November 18, 1976
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|| An outstanding visual concept album
By Jack Anderson on January 19, 2019
I purposely end my reviews of all the studio albums from Serge Gainsbourg with "L'homme à tête de chou", one of his best albums and by far. After the outstanding "Histoire de Melody Nelson", Gainsbourg explored other styles and other themes, but this is his first real concept album since. And it is beautiful. This album is so powerful, that it makes everything else feels outdate. Comparing a great concept album with the usual 13-unrelated-songs-album is like comparing a bright novel and a short stories book. Nothing beats Ulysses.
The story is extremely fun and cinematic. Each time I listen to the album, I can literally see the pictures in my mind. I imagine Serge Gainsbourg opening the door of a hairdresser and getting his hair washed by the hands of Marilou. But the story starts very badly, the narrator loses all his money to entertain Marilou. Clubs, restaurants. Only to discover not long after that she is actually cheating on him with multiple men at the same time ("Flash Forward").
And suddenly, the more Marilou insults him, the more he starts to feel strange. His head is slowly transforming into a man with a cabbage head.
But one night, he cannot take it anymore :
Pour éteindre le feu au cul de Marilou
Un soir n'en pouvant plus de jalousie
J'ai couru au couloir de l'hôtel décrocher l'extincteur d'incendie
Brandissant le cylindre d'acier je frappe, paf
Et Marilou se met à gindre
De son crâne fendu s'échappe un sang vermeille
Identique au rouge sanglant de l'appareil
Elle a sur le lino un dernier soubresaut
Une ultime secousse
J'appuie sur la manette
Le corps de Marilou disparait sous la mousse"
Wow. That's lyrics.
I give it 9 out of 10. Outstanding.