Pourvu is the title of Gauvain Sers's first album, released in late 2017 and commented on on On n'est pas couché. Christine Angot hated it because it seemed to be pure Renaud, and as for the track 'Mon fils est parti au Djhiad'... Yann Moix was kinder and said that after Gauvain Sers had shrugged off the obviously strong influence of Renaud then he'd find his own voice: after all, what do you expect at the age of 28? Laurent Ruquier argued that Renaud was influenced by Brassens, etc, everyone is influenced by someone, but anyway the public had found Sers very appealing.
And there we have it. Admittedly Sers looks more than a little like the younger Renaud in his casquette, sounds a little like him, is obviously influenced by him, uses (on this album) slang like Renaud uses, and even stood as first act before Renaud on tour, but.
It is clear to me that neither Christine Angot nor Yann Moix took this album seriously, didn't examine it properly. 'Mon fils est parti au Djhiad' is in fact one of Sers's stronger tracks, one of those which distinguish him from Renaud, although not particularly because of the content, but because of the voice. Gauvain Sers isn't (and certainly in a first album can't be expected to be) as daring as Randy Newman using the first person but expressing ideas that are contrary to his, but Sers does speak in 'foreign' voices: in 'Mon fils...' he takes on the voice of a woman whose son's been radicalised and left for Syria; in 'Hénin-Beaumont' he's a postman sick of his town voting for a Front National mayor and getting out; in 'Sur mon tracteur' he's an agricultural worker carrying on the family tradition; in 'Un clodo sur la ligne' he's a tramp; and (with Clio) in 'Le Rameau' he's the statue of Marianne in Paris, holding the olive branch. Renaud has no place in any of these songs.
There's definitely a wink to Renaud in 'Dans la bagnole de mon père' when he says of the old cassettes 'Société, tu les auras pas', recalling Renaud's statement that society wouldn't suck him in in the same way as it had Antoine and Dylan, but much of this is pure Gauvin Sers with his own way of singing: I particularly liked the reference to the 'jeu des plaques' in 'Le Bagnole de mon père', where the children discover the départements of cars from the last two numbers on the number plate. A sheer joy to listen to. Almost.
There is a bum track, and Jesus what a bummer: 'Le Poulet du dimanche'. Sorry, Gauvain Sers, but this is 2019, and by no means everyone appreciates chicken on Sunday! Especially vegetarians. Your songs speak of the love of different people, your hatred for fascists, of empathy for the downtrodden, the disinherited, but not of the love of animals, who you seem to treat as objects to be enjoyed to eat. There, as was obliquely suggested on ONPC, you have a lot to learn! Don't alienate your demographic.