Out Of The Game
Label: Verve (Adult Contemporary)
Compared to the minimalist All Days Are Night, Rufus's seventh album is a circus. But relative to his flamboyant oeuvre, Out of the Game is thoughtful and restrained. It's Rufus "doing" adulthood, with heartbreaking earnestness and arch theatricality. Rufus and producer Mark Ronson put life and pop on stage and examine them from all angles, with blissful, complicated odes to family life, bits of doo-wop (the epic "Rashida"), '70s gold cut with show-tune panache, and diverse guests like the Dap-Kings and Nels Cline. The melodies (particularly the impressionist "Montauk") will haunt your brain.