Even Google knows what’s up with Jacques Dutronc (actually Google is probably the most likely to know what’s up with anything but it’s still satisfying):
While there is no decade in which this man was not dripping in a demi-glace of understated French sex appeal, Jacques Dutronc’s music and ineffable style is most closely associated with the cultural revolution of the 60’s. He evokes that decade’s tantalizing, energetic-yet-laidback ambience of freedom, creativity, and (let’s not forget) sex, maybe most succinctly in “Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille.” It starts with a Cash-esque rolling blues riff that develops into something more psychedelic with the flute and he just kind of describes Paris — the grungy, sexy, romantic city that is Paris — waking up:
The theme continues in “J’aime les filles” with less subtlety. It’s an ode to his greatest muse and his greatest vice (at least that how I interpret it). The song is just him describing the kinds of women he loves; as it progresses you realize it’s kind of all the women. Why the violins and the delivery? Ah Jacques you angsty man.
Here ya boi Jacques takes on a bit of an edge in tone and in content. I guess his vice got to him. I think what I like here is his irreverent tone against his content. “Les cactus” is lyrically a complaint — it opens with: “the whole world is a cactus / it’s impossible to sit down,” but it also opens with rolling snares so punchy they give me “We Will Rock You” vibes every time. It’s an existential snarl for sure, (kind of cool that 60 years later it would still work with a drugged out Lil Peep emo-rap treatment) but the triumphant tone of his “Uy!” makes me think that as much as the cactus stings Jacques, he’s got his fight figured out. Aïe aïe aïe!
Finishing thoughts: I think it’s cool that he never used title capitalization. What a rebel.