music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
Reviewed for Under The Radar Magazine:
Lulu Gainsbourg From Gainsbourg To Lulu (MBM)
Serge Gainsbourg’s son Lulu’s debut album, From Gainsbourg To Lulu, takes the easy way out by handpicking selections from Gainsbourg the Great’s catalog. Appearances by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Johnny Depp, Rufus Wainwright, and Marianne Faithfull guarantee attention will be paid to Lulu. A formally trained musician, Gainsbourg the Younger pushes Lulu in a noodly jazz direction. Stabbing pianos, sleepy horns, and a suggestive upright bass propel “Black Trombone,” instantly transporting the listener to a smoky Parisian nightclub. Gainsbourg has Wainwright warbling very naturally in French on the weepy “Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais.” Even more impressive is Shane McGowan’s growling French vocalization of the jiggy “Sous Le Soleil Exactement.” Lulu’s highlights are his and Johansson’s whispery version of “Bonnie and Clyde” that simply tickles with its sensual playfulness and Iggy Pop’s grinding rendition of “Initials BB.” How wrong can you go with updated Serge Gainsbourg covers really?