Benjamin Biolay – Négatif
2 x CD, 2003, France
The melodies come easy with Benjamin Biolay, it seems to fall out of his mouth when he sings. Effortlessly yet that can't be possible. Yet, no doubt one would want to hear this music, especially around 1 AM. He also seems to channel Serge Gainsbourg, not for the obvious reason, but with the skills of the arrangements, which like Serge recordings, is rich and lush.
The beautiful portrait of Biolay on the cover really conveys the music inside that cover. The seduction is ripe that it almost seems to be a cliché, but Biolay really delivers on every count or platform. Sound wise it is the French brother of Bryan Ferry's “Boys and Girls” album. While I think Ferry is obsessed with perfection, and it shows by its passion in details, Biolay is more natural in that type of music. Also there is a chamber-like aspect to some of his recordings.
My one complaint is that he has too many songs on the album. On the surface this is weird criticism, but the lushness of his music needs more space, and I feel that if the album had 10 songs instead of 14, it would have more room to breathe.