Richard Desjardins - Les Derniers Humains (1988) [V0]
Awesome: highly expressive while simple and mellow, Aug 11 2004
By dragoncatbooks (San Francisco, CA)
This is one of my most favorite albums. I love this album, because it is mellow and at the same time highly expressive. My oral understanding of French is only so-so, so unfortunately I don't understand most of the lyrics. Despite my lack of understanding the French Songs, it is clear to me that the words tell stories, and the music supports the story-telling. At times the piano/guitar accompanies the singing voice musically, at other times it helps tell the story while the voice moves between singing and expressive talking. This interplay of voice, (by me imagined) content of the words, and the music intrigues me and keeps my mental attention captured while I'm enjoying and kicking back in the mellow mood of the music.
The music is weaving its stories along: Some songs keep going, keeping the story they tell going, and so move from one musical mood to another, and I love how the music does that, just strolling through the narrative territory. There are moments where the accompanying instrument almost stops, and the voice goes into more of a talking than singing mode, and the instrument will, very sparcely, and in just the perfect moment, make a little noise or play a couple notes.
Compared to the later album abbitibbi, this album "les derniers humains" is more simplistic, just the voice and the guitar, or the voice and the piano, and not much processing or effecting, and its overall atmosphere is rather quiet, which might be why it is so effective in its expressivity, because there is space for the expression to be heard - well-crafted artistry.
This quiet simplicity coupled with its expressivity and "mellowness" is what has got me listening to this album on and off and on again for the last ten years. I keep loving it every time I hear it again.
3. Dans Ses Yeux
4. On M'A Oubli?
5. Ballad of the Milwheel
8. Fl?ches Rouges
9. Coeur Est un Oiseau
10. King Is Dead