Stream Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Out Of The Game’ Album

Though he’s calling it his most pop record to date, Out Of The Game is less about Rufus Wainwright putting his pop foot forward and more of him taking a revisionist step back to the singer-songwriter hits of the 1970s and ’80s. Which is to say, this isn’t a “predictable and boring” Top 40 record, but it is the most “pop” Rufus has ever been, and really ever should be. The dozen tracks well polished by producer Mark Ronson trend happy and uptempo — a departure from his last few releases, particularly 2010’s mournful All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, which spend more time low than high. Stand out tracks from this new joyful, married-with-kids version of the virtuoso crooner include the big, buzzing “Rashida,” (wherein Wainwright may or may not namedrop Natalie Portman — or maybe he says “Portland”?), the unexpectedly synthed-out “Bitter Tears” and, of course, that eponymous tongue-in-cheek first single. Out Of The Game is out tomorrow (Apr. 24), but you can hear it now at NPR.