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Album Review

by Charlotte Gainsbourg

Because Music

Review Date
Reviewed by

There is no doubting that Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg is one of those people who looks really cool on paper. As the offspring of legendary French singer/songwriter, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg and British actress,singer and Hermes handbag namesake Jane Birkin; Charlotte Gainsbourg has forged a career for herself that is as impressive and credible as her parents had before her.

The French & English speaking 38yr old actress has worked with some of the most renowned creatives in the business, establishing a reputation for herself as a fearless actress(as anyone who has seen Lars Von Trier's 2009 "Masterpiece" Antichrist can attest) and a well respected singer/songwriter.

IRM is Charlotte Gainsbourg's third studio album, following on from previous releases Charlotte Forever (1986) and 5:55 (2006 ). For IRM, Gainsbourg has teamed up with Beck who has played the role of co-songwriter and producer on the album.

From first listen this album really strikes you as being beautifully written, it perfectly mixes Beck's love for unconventional instrumentals with Gainsbourg's sweet vocal delivery. The creative freedom obviously accorded to Beck has allowed him to create something quite unique in this album. A great example comes from the album's title track where he has sampled the actual sound an MRI scanner makes(IRM is the French acronym)and layed it; the result is something quite eerie. There is a definite feel through listening to IRM that Gainsbourg, much like her mother was to her father, falls into the role of muse to Beck's musical creation rather than being at the helm This album really has his stamp all over it.

Overall this album really surprised me. There really aren't any standout tracks, not that none of them are great but every track really is completely different from the other. It almost feels unfair to compare one with another. The 13 songs aren't over-thought or overcomplicated, they are simple well structured songs that utilize Gainsbourg's vocal to its best ability, shown in great example in the French lyricisms of the song 'Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes' and the reverberated delivery on 'Trick Pony.'

A standout album for the first half of 2010.

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