is a postmodern album
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  14. 7.5 |   Northern Transmissions

    Overall, Unfollow the Rules is a concise album, yet it still sounds like it’s on the edge of bursting with exuberance. And if the album is to be a final installment, however symbolically, it’s not a bad note to end on
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  15. 7.0 |   Gigwise

    Wainwright at his most refined
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  16. 7.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    With his ninth album, Rufus Wainwright explores the complexity of human emotions, and it’s all held together by his penchant for quiet individuality
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  17. 7.0 |   God Is In The TV

    It feels like with Unfollow The Rules, Rufus should follow his own advice – the album falls short most when it’s reaching for something – and it’s at its most self-assured and sincere when he isn’t trying too hard
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  18. 6.9 |   Pitchfork

    Rufus Wainwright’s first original album in eight years isn’t so much a reinvention as an opulently crafted highlight reel, a career-spanning sampler of the singer’s many styles and guises
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  19. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    Perfectly preened album needs to get loose
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  20. 6.0 |   Rolling Stone

    A stately pop throwback full of his signature vocal grandeur
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