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World Music CD Reviews Europe

SERGE GAINSBOURG

By Tom Pryor
Published September 9, 2005

Aux Armes et cetera
Sunnyside

In 1979, French singer Serge Gainsbourg packed himself off to Jamaica to make a druggy, boozy reggae album that featured a ganja-fuelled version of "Le Marsiellaise" But, underneath all the camp, Gainsbourg was in love with the sounds of the Caribbean and lined up some heavy-duty talent to help him out, including Sly and Robbie, Rita Marley and the I-Threes. This new version of the out-of-print classic includes a second, dub and DJ disc that boasts the talents of Big Youth and King Stitt, among others. The two discs work well together, the new material somehow capturing and magnifying the never-to-be-repeated mad genius of Gainsbourg's original masterpiece.