January 27, 2012
Charlotte Gainsbourg - 'Stage Whisper'
A limp effort
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4 / 10
Why, when she freely admits to having little faith in her onstage ability, has Charlotte Gainsbourg gone and made a live record? The second half of this double album is made up of unthrilling live recordings, Gainsbourg giving the impression that she is struggling to keep up with her band. Without a guiding hand – such as Beck, who directed her fine 2009 album ‘IRM’ – she seems to be left floundering, and that the first disc here was made with several different collaborators certainly doesn’t lend cohesion.
On ‘Got To Let Go’, written with Noah And The Whale’s Charlie Fink, she intones “it’s a deadly revolver to your head” with absolutely no sense of danger. Only on the Connan Mockasin-led ‘Out Of Touch’ does she sound present, lurching around Mockasin’s guitar as if riding a psych helter-skelter. ‘Paradisco’ may have a similar strut to INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’, but a ripped-off hook is as febrile as it gets on this limp effort.
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