Benjamin Biolay‘s new album Vengeance is out today, featuring duets with Vanessa Paradis, Julia Stone, Carl Barat and rappers Oxmo Puccino and OrelSan. It’s the follow up to the, err, superbe La Superbe, the ambitious, versatile and amazing double album from 2010. This time, it sounds like Benjamin got stuck in writer’s block. Vengeance lacks good ideas, memorable melodies. Ben reaches back to the 80s, referring to The Cure and other new wave act with their bleak drums and reverb-drenched guitars. The song with Carl Barat, in which Ben tries to sing in English, is frankly godawful. Julia en ‘Nessa can’t don’t make any juices running with their guest-vocals. The Spanish track makes me cringe as well. I’ve read favourable reviews, but to me Vengeance falls flat on it’s face. When you’ve set the bar as high as Ben has in the past, with masterpieces like La Superbe, HOME and Négatif, gold is expected from you. Not gold dust.
Benjamin Biolay & Vanessa Paradis – Profite
No, it’s not a joke. Swedish goth metalband Therion just released an album with covers of French 60s and 70s popsongs. Featuring a few Gainsbourg-tracks: Poupée de cire, Initials BB and Les Sucettes. Among tracks made famouse by Sylvie Vartan, Marie Laforet and others (see tracklist here). Therion’s not the first loud band to cover Gainsbourg (see FN Guns’ Les Sucettes, Rummelsnuff’s Bonnie & Clyde, for instance), but Therion’s versions are hilarious. Unintentionally, I guess, but still. Their ‘Initials BB’ is okay, but try ‘n keep a straight face while listening to this. Then imagine a corpsepainted, leather-clad crowd banging their heads to it. Even their fans aren’t sure what to think of it.
As a teen I listened to a lot of hardrock and metal (Judas Priest, Motörhead, Metallica, etc), but when I hear Therion, I think of the bestest metalparody ever.
Therion – Initials BB