Monday, May 10, 2010
Jean-Claude Vannier/Georges Brassens
Follow-up album to L'enfant assassin des mouches, from famed producer/arranger of Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson. The mustache staring back at you belongs to Georges Brassens, pipe-smoking anarchist French pop troubadour. Who? I hadn't really heard of him either. Basically Vannier does to Brassens what Scott Walker does to Jacques Brel -- the album consists entirely of over-the-top instrumental raids on the Brassens songbook. The end result is trippy to say the least. French cafe music (accordians, etc.) isn't the likeliest raw material for an acid-stained psychedelic concept album, but it works in a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman bar mitzvah remix kind of way. Lots of weird treated percussion and woodwind along with the occasional drama stab, froggy-proggy groove and, er, tuba flourish, all wrapped up in Vannier's lavish string arrangements. Scary clown music or forgotten psychedelic masterpiece? What really matters, I think, are the shoes.