Album Reviews – 25/01/10

Charlotte Gainsbourg / IRM / Because Music

All but one of the songs on this album were pieced together by its producer, Beck, who also appears in a duet on the lead single “Heaven Can Wait”. Loopy samples, distinctive bass lines, tearful strings: all of Beck’s musical eccentricities are found on IRM. Those facts alone, out of context, might make it seem like Charlotte was just a cog in the larger creation put together by the great auteur, Beck. Though this is by no means Gainsbourg’s first foray into recording – the first entry in her discography dates back to 1986 – she is probably better known as an actress rather than a songstress. Well, if IRM were a film, not only would Gainsbourg be the leading lady, she’d also be the real life inspiration, as her 2007 cerebral hemorrhage informs much of the album’s content, most obviously on the title track. Charlotte chante en francais for three tracks (well, two and a half if you treat whispered and ghostly track “The Collectionneuse” as bilingual) and, while ‘French’ became kind of a dirty word politically around the turn of the century, she proves that the language is still unmatched in terms of sensuality.

Download: “Heaven Can Wait” and “La Collectionneuse”

[Dan Rankin]

K Sera / Me Before Women And Children EP / Self-Released

Pounded with gritty old pop punk influences and splashed in indie rock, K Sera’s latest EP is dip into a deep end of music that hasn’t been revealed in a few years. As a majority of similar bands ventured out into worlds full of poppy hooks and bright coloured clothing, K Sera flaunt a raw sound that’s similar to Gatsby’s American Dream and Forgive Durden (in their early stages). One reason for this could be the fact musician Thomas Dutton and producer Casey Bates helped record and mix the album, but the music states that maybe Sacramento’s scene is getting extremely experimental right now. If that’s the case, then former Warped Tour attendees and fans of indie rock propelled by piano and exceptional vocals should definitely keep an eye on K Sera.

Download: “Me Before Women And Children”, “Little War”

[Joshua Khan]


Linkin Park / LP Underground 9: Demos / Warner

I’m not sure I know how to put this more succinctly than this: if you like all of Linkin Parks’s catchy, angsty hits, this collection of nine previously unreleased demos is not what you’re looking for; if you don’t like Linkin Park because you think their songs are too commercial, these are essentially the same songs, but more boring. As you listen to some of the complete tracks on Underground 9 (there are a couple snippets that struggle to reach one minute in length) it’s easy to tell why the band didn’t go with them. On the demo of “Faint” there was too much Mike and not enough Chester. On the “Figure.09” demo, a lame little bridge near the end (“If you walk away, there’s no turning back”) completely saps away the song’s momentum. There’s an annoying cash register beep in the verse of “Drawing,” an early version of “Breaking the Habit”… Oh wait, they left that in. If you are, in fact, just that kind of Linkin Park super fan who would be interested in hearing some partially gestated material – material that knows exactly why it didn’t make the cut in the first place – maybe think about buying this, but first, I have some swamp land you might be interested in…

Download: “Fear (“Leave Out All The Rest” Demo 2006)”

[Dan Rankin]

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