[45] Rufus Wainwright, ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’

Straight Outta Kansas

I know what it is: a full-blown musical in miniature; a camp, puffed-chest symphony of the psyche; a soaring, sweet folly that exercises pop immediacy while decked out like a gaudy indulgence. If that’s not too many adjectives. Every time I remember this, I tend to listen to it again and again and end up with an ice-cream headache.

Junior says: “Aw,” when it finishes. At other points she lip-synchs along with words she doesn’t know and waves her hands to the strings.

Best bit: “Slightly mysterious BRUISES”.

[10] Rufus Wainwright, ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’

Rufus Wainwright

One day, Junior and her sister will have haphazard hitmaking careers of their own, keeping me in Earl Grey and cheeky Hoegaarden four-packs into my dotage. Perhaps one of them will even have the courtesy to pen a ‘Bloody Motherf***ing A**hole’ paean to their dear old Pops, to bring a tear to a wrinkly peeper. O happy day, eh?

Martha’s already a big noise around here, so Junior was intrigued to hear bruv in action. She practised saying his name – “Woofus” – and paused after the Gay Messiah’s final crescendo to rate the song “Lovely”. It is as well. As ornate, grandiose, heart-swelling and gaudy as anything on Want One, it makes me bellow along in the car like an octave-battering diva on wheels. Woofus is on a hunt for himself and I’ve no idea if he ever did turn up, but the search is a thrill.

Chugging along: