Benjamin Biolay – A L'Origine
CD Album, France, 2005
He doesn't have the scope of Serge Gainsbourg (who does?) but Benjamin Biolay's music has been seductive, beautiful, tuneful, and grown-up sounding. Odd enough I don't speak or read French, which is weird because I have spent my adult life publishing French literature translated into English, but Biolay's music conveys the 1:00 AM essence of soul searching.
What I like about French pop music in general is their tradition of well-arranged recordings. Biolay is the real deal because his orchestrations are classy that serves the melody. His whispering vocals float over the music backing and he's not afraid of the brash guitar, which I think he plays. The slickness of the production doesn't cheapen the music, but it does convey an ideal environment.