Charlotte Gainsbourg: Stage Whisper – review

(Because Music)

This collection of unreleased tracks, live songs and, in the fancy box-set edition, a concert DVD, is Charlotte Gainsbourg's first album since 2010's impressive IRM. The curiosity is in the eight offcuts. Beck's work on IRM carries over into four songs – Terrible Angels and Paradisco offer a kind of oscillating glam-funk that goes perfectly with Gainsbourg's clipped, blank vocal style, while All the Rain and White Telephone reimagine her as a 70s balladeer, with an intriguing timelessness emerging. Connan Mockasin, Conor O'Brien (Villagers) and Charlie Fink (Noah and the Whale) also help out, although it's with Beck she seems most comfortable. But the live album creates a strange, not entirely flattering contrast: Gainsbourg's voice sounds thin and adrift against too much noodling, and it only emphasises how much of a studio performer she is.


Rebecca Nicholson

The GuardianTramp

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