Category Archives: Charlotte Gainsbourg

Albums of 2010: 30 – 21

21. Odd Blood – Yeasayer

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘O.N.E’

22. The Fool – Warpaint


 

 

 

Best track: ‘Undertow’

23. Love King – The-Dream

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Yamaha’

24. The Family Jewels – Marina & The Diamonds

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Obsessions’

25. Without Why – Rose Elinor Dougall

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Find Me Out’

26. Maximum Balloon – Maximum Balloon

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Groove Me’ feat. Theophilus London

27. Learning – Perfume Genius

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Learning’

28. Hidden – These New Puritans

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Attack Music’

29. IRM – Charlotte Gainsbourg

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Heaven Can Wait’

30. The Drums – The Drums

 

 

 

 

Best track: ‘Best Friend’

Advertisements

Pointless post about a pointless poll

We love a good list, don’t you? They’re pointless of course, but they’re fun to read and it gets everyone slightly animated. For example:

My favourite films of all time:

1). Weekend At Bernie’s

2). Teen Wolf Too

3). Show Girls

Now, no one can deny that those three films are stone cold classics, but not everyone would put them in that order, which would then start a massive discussion about whether, in fact, due to Elizabeth Berkley’s barnstorming performance, Show Girls should really be at no. 1. Lists are contentious and divisive and this is a good thing.

With that in mind, here is a list compiled by an American radio syndication company, called NPR, of the Top 50 best albums of 2010 so far. Voted for by the people, it puts Gorillaz Plastic Beach album at no. 1, with American bores The National in the runners up spot. Here’s the rest of the top ten, with our expert, one-word review next to each one:

  1. Gorillaz:  Plastic Beach – “SPRAWLING”
  2. The National:  High Violet – “BORING”
  3. The Black Keys:  Brothers – “BLUESY”
  4. Broken Bells:  Broken Bells – “SNOOZY”
  5. LCD Soundsystem:  This Is Happening – “ACE”
  6. Vampire Weekend:  Contra – “PO-FACE”
  7. Beach House:  Teen Dream – “DREAMY”
  8. Mumford and Sons:  Sigh No More – “SHIT”
  9. Spoon:  Transference “COLLEGE”
  10. Sleigh Bells:  Treats – “NOISY”

Seriously, America, come on. Mumford & Sons at no. 8!? We’re not confused because this came out here last year, but just that an album of lightweight folk pastiches aimed at people who shop in Burtons does not a good album make. We would also like to draw your attention to some glaring omissions from your top 10 people of NPR: Flying Lotus at no. 14; Joanna Newsom at 22; Janelle Monáe at 24; Charlotte Gainsbourg at 35 and Laura Marling at 48.

Still, arguing with these results is like railing at the weather; pointless, frustrating and ultimately just ends with you getting pissed on…er…

This was fun, wasn’t it? Pointless of course, but fun.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a new Best Coast track:

New Musick Monday

We’re really hitting our stride now ladies and gentlemen. Another relatively big week of releases is upon us and last week’s runners and riders performed OK-ish, which is all we can ask really. Four Tet was the big success at no. 35, whilst Charlotte Gainsbourg peaked at no. 62. No sign of Beach House, which is a bit of tragedy seeing as it’s scientifically proven to be 1000 times better than Paolo Nutini’s album and that’s no. 1. The Lightspeed Champion single missed the Top 40 as well, so I think we can officially refer to that as a ‘minor hit’.

BUY THIS

One Life Stand by Hot Chip

We’ve always been fans of Hot Chip’s singles but their albums have always been dominated by one or two big tracks. They’re the Missy Elliott of the dance world, in other words. Only they’re not anymore. One Life Stand works because it’s an album and not a collection of amazing singles interspersed with tracks that show off how clever the band are but ultimately sound a bit dull. Sure, the title track (and first single) is all kinds of amazing, but there are at least six other tracks that are just as good and the whole thing flows perfectly. We really like it, basically.

GROW A BEARD, WEAR A CARDIGAN, LISTEN TO THIS

The Courage of Others by Midlake

We went to see these guys last night and though they look like six Texan homeless guys they actually make some really lovely music. Not that homeless people don’t, per se, have the ability to make beautiful music, but you know what we mean. The Courage of Others has clearly been made after a long time listening to English folk, which follows on from years listening to ’70s rock for their last album, The Trials of Van Occupanther. We’re hoping, and indeed praying, that they get into Beyoncé and Lady Gaga for their next album. Just imagine…awful, isn’t it?

DOWNLOAD THIS

‘Hollywood’ by Marina & The Diamonds

We like this song, don’t get us wrong (poet, didn’t know it) but there’s still something we’re not sure about when it comes to Marina & The Diamonds. She can sing, no doubt, she has a way with a melody, not in question, but perhaps the overly dramatic styling of the songs makes them less palatable? We don’t know. Maybe it’s enough that this is a good tune, with a fun video and a chorus that refuses to leave your brain despite almost surgical attempts to extract it. We’ve just ‘found’ the album, so expect an *exclusive* run down of that very soon.

New Musick Monday

There are some weeks where we have almost too much to report, be it singles or albums flying into the upper reaches of the chart, or established acts slowly losing their entire audience off the back of some ‘experimental’ whim. Our acts from last week, however, all performed as expected, with These New Puritans and Beach House both missing the top 40 and Eels nestling in snugly just outside the top 20 (which was a minor surprise all things considered). This week is a bit of a bumper edition, with no less than three (THREE!?) albums gracing the nation’s favourite feature. Eyes down, look in…

BUY THIS

IRM by Charlotte Gainsbourg

We’ve been thinking a bit about context and its relation to how you consume music by someone who has, on the surface at least, not brought a whole lot to the table. This album was written, produced and performed by Beck, whilst Gainsbourg’s last album, 5:55, was written, produced and performed by Air (with Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon). Now, if we were talking about a pop star such as Kylie it would all be “she’s a puppet”, “these songs are only good because so and so did them”, “it’s not true art”. Then we read in an interview that Gainsbourg felt threatened by the legacy of her late father that she was too scared to write her own music and you know what, we fell for it and we love her even more now. IRM may have Beck’s finger prints all over it (no bad thing of course), but it works because some of the songs could only be performed by Gainsbourg and that’s when this whole writer/performer thing becomes moot.

BUY THESE WONDERFULLY DREAMY CONFECTIONS

Teen Dream by Beach House

There Is Love In You by Four Tet

Let’s start with Teen Dream, which has been permanently lodged in our ears since we were lucky enough to hear it a few months ago (when you’re important like we are, you too can hear music before everyone else (we stole it)). Though not a huge departure from their last album – Victoria Legrand’s vocals still sigh beautifully, the whole thing floats around like wisps of smoke – this time they’ve remembered to bring the tunes, with each of its ten tracks carrying a deliciously woozy melody. There are moments when everything comes together so perfectly (the bit where ‘Silver Soul’ melts into ‘Norway’, for example) that you feel like you want to break down and cry for weeks.

There Is Love In You is the first album under the Four Tet moniker since 2005’s Everything Ecstatic. In that time, Kieran Hebden, for it is he, has produced albums with avant-garde drummer Steve Reid as well as an EP with Burial. You’d think this would make There Is Love In You a big mess of impenetrable ‘mind’ music, where as it’s actually his most accessibly record to date. With tracks road tested at his club residency in Dalston it has moments of euphoria reminiscent of early-90s dance (‘Love Cry’, ‘Plastic People’), whilst still displaying his fondness for subtle, intricate moments of beauty (‘Angel Echoes’, ‘This Unfolds’).

DOWNLOAD THIS

‘Marlene’ by Lightspeed Champion

The string-drenched ‘Marlene’ is the first single from Lightspeed Champion’s second album, Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You. As with most things Mr Champion does, we were unsure at first. Seriously, his last album was a major disappointment to us for the first five months and then we couldn’t stop listening to it and by that point no-one else cared because they’d all moved on. However, ‘Marlene’ reveals itself to be properly amazing, complete with skipping strings, a chugging riff and a brilliantly gonzo guitar solo that seems to erupt from nowhere. Altogether now, “stop being cool”. It also has a very funny video, which can be seen here.

New Musick Monday

Well, what a start to 2010. Last week we took absolutely no risks whatsoever with our album selections and we were rewarded with two top 10 albums. Delphic entered at no. 8 with their debut – fresh from finishing third in both the BBC Sound of Poll, the Brits selection for Critics Choice and Auntie June’s Top Ten bands who sound a bit like New Order – whilst Vampire Weekend crashed in at number 3 with Contra. The latter has since gone from ‘very good’ to ‘officially amazing’ over the past seven days so anyone who hasn’t brought it bloomin’ well should. Charlotte Gainsbourg’s single with Beck did diddly squat, but that’s OK, we forgive you.

BUY THIS

Hidden by These New Puritans

Thanks to the fact that HMV no longer seems to stock CDs, we were thwarted in our attempts to listen to this second album from these pasty faced young whipper snappers. From the reviews we’ve read – and we understand that’s not the same as hearing the music, but it’s the best we’ve got – it’s a massive creative leap from their whiny debut and it will need to be seeing as they came across as repellent little twerps in nearly every interview we read last time round. The clips available online suggest the band have taken a shining to Liars, Massive Attack and Bjork and somehow found a way to weld them together. This is clearly a good thing. The first single, ‘We Want War’, is pretty darn good and can be heard here.

ADD THIS TO YOUR EELS COLLECTION

End Times by Eels

Poor old Mr Eel. First his Dad dies of a heart attack, then his sister commits suicide and finally his mum dies of Cancer. How do we know all this? Not only has he written a brilliant book about it all, but Mr Eel also has a penchant for documenting his life via his music, usually in heart-breakingly detailed fashion. So it is with his new album, End Times, which deals with the ashes of a dead relationship. ‘A Line In The Dirt’ is a fragile, piano lament, whilst ‘Gone Man’ is a sweary hoedown, E’s vocals delivered in that trademark deadpan manner that somehow makes the whole thing even sadder.

DOWNLOAD THIS

‘Norway’ by Beach House

Oh, you’re going to be hearing a lot more of Beach House because they’re soon to be released new album is, and you heard it here first, one of the best albums of 2010. Yep, already. This single actually came out as a free download a few months ago but it’s now available to buy. That’s right, you can choose to pay 79p for a song that has actually been available for free since November. And they say the music industry don’t know how to deal with the popularity of digital music. Anyways, the song is amazing, the band are amazing and the forthcoming album, entitled Teen Dream, is very much amazing. Enjoy.

So good they made it twice

This is the frankly incredible new video for the Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck duet, ‘Heaven Can Wait’:

There are so many highlights it’s impossible to point them all out. What we do wonder is how the hell they pitched the idea for this video?

Director: “So, there will be a man with pancakes for a head, a guy in a giant pair of tights playing tennis, a dinosaur with a wig on (in the bath) and a giant green troll creature being held at knife point”.

Record label: “We were going to go with them performing it in front of a white background, but perhaps your idea is better. We’ll get back to you”.

Heaven on earth

A little while ago we mentioned that Charlotte Gainsbourg had been working with Scientoligist-it’s-ok-to-like, Beck, on her new album IRM. We also posted the title track, which was released as a free download a few weeks back. Now, the first single proper, ‘Heaven Can Wait’, has emerged and it’s a lovely, plinky plonky strumalong, with Beck and Gainsbourg sharing vocals over a Beatles-esque melody and some rather lovely brass.

Please note, smoking isn’t cool unless your French. Fin.

Calling all Charlotte Gainsbourg fans

(We mean fans of her music, not her porcelain, elfin face or lovely, slightly skewed smile…er, sorry, what were we saying…)

French chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg has been busy recording a new album with a little help from Beck. The album is to be call IRM (French for MRI) and has been hugely influenced by a brain hemorrhage Gainsbourg suffered following a water-skiing accident in 2007. You can watch a little teaser of the making of the title track here:

AND as if that weren’t enough, you can download the song for free from here.

This isn’t the lead single, however. That honour goes to ‘Heaven Can Wait’, a duet with Mr Hansen.

This photo makes us happy

That’s Beck alongside a certain Charlotte Gainsbourg filming the video for her future single, ‘Heaven Can Wait’. There’s an album too, entitled MRI, which is due out in November.

Exciting news.

Fingers crossed Charlotte’s recovered after that nasty turn with a pair of rusty scissors.