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Rufus Wainwright has always been keen to tackle the classics — this is, after all, a guy whose most recent album, 2016's Take All My Loves, reinterprets Shakespeare sonnets — and his stylistic palette has remained broad enough to encompass, among many other things, an opera. So it's not a huge surprise to hear that his latest song, released today, is a cover of Stevie Wonder's indelible 1970 all-timer "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)."
Released to support an L.A.-based charity and artistic endeavor called The Art Of Elysium, Wainwright's cover — and the accompanying video, which features Wainwright and dancers John Corso, Malachi Middleton, Ryan Page and Sam Wentz — is part of a project in which assorted artists and performers tackle the Wonder classic. (Wainwright's take is dubbed "Chapter: Love," with visuals that reference Federico Fellini's 8 1/2.)
Even without the video, Wainwright's version of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" is worth hearing for its expert mix of jauntiness and melancholy. Accompanied by pianist Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a Doveman), Wainwright takes a perfect song and finds a new angle on it, while never losing his air of reverence toward the source material.