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