Richard Desjardins

Tu M'Aimes-Tu

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Tu M'Aimes-Tu (Do You Love Me), Richard Desjardins' second CD, made him break out of the underground to become, in a matter of months, the French-speaking equivalent of Leonard Cohen. While Les Derniers Humains saw him focus solely on the piano for accompaniment, here he plays acoustic guitar instead on three songs, always in order to bring a more humorous touch or a country-folk feeling. In "Le Bon Gars" (The Good Guy) he promises to become worthy of social acceptance by turning as flavorless and predictable as possible. This funny side of Desjardins strongly contrasts with the rest of the album (and his previous), all comprised of delicate love songs and touching, socially-involved stories. The album's highlights include the title track which, thanks to a music video picked up by Musique Plus (Quebec's MTV) gave the singer much exposure; "L'Homme-Canon," the heartbreaking story of a poor man clinging to the beauty of his city for a reason to live; "...Et J'ai Couché Dans Mon Char" (...And I Slept in My Car), a man coming back to his hometown after a self-inflicted exile to find out that his friends are long gone and his old wounds still hurting. But the pinnacle is "Nataq," the soliloquy of a Native American woman declaring her love to her husband while trying to break free from conventions. This gripping tale is sung passionately and set to a moving piano part, building on the previous album's "Akinisi" to reach new heights. It represents Desjardins' best writing ever. The album ends with "Quand J'aime une Fois J'aime pour Toujours" (When I Love Once It's Forever), a Western ballad that went on to become his most widely known song, covered by many artists including French pop star Francis Cabrel.

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