MusicNovember 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Review: Lulu Gainsbourg – “From Gainsbourg to Lulu”

Lulu Gainsbourg’s debut album “From Gainsbourg to Lulu” is startlingly bad. The son of Serge Gainsbourg, Lulu assembles an all–star tribute band which does mediocre covers of his father’s greatest hits. A celebrity roster of actors and musicians including Scarlet Johansson, Johnny Depp, Sly Stone and Iggy Pop appear on the album. Gainsbourg’s collaboration with Cameroonian bass player Richard Bona on “La Javanaise” is a lot of fun. The other joint efforts range from unexceptional to horrendous and serve to remind the listener that Gainsburg probably could never have made an album if he did not have famous friends and family. Shane McGovern of The Pogues contributes the worst track on the album, a cover of “Sous le Sol Exactement.” McGovern’s growling rendition is incongruously paired with a saccharine string orchestra. The re–imagined piano accompaniments and orchestrations are bland, lacking the originals’ spark and wit. Lulu Gainsbourg sets Rufus Wainwright’s cover of “Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais” to bland piano arpeggios and pizzicato strings. The combination of smooth vocals and a clichéd accompaniment is overly sweet. The instrumental tracks more adept. Guitarist Angelo Debarre’s manouche jazz version of “Le Poinçonner Des Lilas” is an intricate virtuosic delight.

1/5 Stars

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