Life and blog

Music review: Grand Prix (Benjamin Biolay)

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Benjamin Biolay released his first album, Rose Kennedy, in 2001. He soon became one of the most known figure of the nouvelle chanson française, a musical genre that is inspired from singers such as Brel, Brassens or Edith Piaf but with a more soft pop music style.

Benjamin Biolay has since written 11 further albums, the latest being Grand Prix that was released this year. He worked with famous singers like Vanessa Paradis or Keren Ann. He also worked as an actor. His ex wife Chiara Mastroianni, is an actress and the daughter of the very famous Catherine Deneuve.

Although he was rapidly seen as one of the most gifted singers of his generation, he has often been mocked too. His low key vocal style, which is very characteristic of his work, is loved by some and scorned by others. He was also often seen, somewhat unfairly, as moody and arrogant.

Actually, I first had little interest for his work and I did not like his public image that much either. In the early 2000s, I was more a fan of Vincent Delerm. However, when I first heard the songs of Grand Prix, I really loved them and had to change my opinion on Biolay. Since then, I have been listening to his older songs too.

Grand Prix is a nostalgic, autobiographical album. It is both sensitive and intelligent. There are very beautiful texts and in comparison to older albums, the melodies are much more pronounced, with a new rock sound. I particularly like the song Comment est ta peine? You can watch the official clip for the song here

4 Comments

    • momslovelearning

      I do, it is actually my native language. I do not always understand songs in English though, it really depends on the singer. Some articulate better than others.
      The song is about a break up. The singer reflects on his feelings after the break up and wonders whether his ex does feel the same.

      • ceridwensilverhart

        Cool! Listening to songs in languages I don’t speak always makes me yearn to learn them. I know I’m missing a lot by not knowing the words.

        By the way, I think there are English-language songs and artists even most native English speakers can’t understand without reading the lyrics. 😁

        • momslovelearning

          There are some music styles that are particularly hard to understand, like rap for instance. I do not understand half of the lyrics in French and I do not understand anything in English. However, I noticed that German rap is comparatively strangely understandable. It is not really my kind of music though.

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