Histoire de Melody Nelson Image
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Summary: The US release of Serge Gainsbourg's 1971 album featuring Jane Birkin in the classic Ballade de Melody Nelson.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Frequently labeled as a lecherous rogue or public provocateur, Gainsbourg is also one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and this masterpiece is the proof.
  2. The album’s remarkable 28 minutes still push boundaries, not just buttons.
  3. 100
    This reissue on luxuriously hefty vinyl is the first time the album's been released in the U.S.--a superb opportunity to hear a record that's been occasionally imitated but never matched.
  4. Andy Votel’s encyclopedic liner notes and a Gainsbourg interview make this version the definitive reissue for the as-yet unsullied.
  5. Under The Radar
    90
    As a concept album, listeners will need to forgo Gainsbourg's typical mixed bag of song structures within an album in favor of more similar songs threaded with recurring musical motifs. [Spring 2009, p.80]
  6. 80
    Lush and languorous, velvet-robe decadent and soft-focus steamy, Histoire is a make-out record and a gross-out record.
  7. Gainsbourg's whispered nothings are mystery no more, translated here alongside the French lyrics. While there are no bonus tracks, the accompanying booklet features extensive essays from music writer Andy Beta and electronic musician Andy Votel.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. JimmyJim
    May 3, 2009
    10
    Few albums are as flawless as this one. When you listen to Cargo Culte, you just can't believe it was recorded in 1971! Many recent Few albums are as flawless as this one. When you listen to Cargo Culte, you just can't believe it was recorded in 1971! Many recent releases sound so dated compared to it. More important, the lyrics are true poetry. Expand
  2. JamesM
    Apr 28, 2009
    10
    This is a monster.
  3. Mar 11, 2019
    10
    Serge Gainsbourg, getting borrowed elements of Bowie and Velvet Underground predicted punk from France But although irreverence, Histoire deSerge Gainsbourg, getting borrowed elements of Bowie and Velvet Underground predicted punk from France But although irreverence, Histoire de Melody Nelson can be orchestral and exquisite. Expand
  4. AGuy
    May 5, 2009
    10
    Great string arrangements, amazing musicianship, and a unique concept. Gainsbourg entrances even those foreign to the language and creates Great string arrangements, amazing musicianship, and a unique concept. Gainsbourg entrances even those foreign to the language and creates France's masterpiece of the 20th century through kinky themes and a stalker's dispair. The length of the album is bittersweet - but just makes the whole album worth listening to several times. A cult classic in its own right. Expand
  5. DanD
    May 26, 2009
    10
    A perfect mix of music, texture and mood. The music perfectly reflects the mood and the evocative meaning of the text, also perfect. Very A perfect mix of music, texture and mood. The music perfectly reflects the mood and the evocative meaning of the text, also perfect. Very much appreciated if you can understand the french subtelties, nothing's lost in the translation. Expand
  6. Dec 7, 2015
    10
    this album is a masterpiece, especially the song CARGO CULTE in which the guitar is like a divagation arround the bass line, and the end withthis album is a masterpiece, especially the song CARGO CULTE in which the guitar is like a divagation arround the bass line, and the end with the backing vocals is awesome Expand
  7. AUser
    Apr 28, 2009
    9
    A truly innovative album even by today's standards.

See all 9 User Reviews