Written at the tail end of the George W Bush administration as the US was still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and its housing bubble was about to burst, Going To a Town is Canadian-American singer songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s lament for the country’s ills.
Its meaning, he said in 2007, was “very plain, mainly that I’m having problems with the United States at the moment, as we all are”.
“We all love America.....but we have to admit that there’s just been too many mistakes made in the recent past over too many issues, and we’ve just got to deal with that fact.”
George Michael’s rendition is faithful to the original, elegantly arranged for orchestra and sung with grace and feeling. The sighing woodwind introduction, expansive production and the crack in Michael’s voice as he delivers the final line, “I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down”, make this the highlight of his latest album, Symphonica.