Music Review: Charlotte Gainsbourg's "Irm"

2/05/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Megan O'Malley

After a three-year hiatus, French singer/songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg is back with a dreamy new album, "Irm." Produced by Beck, the songs have his influence but do not overshadow Gainsbourg's artistic qualities. The 14-track album has many great songs and is definitely worth repeat listens.

The trance-like quality of the songs pulls listeners in and keeps them hooked throughout the album. While there are definitely parts that can work as stand alone singles, the album is more soulful and fluid if listened to in its entirety. Gainsbourg uses her voice in a way that intertwines it with the music. She is part of the music--just as it is a part of her--and the two cannot be separated. Known in the states for her acting endeavors more so than her music, Gainsbourg will be sure to collect new fans with "Irm."

The first song on the album, “Master’s Hands,” is a great warm-up. From there, it only gets better. Her French heritage helps to shift "Irgm" into a bilingual album with songs such as “Le Chat du CafĂ© des Artistes," which is sung almost entirely in French. Perhaps the best song on the album is “Dandelion.” Gainsbourg’s soft voice is reminiscent of the group Zero 7 while her lyrics have a hint of girl group Garbage in them. She had a musical upbringing and has an obvious understanding of how to make solid music.

Another noteworthy song includes “Vanities.” While it isn't the album's best piece, it does keep things moving and helps to give "Irm" a flowing, dreamy quality.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is one of those unique individuals who can jump back and forth between acting and music, and excel at both. Her highly artistic family may have influenced her, but Gainsbourg has come into her own in recent years particularly with her music. Her 2006 album, "5:55," won both critical and commercial acclaim, and there is no doubt that "Irm" will follow in its footsteps. It is apparent that "Irm" is only one of many great albums Gainsbourg has within her.

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  1. lisa said...

    I always love to read album/music reviews. BUT I also ALWAYS want/need to hear something!!! It is not complete w/o that! So, I'm either needing to leave the site to find it or left 1/2 filled....

    Help... Great reviews, but missing a Key piece. Time for links to music...