Charlotte Gainsbourg – Stage Whisper
‘Brave’, ‘searing’, ‘extraordinary’: Charlotte Gainsbourg’s acting has quite rightly prompted many a critic to splutter enthusiastic paeans (even those who hated Antichrist took the time to praise her ladypart-lopping performance). Her music has had a more mixed reception, with praise often measured, or, somewhat insultingly, directed at her collaborators – Jarvis Cocker and co on 5:55; Beck on last year’s IRM.
The latter returns for the studio-half of this double album, though you wouldn’t necessarily detect his presence on the Goldfrapp-aping Terrible Angels, a strong opener that sees Gainsbourg confidently embody her role as electro-pop siren. Thing is, Terrible Angels has already appeared on its own EP, as has closing gem Memoir (written by Conor O’Brien of Villagers, for anyone keeping track). Which leaves just five tracks (less than twenty minutes-worth) of previously-unreleased material – a slightness that makes the live disc seem less like a bonus, and more like compensation.