Originally Written and Posted at Epinions.com on 7/22/04 w/ Additional Edits.
If France had one musician to call his or her own, it’s Serge Gainsbourg. Gainsbourg’s sexually charged music was tongue-in-cheek as well as controversial. With its subjects of sex, violence, and everything above, Gainsbourg was fearless in his songwriting and subject matter while presenting himself in controversial fashion to the public eye. Even recording a song in the 80s with daughter and acclaimed actress Charlotte called Lemon Incest when she was only 12, years before her acclaim in films like My Wife is an Actress and 21 Grams. While he wasn’t well known in the U.S., to Americans, he was most famous for an appearance on French television when he told a young Whitney Houston in English, “I want to fuck her”. Since his death in 1991, Gainsbourg has left a legacy of great music that is mostly used for sex. In 1996, Mercury Records released a compilation of Gainsbourg’s best work from 1966-1969 entitled Comic Strip.
Comic Strip is a twenty-track compilation of some of the dirtiest music ever recorded in pop music. While its sung entirely in French, the song’s sexually vibrant energy, seductive tempos, and Gainsbourg’s oozing, baritone vocals aren’t lost in translation. It doesn’t really matter what Gainsbourg is saying but what he’s suggesting is far more interesting. With duets with lovers and actresses Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin (mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg), the songs are just here to serve for your undying pleasure. Forget Nelly’s Hot In Herre, Gainsbourg just simply wants to you get on with the fucking. Everyone, take off your clothes for Serge Gainsbourg’s Comic Strip.
The first song Requiem Pour Un Con (Requiem For A Jerk) is an oozing song with Serge Gainsbourg’s thick French vocals as he sings the song in French. What drives the song into sexual overdrive is its smooth, menacing drum fills and thumping bass tracks that has a groove that is tempting. Whatever Gainsbourg is talking about in this song, he probably is singing about a jerk but a charming one, especially in something with a groove this sexy. Next is Bonnie & Clyde with actress Brigitte Bardot is a sweeping, acoustic romp with dangerous lyrics about Bonnie & Clyde. With a whooping voice background, Gainsbourg just gets into his dirty, demeaning tone as he is followed by Brigitte Bardot’s sexy vocals. The song’s fast, acoustic tone is filled with a lot of sexiness, no wonder Kate Beckinsale was stripping to that song for Frances McDormand and Alessandro Nivola in Lisa Cholodenko’s 2002 film Laurel Canyon.
Initials B.B. is a sweeping track filled with barreling rhythms, lush arrangements, and a fast, swooning tempo with a bluesy piano in the background as Gainsbourg sings about Madame Bardot. The song’s mix of blues and classical arrangements is filled with ambiguity and danger in Gainsbourg’s lyrics as he just goes into a seductive trance. Comic Strip is a kitschy, tongue-in-cheek pop song that is filled with a cabaret-like rhythm and piano filled with Gainsbourg’s dirty, sexual lyrics as each verse is followed by Brigitte Bardot singing, “Sha-bam, pow, blop, whiz” with its swanky guitars and playful format. It’s easily one of the album’s greatest standouts thanks to Gainsbourg’s dirty old man routine and Bardot’s sexual vamp. Chatteron is a strange song about a praise suicide that is given a swooning, upbeat feel with its wailing organs and power-hitting rhythms. Gainsbourg leads the charge with his snarling baritone vocals and his dirty lyrics that really sound like a strange black comedy yet its groove is catchy and groovy with its horns and rhythms.
Bloody Jack is a mid-tempo song where the song seems to be filled with violence but Gainsbourg’s ability to mix dark, strange lyrics with an upbeat accessible sound is remarkable. Sung with a female vocalist, the song sounds pretty dirty, especially with its pulsating rhythms and organ tracks. Docteur Jekyll Et Monsieur Hyde is a more sweeping, upbeat track with a bopping, fast rhythm and catchy lyrics about the story of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The song is obviously about the two as it really serves as an example of Gainsbourg’s warped mind while female vocalists accompany him in this catchy pop ditty. Torrey Canyon is another strange song that is about oil spills where in French, Gainsbourg sings about its threat in his beloved canyon in this upbeat, pop-laden song with an accompanying female vocalist. The song is again another ambiguous pop song with horn arrangements, organs, and pulsating rhythms as he proves to be a champion of 60s pop music.
Shu Ba Du Ba Loo Ba is a fast, upbeat pop song with fast, bopping rhythms and swanky guitars with the female vocalists singing “Shu ba du ba loo ba” chorus in its catchy, irreverent song. Again with a sexual intensity, the song is catchy while having its dirty tone in Gainsbourg’s vocals. Ford Mustang is a 12-bars blues piano/acoustic driven song that is a change of pace to the catchy pop ditties of previous tracks. The song is mid-tempo but has a dark feel through Gainsbourg’s vocals and lyrics while being accompanied by a female vocalist and a lush but wailing string arrangement. The song must be something about Ford Mustangs and something bad about it but I don’t know, still it’s catchy. Black And White is a more upbeat but swinging song with a wailing guitar solo opening and a smooth, pulsating rhythm with its sexual groove and Gainsbourg’s dirty old man swagger. The lyrics are probably dirty but I assume he liked all kinds of ladies in this one.
Qui Est In Qui Est Out (Who’s In Who’s Out) is a catchy, bopping song with a group of female vocalists with Gainsbourg singing in his dirty demeanor and the question of who is willing and who isn’t? Is he suggesting an invite to an orgy? Hold Up is a more mid-tempo driven song with a nice, swanky groove with Gainsbourg leading the charge. Again with a 12-bars blues piano and a washy guitar accompanied by hard-hitting fills, the song is oozed with sexual power and it’s very catchy for its tone that is dirty but tongue-in-cheek. Marilu is more upbeat with its bopping organ melodies and barreling beats and Gainsbourg’s dirty lyrics and his amazingly thick but sexy vocals. Again playing the dirty old man, he just brings in a swagger that is very enchanting, especially as he’s accompanied by female vocalists. Un Poison Violent, C’est Ca L’amour (A Violent Poison, That’s What Love Is) is a duet with Jean-Claude Brialy in a song that was used for the movie “Anna”. With its swanky, bopping rhythm, the track features a lot of dirty, angry talk from Brialy with Gainsbourg playing the funnyman to Brialy’s straight man.
Sous Le Soleil Exactement (Precisely Under The Sun) is a smooth, seductive track with a lovely bass track and slow but seductive rhythms filled with dreamy guitars and organs. Gainsbourg decides to just play nice and asks for a nice old fucking under the sun to his then-girlfriend Jane Birkin in this 1969 album he recorded with the British actress, who you might know for an infamous, naked appearance in Michaelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 masterpiece Blow Up. This song along with the next three tracks is from Gainsbourg’s duet album with Birkin back in 1969. Soixante Neuf Annee Erotique (69 Erotic Years) is a swooning, dreamy track with a nice bopping rhythm and melodic bass lines with Gainsbourg singing sexually driven lyrics filled with his seductive bravado. In the chorus, Birkin sings the song with her soft, angelic vocals supported by a lush string arrangement as the two sing about themselves. Les Sucettes (The Lollipops) is a vibrant, pulsating track with a swanky, washy guitar track that just oozes to Gainsbourg’s swaggering vocals. With its dirty groove, the song is filled with that break-beating rhythm that Gainsbourg loves as he sings those dirty lyrics.
L’annmour (The Nonlove) is a smooth, swankier, mid-tempo song with a nice backbeat and bopping rhythms with Gainsbourg again, being the dirty old man in this strange little love song. With a lush string arrangement in the background, Gainsbourg seduces in his demeaning way with his French, sexualized lyrics in this nice, dreamy song. The album’s final track is Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus (I Love You… Neither Do I) with Jane Birkin. Gainsbourg biggest U.S. charting single peaking at # 69, this song is very naughty. With its smooth, swooning organ background and swanky guitars, Gainsbourg and Birkin just sing in their sexual, seductive manner with the two getting turned on as Birkin keeps saying “I love you” in French with her orgasmic vocals. The song then reaches its climax as she sings in her angelic vocals and by the song’s coda, if you listen very carefully, they’re actually fucking in the recording booth.
Well for folks who are sexually oppressed, Comic Strip by Serge Gainsbourg will get them out of that repression. It’s one of his most definitive compilations from the French singing legend. Plus, it’s one of the greatest records to simply fuck to. Alternative Press thought so a few years back and with its pulsating rhythms, swooning grooves, and dirty French lyrics, how can any not deny this? Throw away those crap Nelly albums and pick up some Gainsbourg. He’s the man that will get clothes off and everyone to commence the fucking! It’s not wrong to buy this just because for anyone that is American. It’s wrong to be denied some good shit from other countries. If no one picks up Serge Gainsbourg's Comic Strip, they'll be pretty damn lonely not just for lacking in taste but also for lacking the urge to be sexually adventurous.
(C) thevoid99 2011