Ellen: Rufus Wainwright ‘Out of the Game’ Review


Ellen: Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright appeared on Ellen for the very first time! He performed the title track from new album Out of the Game.

Ellen: Rufus Wainwright Out Of The Game

In his debut Ellen appearance, Rufus Wainwright performed "Out Of The Game." (Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)


Wainwright has said publicly that the material from his new album is more danceable than his previous work. That seems like a rather strange thing to say because a lot of his music is quite danceable.

That being said, “Out of the Game” was definitely a song meant for dancing. It had a sort of bouncing whimsy to it that epitomizes Wainwright‘s style. It was old time rhythm and blues with a modern, somewhat alternative, execution.

Rufus Wainwright “Out Of The Game” Review

The lyrics to the song were also typical of Wainwright‘s previous work. There was a frank nonchalance in his words as he sings subtly sexually charged lines like “You’re only young thing
/About to sleep with a sea of men” and “Say come over here
/Let me smell you for one last time.”


All in all, it was a really great performance. Everyone in his band was tight and on the money. The lead guitarist was especially cool. He tore through a bluesy solo, but never sounded excessively flashy or self-indulgent. He served the song.

Wainwright also had three or four backup singers that accompanied him beautifully.

Rufus Wainwright Out of the Game Album

That being said, the song itself didn’t seem to be much new ground for him. In fact, it a little boring. It was just a bouncy acoustic song about a young woman that he’s attracted to. What’s new?

One part of the song that was particularly cool was right near the end. The song started building. It felt like it was gaining volume and moving upwards sonically. It seemed slightly reminiscent, at least in spirit, of the symphonic finale of The Beatles’ “A Day In the Life” off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In general, the song and performance were certainly not bad, but nor were they much of anything.



  1. Sibi says

    “It was just a bouncy acoustic song about a young woman that he’s attracted to. What’s new?”
    I can assure you it’s not that! Should have done your homework 😉

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