During GRAMMY Week, I had a chance to catch up with British producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran, Lily Allen) to talk about some of his upcoming projects, including his production work on Rufus Wainwright's much-anticipated new album, entitled "Out Of The Game." Described in a press release as a labor of love for both Wainwright and Ronson, Rufus calls his new album, "the most pop album I've ever made," while Ronson says that, "it’s the best work of my career."
Recorded in Brooklyn, New York in the fall of 2011, the twelve songs are hook-laden, memorably arranged tracks reminiscent of Rufus’ early work and take listeners back to the heydays of '70s singer/songwriter pop. Album tracks include: "Out Of The Game," "Jericho," "Welcome To The Ball," "Montauk," "Bitter Tears," "Respectable Dive" and "Perfect Man."
Ronson spoke with great affection about his work with Wainwright. "Rufus is so incredibly prolific," he told me. "His work ranges from opera to piano torch songs to super eccentric stuff, and this was a record reigning some of that in. It has a sort of really warm, mid '70s T Rex, Young Americans, Laurel Canyon kind of vibe to it. It's great. There are some amazing songs on the album."
He explained to me that working with Wainwright also posed an artistic challenge that turned out to be quite fulfilling for him creatively. "It is kind of the most challenging record I had to work on and also one of the best," Ronson explains to me. "The way [Rufus] writes and the way he times things, I had to make sure it made sense so a band could play behind it and that it was properly anchored. It was quite tough. I worked for a long time on it to sort the arrangements even before we went into the studio."
Decca just released a video teaser for "Out Of The Game" that includes clips of the new songs, plus interview footage of Wainwright and Ronson. Rufus Wainwright "Out Of The Game" is available on May 1 and will be accompanies by live dates.