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Album Review

Bénabar rose to critical acclaim with his third album, Les Risques du Métier (2003), and chart-topping success with his fourth, Reprise des Négociations (2005), and he saw the highlights of his back catalog compiled a couple years later on Best of Bénabar (2007). Released on the heels of that greatest-hits collection, Infréquentable adds several more highlights to the already illustrious career of one of France's brightest stars. It begins and ends on high points with "L'Effet Papillon" and "Infréquentable," and there are plenty more standout songs sequenced between, among them "Pas du Tout" and "À la Campagne." As always, Bénabar is an amusing songwriter with a gift for storytelling who finds both humor and fascination with the everyday occurrences of contemporary life. For instance, "Les Numéros" is a song about all the numbers people must deal with on a daily basis in today's information age — from telephone numbers to debit card numbers — and even a subject as mundane as this is somehow fun when channeled into the context of a three-minute song by Bénabar. Practically all of the songs on Infréquentable are as upbeat and playful as before, with the tempo slowing down only a couple times for "Malgré Tout" and "Les Reflets Verts." Given the success of Bénabar's past couple albums, there are no doubt a lot of high expectations for Infréquentable, which in many ways is a continuation of Reprise des Négociations, especially in the sense that each song is unique — some funny, others sentimental or serious, some much better than others. Those hoping for a new batch of songs from Bénabar in a similarly mixed style to past efforts will find plenty to enjoy on Infréquentable, an album with no shortage of standouts. On the other hand, anyone expecting Bénabar to break new ground or experiment with his well-established style, whether in terms of lyrics or music, might end up disappointed by this effort, which is sure to secure his place near the top of the French charts for yet another year's time., Rovi


Born: June 16, 1969 in Essonne, Paris, France

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Bénabar emerged at the vanguard of France's "chanson réaliste" movement, crafting uncommonly literary portraits of contemporary life informed by folk, jazz, and film. Born Bruno Nicolini on June 16, 1969, in the Paris suburb of Essonne, he began studying trumpet at age eight, and after completing school spent six months in the U.S. There his longtime fascination with filmmaking grew, and upon returning home he trained as a photographer and film technician, at age 20 writing and...
Full Bio
Infréquentable, Bénabar
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