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Video: Benjamin Biolay, “Padam”

July 19, 2010



Benjamin Biolay sings in French because he is from France. "It's first and foremost about the music. Hundreds of millions bought Beatles records without understanding a word of the lyrics," he says. He's right. His lack of English lyrics, however, has also kept him from finding a strong audience in the United States. But he's not the Beatles. No one is, of course, but Biolay makes gentleman's music in the same tradition as Serge Gainsbourg, not widely alluring pop. This is not to stay that Biolay is not easy to adore—his album La Superbe is lush and heavy, widely orchestrated and casually, expertly ringled by Biolay's dense, mossy voice. He is a musician born to be on a Wes Anderson soundtrack, born to smoke a pipe, wear tweed, break and repair hearts in an endless, intertwined cycle of love and hurt. "Padam" is a Biolay songs that falls into the "love" category, something past the honeymoon but before children, a sustained happiness the song warmly relays with a touch of the ecstasy of Studio. No word on if Biolay—who by all accounts seems to have a large French audience, having worked with Keren Ann, Francoise Hardy and Carla Bruni—will be coming to America. If he does, we look forward to not understanding.

Video: Benjamin Biolay, “Padam”