Of all the singer-songwriters who hit the scene right after Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker came along and made the world safe for sad dudes who played acoustic guitars and loved Gram Parsons, Pete Yorn was by far my least favorite. He’s always struck me as soulless and completely boring—exactly the kind of dopey idiot the major labels would seek out in hopes of recreating the success of another like-minded artist. And now, as if I didn’t already hate him enough, he’s releasing a record, inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s duets with Brigitte Bardot, with none other than Scar-Jo.
Break Up is due out on September 9, but it was recorded way back in 2006, two years before Johansson released her better-than-expected album of Tom Waits covers, Anywhere I Lay My Head. The first single is streaming here, and despite Yorn’s continued soullessness, and the fact that it bears basically no resemblance to any Gainsbourg/Bardot collabs, it’s not half bad.