Benjamin Biolay – La Superbe


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More than 10 years after its release, the cult album ‘La Superbe’ by Benjamin Biolay is finally reissued on vinyl.  While many contemporary French artists have unabashedly attempted to present themselves as the natural heir to Serge Gainsbourg, Biolay is arguably the strongest contender to the throne.  He is a consummate master of the sultry boy/girl dialogue against an ostinato motif of swirling strings that Gainsbourg patented in the 1960s and that since the 1990s has seemingly become the Holy Grail of a hefty chuck of the alternative scene (Pulp, Divine Comedy, Tindersticks, Blur, Portishead, Placebo, Suede). Nowhere is this more evident during ‘La Superbe’ than in ‘Brandt Rhapsodie’, where Biolay and Jeanne Cherhal act out an entire French film of the ‘couple conversation’ genre inside of a five-minute pop song.  Biolay is clearly at the top of his game as a composer and arranger and indeed ‘La Superbe’ sounds like the ultimate decalogue of French sensuality.