Jane Birkin

Lolita Go Home

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Though she looks incredibly sexy on the cover, listeners forced to examine the material between the sleeves here won't find Jane Birkin quite so attractive. Lolita Go Home balances a few lightweight French pop songs -- most written and produced by Serge Gainsbourg -- with the American pop standards "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "Love for Sale," "Where or When," and "There's a Small Hotel." Perhaps the language barrier prevents critical thought, since the French songs are done comparatively well. When Birkin takes on songs not written especially for her narrow range, however, the entire album unravels in a mess of amateurish singing. Over a slinky porn-film production, Birkin's breathy, off-key delivery on "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and "Love for Sale" positively slaughters a pair of the best pop songs ever written in English. True, Birkin's voice improved later on in her career (she later treated "Love for Sale" with much more professionality), but the only redeemable aspect of this mid-'70s excursion is -- you guessed it -- the artwork.

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