L’Homme De L’Ombre (Man Of The People) is the debut release by the London based French musician and producer Marc Olivier; a well respected artist with an abundance of skill and the very epitome of Gallic flair. He has released an album of ten intimate and deliciously delivered songs all sung in French with each and every one oozing style, class and sophistication. Try to imagine and amalgamation of the musical and song writing talents of Serge Gainsbourg, Jacque Brel, Jean-Jacques Burnel and a touch of the eccentricity of Jarvis Cocker and you get a flavour of what Marc O is offering here but, in truth, it is an album you have to listen to and then make up your mind.
For sure, some will be put off by the fact that the album is sung in French but that simply adds to the charm and atmosphere of the work and you really just need to sit back and allow the music to wash over you in glorious waves of indie rock meets torch song meets Nouvelle Chanson simply to fully appreciate the uniqueness of a delightful project. Marc Olivier is obviously well connected as he has brought in a wealth of talent to help out with bassist Sami Yaffa (New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks) and drummer Christophe Deschamps (Jacques Dutronc, Jean-Michel Jarre). Then you can factor in Kath Gifford (Stereolab), Danny Ray (MC5, Bo Diddley), Will Crewdson (Adam & The Ants) and even bassist Dave Richmond who was a colleague of Serge Gainsbourg and even played on the iconic Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus by Gainsbourg with its memorable performance by Jane Birkin. If you do not know the song then I suggest you ask your dad but probably not your mom!
The album nearly didn’t happen as Olivier was diagnosed with cancer during recording of the work which then had to be put on hold as he underwent radical surgery and intensive treatment but, thanks to a great deal of inner strength and God, he has recovered and we now have the finished product to savour with all of its charms. Part inspirational and part melancholic, this is the story of a man battling the odds and winning so is a major cause for celebration for that let alone that it is a delicious and provoking album that is pleasing, entertaining, a touch psychedelic and simply 100% French flair. Have a listen and you just might be very surprised by what you hear.
L’Homme De L’Ombre
- L’Homme Du Monde (Man Of The World) (3:33)
- Le Fondu Des Bas-Fonds D’Écran (Fading Into The Shallow Screen) (3:08)
- Le Dyssimètre (Dissymmetry Man) (4:02)
- Le Test De La Femme À Barbe (Test Of The Bearded Woman 3:03)
- Les Démodes (The Old Fashioned) (6;37)
- Rendons Le Leurre (Give Them Back Their Lure) (4:48), Le Triangle Au Carré (The Triangle Squared) (3:37)
- Métalogue (Metalogue) (3.54)
- Le Casanovice (3:45)
- L’Homme De L’Ombre (Man Of The Shadows) (5:45)