Beck is all over the new Charlotte Gainsbourg album, Irm, which he produced. A wonderful thing if, as I do, you have a weakness for Beck. (Just listening to “Loser” brings back all that pent up possibility and yearning to break free that was my senior year in high school.)
In fact, Beck is poured so thickly through the album, what with its off beats, found sounds and whimsy, that if you don’t already know her, it’s difficult to be sure what Gainsbourg, herself, actually sounds like. Her voice is a milky monotone a la Nico, and her lyrics are ethereal and occasionally French. Though it all hardly matters as their combined sound and energy is a complete success.
The album starts with a bang—the first two songs, “Master’s Hands” and the title song, are my favorites”and, as far as I’m concerned, has only one false note, in “Vanities,” which I’ve found myself cringing and then skipping each time it comes up. The rest of the album I’ve had on repeat since I discovered it a couple weeks ago.
Bio: Katherine Dykstra is the nonfiction editor at Guernica. Her interview with author and Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheryl WuDunn appeared in Guernica’s January 15th issue. Read her last recommendation of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 “here”:http://www.guernicamag.com/blog/1543/rec_room_katherine_dykstra_the/.