Gainsbourg came correct when he decided that he wanted to cut a "reggae" album. It was pretty popular at that time for European and American pop musicians like the Rolling Stones and things to feature reggae musicians on their albums, but the sad truth is most of it either sounded like crap or didn't sound like reggae at all. Serge on the other hand went in full cabbage head: recorded the album at Dynamic with Geoffrey Chung behind the boards, Sly+Robbie's Revolutionaries as the band and the beautiful I Threes as his backing singers. This mixup of French renegade poet and hardcore reggae musicians works way better than you would imagine, mainly because Serge stays right where he should be. The instrumentation really rides in the front seat with room to breath and the I Threes bring the whole growling French thing together. "Javanaise Remake" is probably my favorite cut here (over the Java riddim), but the entire record stays right there in a great easy vibe. On the best songs, like "Lola Rastaquouere," Gainsbourg matches popping rhythms nicely and the band gets plenty of room to stretch out over pleasing mild dub. It ain't tough reggae, but it makes you feel all right. No idea on the French lyrics, but I'm sure he's talking some ish. Nicely repressed on quality 180 gram vinyl.
- music label: 4 Men With Beards 2009
reviewed by the mgmnt 03/2009