Serge Gainsbourg, Love And The Beat Vol. 1: Love Gainsbourg’s Way

Andy Beta

By Andy Beta

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
France’s greatest pop changeling embraces new wave gloss.

From bongo-clopping beatnik to Gauloise-scented Clyde Barrow, Serge Gainsbourg was more of a head-scratching changeling than either David Bowie or Madonna could hope to be. Shock became Gainsbourg's stock-in-trade through his later years, and since this was a man known to celebrate both his cock and his flatulent bouquet in song, perhaps his ode to misogyny on "Love on the Beat" shouldn't come as such a jolt. Most infamous, though, is the tawdry duet he performed with his tweenie daughter: "Lemon Incest" created a whirlwind of controversy, no doubt aided by the photo of half-undressed papa and daughter in bed together. For those interested in the man's instrumental, not familial, bed, Beat has all the powdery-slickness one might expect from a record made in New Jersey in the early '80s, with new wave synth gloss and beats more canned than sardines. But on every level, Gainsbourg entrances and repulses with that patented je ne sais quoi.