Thursday, December 10, 2009
In any case, listening to IRM (Because/Warner) [French for MRI which relates to the treatment Gainsbourg received for a brain hemorrhage following a 2007 water-skiing accident], the reason for Serge-fan Beck's involvement seems to be that since his study tech hasn't yet given him the power of raising the dead, the next best thing to recording with his idol would be collaborating with his daughter. You know, kinda like Elvis-nut Nicholas Cage marrying Lisa Marie Presley for four months.
So our boy Beck writes the music, scripts the vocals, assembles the players while the game Gainsbourg immerses herself in the dual roles of surrogate Serge and Jane (some seductive whispering here, a little talk-singing there) while Campbell provides the appropriate string accompaniment a la Jean-Claude Vannier. It's not hard to imagine Beck putting on a copy of Melody Nelson before Gainsbourg went into the both to put down her vocals for Le Chat du Café des Artistes and saying "we're going for something like this..." To her credit, she nails it.
Nevertheless IRM still makes for an oddly fascinating Beck homage to Serge Gainsbourg's classic recordings of the late 60s and early 70s – not unlike what he's doing with his ongoing Record Club covers series – and Charlotte's presence will forever give him a big one-up on every other Serge tribute.
Rather than wait for the scheduled January, 2010 street date in the US, Warner Music Canada has wisely put out the IRM album this week to coincide with the French release date, stemming a certain influx of import copies in Quebec which probably accounts for 80% of her Canadian sales.
Heaven Can Wait by Charlotte Gainsbourg with Beck
Charlotte Gainsbourg http://www.charlottegainsbourg.com/
Record Club http://www.beck.com/record_club