She has never been the most convincing singer, but I must admit I really enjoy listening to Charlotte Gainsbourg warble her way through her most recent album IRM. With its chilly ambience and the subterraneous unease present in the songs, the IRM experience feels a bit like eavesdropping on a menagerie of rainy day women. Beck Hansen’s collaborative presence in the overall scheme of things is rather critical here, both in terms of elevating IRM’s pop sophistication and also for the high caliber of retro flavors he brings to the album production. The skiffling rhythms and chalky strings of “Dandelion” evoke ever so deftly the sense of transport into an illusionary realm that’s out of joint with basic realities, Gainsbourg’s thin vocals adding a rather sensuous edge to its spidery notion of mystery. It also conjures a mood of vague and indefinable perils, of being momentarily seized by dark impulses that are unlikely to be benign. – keith.
IRM is available on because music.