Benjamin Biolay Trash Yéyé

Although North American audiences are likely better versed in his work producing and writing albums for younger sister Coralie Clément, Keren Ann, Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin, Benjamin Biolay’s most illustrious efforts are found in his solo material. The title Trash Yéyé is essentially a middle finger to lazy critics who have hailed Biolay as the new "Serge Gainsbourg.” Unlike the luminous work of his collaborators or comparisons, Biolay’s songs are grainy, nocturnal observations on love and takes on modern society done up in a heavily orchestrated cinematic style that, although standing alone, would eminently satisfy Portishead and Tindersticks followers. Trash Yéyé continues with the familiar sparse drums and acoustic intros, as on "Douloureux Dedans,” closing with the same symphonic crescendos found on previous albums, and those familiar with his older work may struggle to find a natural progression. Saying that, there are songs of unparalleled elegance in his intricate, piano-only view of a girlfriend’s bedroom on "La Chambre D’Amis” and an almost disco-ish number with dance floor potential on "Rendenz-Vous Qui Sait.” With no apparent desire to sing in English, the hardest working musician in France has unfortunately limited his career on these shores, but those who do search Biolay out are rewardingly opening their horizons to a whole different scope of French music. (Fusion III)