In 2006, one of my top three albums - along with Pet Shop Boys and The Pipettes - was Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55. In my end of year round-up, I said this (inarticulately):
It is the most modern, uber-cool record this year, with music written and performed by Air, lyrics by Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon and wipsy vocals by my beloved Charlotte. It's the kind of record that makes you feel like stripping it all down, throwing out your material bullshit and being totally minimal. Standout tracks include The Songs That We Sing (video), The Operation, Fire and 5:55
look closely at this pic. Something odd going down.
Charlotte's just announced her next album, IRM - or is it MRI?- due in November 30. The first single is Master Hands, out on September 15 and soon thereafter, on October 5, she releases Heaven Can Wait, a duet with Beck, her main collaborator on the project. The images above are from the video shoot.
Her last album had a song with extended medical metaphors, The Operation (video): "If I pull this off / Your whole body will be mine / And I'm prepared to work throughout the night." Charlotte seems a bit corpus-focused.
I am decidely less excited about Charlotte's latest film, Antichrist, which, according to New York Magazine, features a scene in which "Gainsbourg crushes Willem Dafoe’s testicles with a block of wood, forcing him to ejaculate blood, and then cuts off her clitoris with a pair of rusty scissors." I suspect just reading that has traumatized some of you. Clearly, this film is a high school comedy.
Regardless of that nastiness, I will be writing a lot about IRM/MRI. And if you want to watch a far more satisfying Gainsbourg film, try Happily Ever After...