Fragile girls, Gainsbourgian guys. Ooh la la.
I translate for non-Dutch readers: One name from the French language Top 50 that [cultural centre] Maison Descartes in Amsterdam recently presented may also be found in Gentils Garçons, the brand new anthology of singing Frenchmen compiled by Guus Hoogaerts, alias Guuzbourg.It’s the name of Dutch singer Wende Snijders. Her song Je suis comme je suis stands at 46 in the Descartes list, and for Gentils Garçons she supplied the revealing introductory text: ‘Nice boys can turn angry women into very happy little girls.’Fifteen jeune premiers of the French song make good this claim. The selection is pop rather than chanson, and ranges from Benjamin Biolay to Dominique A, from Brussels man Samir Barris to the UK’s Tindersticks. United they prove that masculinity without raised voices is perfectly seductive. It’s a more than worthy successor to the two Filles Fragiles collections by Guuzbourg, who is still on the lookout for a male equivalent of the ‘girls to sigh for’ concept. Taken together, the three CDs constitute a comfortable introductory course in contemporary French music.Congratulations, Guuz.