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Les derniers humains (Re-Recorded Version)

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Album Review

Les Derniers Humains (The Last Humans) is the first solo album Richard Desjardins recorded. It was first self-released on LP in 1988. Copies of this limited edition have now become collector's items. Following the success of his second album, Tu M'Aimes-Tu, offers were made to reissue it on CD, but sound quality being far from hi-fi, Desjardins decided to completely re-record it in 1992. A few songs changed place in the track list, "Le Coeur Est un Oiseau," written for the film Le Party, was added and "La Musulmane" dropped. The two versions show slight differences in lyrics and arrangements, but overall the 1992 recording is much stronger. Unlike his subsequent albums, Les Derniers Humains is totally exempt of humor and guitar. The ten songs are all performed with piano and voice only. Lyrics touch subjects like freedom (the beautifully optimistic "Le Coeur Est un Oiseau" — The Heart Is a Bird), love ("Dans Ses Yeux"), and the tragic destiny of the abused and exploited, be them Native Americans ("Les Yankees"), Inuits ("Akinisi"), or illegal aliens ("Miami"). These three songs rank among Desjardins' best: tense, complex, with a gripping plot. Blue-collar workers are given a tribute in "The Ballad of the Millwheel," over lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. Most of the material on this album had been part of Desjardins' repertoire for years and years. They still represent some of his best poetry. Anyone upset by his country side, cynical humor, and guitar picking should definitely start here. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 1948 in Abitibi, Quebec, Canada

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s

A singer/songwriter in the tradition of Jacques Brel and Leonard Cohen, Richard Desjardins spent two-thirds of his career as an unknown and ignored musician, first with his group Abbittibbi and later as a solo artist. In 1990, his second album, Tu M'Aimes-Tu, propelled him to the forefront of intelligent French chanson. His activism for Quebec's independence and in defense of the poor and abused gave him the aura of a controversial figure. Desjardins was born 1948 in Rouyn-Noranda, a mining town...
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Les derniers humains (Re-Recorded Version), Richard Desjardins
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