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iTunes Review

The eerily seductive sounds heard on Charlotte Gainsbourg’s third album IRM take inspiration from the MRI scans the actress/singer underwent after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage in 2007. The throbbing rhythms and vaguely ominous lyrics heard in these tracks create a dream-like atmosphere at once enticing and disquieting. Gainsbourg’s sensuously wispy vocals are given vivid, sometimes startling backdrops by producer Beck, who blends colors from ‘60s baroque rock with contemporary electronic grooves. Clattering drums lend primal ferocity to such dark meditations as “Heaven Can Wait” and the title number. More billowy in feel are “Me and Jane Doe” (a lovely aural travelogue) and “Time of the Assassins” (genteel with its loosely-draped strings and folk guitar). On “Dandelion,” Gainsbourg coos erotically against a sparse, blues-dipped track, while “Greenwich Mean Time” pairs a sinister nursery rhyme with clanging metallic beats. At times – especially on the shimmering “Vanities” – Gainsbourg and Beck succeed in capturing an angelic sense of longing.

Customer Reviews

Great album, Beck.

I love this album, and Charlotte's vocals are waaaay more interesting on this than they were on 5:55. Every track is worth listening to, and there are some pretty catchy hooks. I have kind of a problem with Charlotte Gainsbourg, though-- I don't like the way she hires people to make a record for her to sing. It's hard for me to not think that if she didn't have the last name 'Gainsbourg' she wouldn't be making records at all. But the album is, regardless, a gem.

Overall I tend to think of this as more of a Beck album featuring Charlotte on vocals, because he wrote and produced everything, including all the lyrics (all she did was come up with song titles). The same goes for 5:55-- I think of it as an Air album featuring Charlotte. But Beck took her out of her vocal comfort zone on this one, which was pretty cool. She's not a great singer by any means, but it's perfect for the music.

Review of IRM by Charlotte Gainsbourg

The only adult contemporary pop artist around that manages to create a stellar album anymore. Every track is gold, especially when coupled with the excellent backing music created by the one-and-only Beck. Why is it that an actual, autotune-less singer/songwriter like Charlotte Gainsbourg can't get an adequate fanbase here in the States, while trashy, shallow, corporate "idols" like KeSha and Justin Bieber only have to snap their fingers to get thousands of adoring fans and Facebook friends to support their money-making fatcat superiors?

I simply love her… French

I love Beck, especially his slower tempo tracks, and I love what Charlotte Gainsbourg and he did together here. Seems like a fascinating trip to a snow-covered sunny place… that turns horribly cold at night! I don't know if its just me, but I definitely prefer her singing French. That's when I feel she's her best self.
Don't let it pass! My favorite songs: Le chat du café des artistes, la collectionneuse.


Born: July 21, 1971 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Charlotte Gainsbourg may be better known as an accomplished actress than as a musician, but her singing career has also been significant. Around the same time she began acting, Gainsbourg also started singing professionally. At 13 years old, she recorded her debut, Charlotte for Ever, an album of songs written by her father, singer/songwriter/provocateur Serge Gainsbourg, that was inspired by the film he directed and in which they both starred. The infamous father-daughter duet "Lemon Incest" mirrored...
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