Saturday, October 2, 2010

IRM - Charlotte Gainsburg (2010)

What really makes us tick?

That's the core concept behind one of this year's most interesting and eclectic releases.

Taking herself as primary subject matter, and in part inspired by her medical experiences following a fairly serious head injury, French actress Gainsburg shifts gears dramatically from her previous whispery, ballad heavy releases, teaming here with writer/producer Beck to instead create an ever-changing, sometimes bluesy, sometimes poppy, and sometimes just bizarre collection of snippet insights into her past and character.

And make no mistakes, despite the lyrical emphasis on Gainsbourg's backstory, this is Beck's album as much as it is hers. He seems revitalized being allowed to apply his prolific talent's to someone else's narrative, and pulls out all the stops in framing Gainsbourg's flat, limited (but undeniably sexy) voice in the best possible light.

It's not a masterpiece, but for as wide ranging an album as this, most of the songs do impress...and the title track, despite lyrics that occasionally overreach, is a minor avant-garde classic.

Status: Solid Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Master's Hands, IRM, Heaven Can Wait, Vanities, Trick Pony.

Component Breakdown:
1. Master's Hands - 8
2. IRM - 10
3. Le Chat Du Cafe Des Artistes - 6
4. In The End - 7
5. Heaven Can Wait - 8
6. Me and Jane Doe - 8
7. Vanities - 9
8. Time of the Assassins - 7
9. Trick Pony - 9
10. Greenwich Mean Time - 7
11. Dandelion - 8
12. Voyage - 8
13. La Collectionneuse - 7
Intangibles - Above Average

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