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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Boris Vian By Various - "À Boris Vian "On N'Est Pas Là Pour Se Faire Engueuler !”

Boris Vian By Various - À Boris Vian "On N'Est Pas Là Pour Se Faire Engueuler !”
2 x CD, Album, Enhanced, Reissue, France, 2009

Contemporary French pop singers paying their tribute to the Boris Vian songbook.  In theory this is a no-brainer, and a compilation that needed to be made.  But saying that, it should have been something more…. exciting.  Every cut here is well-recorded and extremely well-arranged, but it lacks a sense of danger that is truly Boris Vian.   One can wonder what this collection would have been like under the ears and eyes of someone like John Zorn.  Zorn is an artist who is a jazzier, but who goes beyond that category into another world.  He would have given these songs a fresh touch but faithful to the vision of Vian.  

The songs here are workable and perhaps it is a good introduction to the Vian songbook to those who don’t know his world.  But I think the hardcore Vian fan would want something more challenging or subversive.   But saying that, there are recordings here that work for me.  “Quand J’Aurais Du Vent Dans Mon Crane” is a great song - and actually the music is by Serge Gainsbourg.  He has the monster talent to make anything he touches into something special.   Vian had three serious songwriting partners that he worked with:  Alain Goraguer, Henri Salvador, and Jimmy Walter.  The hits are here, but also some new music attached to his poetry.  It is all very tasteful and respectful, but one misses Vian the Rebel.