Rufus Wainwright's new album - All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu - is a rare thing in pop music today. A veritable treasure trove of meticulously composed piano songs, it manages to not be repetitive, self-indulgent or vain. It is instead beguiling, wondrous and completely addicting. But not at first. It takes some listening before it all starts to make sense and for all its dormant beauties to come out from within the intricate patterns of the songs. Which is always a good sign, in my book.

According to him, this particular album serves as a sort of sorbet between courses, in which he takes a break from all the heavy instrumentation that sometimes plagues his other previous albums (though I've never minded that...) and goes back to the basics, in this case, the piano-based song (he being a big fan of the instrument and of the opinion that the piano song is the basis of all pop music, going back to the german lieder as a tradition).

I went to see him live last month and the show was great, just him and the piano and it had two very distinct parts. In the first part, he played the whole of the new album! Every single song! Talk about spoiling the fans. Anyway, enough chit-chat, let's hear some music. Here's my favorite: The Dream.

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