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coverpic flag France - Full Moon 163 - 12/31/09

Benjamin Biolay
La Superbe
Naive / Playground

Benjamin Biolay's double disc album La Superbe comes a pleasant surprise towards the end of the year (well, it was released a couple of months ago). He's a chanteur, or crooner, and he performs music I usually don't connect to. I'm almost arresting myself humming and nodding along with the music.

La Superbe (his 5th album) is a somewhat strange brew, but mostly quite easy to digest. Biolay performs a sort of a cabaret stage electro-pop, which sometimes is linkable towards Lou Reed, other times in a quite opposite direction. Since I'm a complete ignorant when it comes to French, I'm totally on the outside when it comes to what his songs are about. By judging the melodies, he's a romantic, but not a hopeless one, I think. This is maybe far fetched, and a wild, wild guess, but I sense that he's got the right doses of humour in here. The music is quite cheerful, and danceable, mind you. Not all the way, of course, and I do have some problems with the more jazzy (or rocky) parts. I prefer when he go straight to the pop core. And, there are some slick parts just way over the top (way over my head). But, as a total, an interesting album, which is a bit lengthy. It's a double album, 2 x 11 songs! Yes, we're talking serious ambitions here. But, Biolay is extravagant with the right touch of elegance. He's aiming high, but with both feet on the ground. An ambitious man, and he seems sympathetic, too.

La Superbe is a massive, many-layered, multi-coloured listen. I might have to come back to it. To be continued. Maybe.

From the gossip-fact dept: Biolay's the ex-husband of Chiara Mastroianni - daughter of Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni.

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