Track Review: Rufus Wainwright ft. Choir! Choir! Choir! ‘Hallelujah’
Chamber-/indie-pop darling Rufus Wainwright and a choir of 1500 deliver a magical rendition of Leonard Cohen classic, “Hallelujah.”
It was a magical evening. 1500 singers came to Luminato Festival at the Hearn Generating Station in Toronto. Daveed + Nobu (AKA DaBu) taught them back up parts to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, then Rufus Wainwright joined them on stage to sing lead. It was an EPIC NIGHT! to remember.
– YouTube Video: Epic Night! Featuring Rufus Wainwright + 1500 Singers sing HALLELUJAH! (6.30.16)
It’s rare that a cover can give goosebumps. Often, even good covers don’t pack enough punch to move the listener nearly as effectively as the original. Every now and then, there’s a magic cover like Rufus Wainwright and Choir! Choir! Choir!’s take on Leonard Cohen classic, “Hallelujah.” The secret weapon – the 1500-member choir.
First of all, Rufus Wainwright sounds excellent – expectedly. The overall production (beyond the choir) is simple – accompaniment chiefly by acoustic guitar. This simplicity maintains the singer/songwriter vibe of the original, as well as the Jeff Buckley version. As sound as Wainwright and the production is, it’s the choir that draws the attention here.
It’s lovely to hear a choir add such depth to this familiar song. 1500 people – the effects are nothing short of chilling. Among the best moments are when the choir has different parts than Wainwright, which shows just how notable their presence is. Although brief, there is a wonderful a cappella section that puts the sole focus on Wainwright and choir. What more can be said than stunning?
Ultimately, Rufus Wainwright and Choir! Choir! Choir! Deliver a magical rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic. Wainwright gives a well-rounded performance. Arguably, it is 1500- member choir that steals the show. If this “once-in-a-lifetime” performance doesn’t give goosebumps, what else possibly can?