Charlotte Gainsbourg

IRM (Elektra)

Phases & Stages

Charlotte Gainsbourg

IRM (Elektra)

For most of us, being trapped inside the casket tunnel of an MRI tube, with its starkly ominous overtones of fleshly imperfection soundtracked by what sounds like an Einstürzende Neubauten bootleg, is, at best, an unnervingly intimate meet and greet with our own mortality. At worst, it's an elegantly orchestrated precursor to oblivion. For Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of louche icon Serge and gamine siren Jane Birkin, the series of MRIs ("imagerie par résonance magnétique" in French, hence the album title) that followed the actress/singer's near-fatal 2007 waterskiing accident resulted in her warmest, most life-affirming work yet. Collaborated upon with Beck, IRM yields a welter of musical styles ranging from the pulsating rhythms of the claustrophobic title track to the Persian percussions of "Voyage" and the Kills-y "Trick Pony." IRM couldn't be more removed from 2006's spare, Air-y 5:55, but Gainsbourg's no one if not her father's daughter, and those genetic Gitanes are obvious on the dark and lovely "Le Chat du Café des Artistes" and jaunty "Dandelion." Ultimately it's Gainsbourg's voice – a heady melange of tussled bedclothes whisperings and near-dead sexy murmurs – that lifts both her life and art from beneath the shade of her mythic paterfamilias.

****

READ MORE
More Charlotte Gainsbourg
Screens Top 10s
Marc Savlov

Marc Savlov, Jan. 1, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
All ATX Vol. 4
Low Down Violet Crown (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Walter Daniels
"Almost Got Hit by a Truck" b/w "My Mind Got Bad", "Voodoo Working" and "Stimulant" b/w "I Get Off on It", "Graveyard Shift" b/w "They Can Only Fill One Grave" (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Marc Savlov
Gift Guide: Rock & Roll Books
Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys
Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys

Dec. 9, 2016

Slash
A sweet coming-of-age film set in the world of fan fiction

Dec. 9, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Charlotte Gainsbourg

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)