Charlotte Gainsbourg

5:55 (Because / Vice / Atlantic)

Phases & Stages

Charlotte Gainsbourg

5:55 (Because/Vice/Atlantic)

Music by Air, lyrics by Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon, knob-twiddling by Nigel Godrich. It's easy to believe 5:55 a vanity project. It's the second album in 20 years for Gainsbourg, multitalented progeny of Serge and Jane Birkin, the first being 1986's Charlotte for Ever, an album penned by her father. So there's no small amount of grooming here, but it's obvious from the hypnotic title track that there's nothing wrong with keeping it in the family, as Gainsbourg suggests everything with repetitive whispers of "and again." Air's heir's quite apparent, pushing moody strings and sexified sleepwalking through the ambient "AF607105," where she floats above Cocker's detached lyrics, and the French-sung "Tel Que Tu Es," another breathy, lusty ode. The manic, Tori-esque piano of "Everything I Cannot See" pulls her out of the ether, but the chill-out room still suits her best. She sounds forever Gainsbourg – not a bad thing in this case.

***

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