Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM


I’m sure if you know anything about this album, you know it was written and produced by Beck. So, in many ways this sounds like a Beck album without him singing on it (for the most part). Both opening tracks “Master’s Hand” and title track “IRM” are heavy on the beats and bass. Lots of atmospheric clangs and bells, and eerie synths. But, Charlotte Gainsbourg wraps her voice around each song. She doesn’t quite sound the same from song to song. Whispering on “Le Chat Du Café De Artistes” or sounding clipped and small on “Me And Jane Doe”. She sounds almost robotic on “IRM”, but her background vocals (and Beck’s) make help “IRM” a haunting experience. Yet, Beck’s presence is always felt, both on the beats of “Master’s Hand”, the background vocals on “Greenwich Mean Time”, and the chugging bass guitar of “Trick Pony”. Of course, I can’t help but be reminded of Serge Gainsbourg during a song like “Le Chat Du Café De Artistes”, where Charlotte sings in French. And, tracks like “Le Chat Du Café De Artistes”, “Vanities”, and “Dandelion” have that Histoire De Melody Nelson by way of Sea Change string arrangement. In general, the album bounces around in style, from the shambollic Beatles of Gainsbourg / Beck duet “Heaven Can Wait” to the tribal drumming and Arabic strings on “Voyage”. It’s a different experience than on first album 5:55, except on songs like “Time Of The Assassins” where both song and Charlotte’s singing most match the mood of 5:55. But, on the whole every song on IRM is a good one. Here’s three songs that hopefully show the range of music on IRM.





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