Rufus Wainwright often claimed that he never quite understood why his poppier albums (Poses, Release the Stars) never became chart hits. The Montrealer’s seventh offering, Out of the Game, has been said to be his most foot-tapping yet, but lightness is not a thing for Wainwright. Irresistible Motown-esque and 70s throwback grooves (courtesy of über-producer Mark Ronson) are aplenty here, but the singer is absolutely not capable of simplicity: Jericho‘s two-part chorus, Rashida‘s high-ceilinged, cabaret-like melody and the cascading arpeggios of Montauk are all demanding fare, constantly testing the listener that might have been initially won over by the carefree feel of lead single Out of the Game. By resisting the urge to set the bar low, Wainwright confers on his first pop album proper the attributes of a truly satisfying adult pop LP. As a Wainwright album, it’s his most arresting listen since the Want suite.