Also rated: I Love Serge (Universal) Rating: N
Part of a massive overdue reissue of classic Serge Gainsbourg albums, 1959's No. 2 disc is an exotic classic. It's Gainsbourg's second collaboration with arranger Alain Goraguer but the first where the two mercurial talents seem to be on the same page. Gainsbourg, looking and sounding disturbingly fresh, drawls suggestively about jukeboxes, blue jeans and young women in the rain while Goraguer and his orchestra whip up a thrilling sample-ready soundscape of stuttering mambos, Arabic melodies and squealing horns. Like it says on the cover, suitable for dancing.
Unfortunately, in addition to re-releasing Gainsbourg's classic Philips recordings, Universal also felt compelled to be hip and turn his tracks over for new-school remixes. Considering that Gainsbourg made some of the funkiest French music ever, that shouldn't be a problem, but I Love Serge is unlistenable. Exactly how Howie B, Faze Action, Matthew Herbert, the Orb and Dzihan & Kamien came up with their dead-boring versions of Melody Nelson and Je T'Aime is unexplained, but the absence of Gainsbourg freaks like Air and Kid Loco speaks for itself.