Gaëtan Roussel: Ginger


Rather than the "soft drink, full of songs that sparkle and twirl like bubbles in a flute of Champagne served on a spring Sunday" that Les Inrockuptibles describes, Gaëtan Roussel's debut solo record 'Ginger' is a derivative snoozefest of the most boring mid-90s alt-rock. It lacks the melodic hooks of the inventive chanson folk of Louise Attaque and the edgy grit of Roussel's beloved Violent Femmes.

After spending time writing songs for other artists (including Vanessa Paradis and Alain Bashung), Roussel decided to step away from the quirky charm of Louise Attaque and the Femmes, instead looking to Beck and Damon Albarn for guidance.

The result isn't even a pastiche. The album's crunchy guitar, drums and bass fail to create anything new, and sadly only mimic the most boring tropes of late-90s radio-friendly alt-rock. There's nothing of interest for the ear to hang on; the songs all blend together, the arrangements are bland and the vocal delivery owes more to Plastic Bertrand than Blur.

Recorded and produced in both France and New York by a Who's Who of Hip, 'Ginger' should be much better than it is, but instead only reinforces the unfortunate cliche that French music is always out of fashion.
Cat Conway