Charlotte Gainsbourg - Time of the Assassins - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Time of the Assassins

by Rich Morris Rating:9 Release Date:2010-05-10

Okay, let's judge this one by the cover, shall we? Just for fun. A black and white Ms Gainsbourg, acclaimed indie film actress and singer, stands against a white background within an understated black border. She's shrugging on (or off) her leather jacket to reveal a classic white vest, her hair blowing slightly in the wind as she glances coolly to one side. Yep, she's got that effortless iconic look down to a T. Now, what of the music?

'Time of the Assassins' doesn't disappoint. A collaboration with Beck, it is yet another stand-out track from her recent album, IRM (for which Beck wrote and produced most of the songs). It's an inspired pairing. The laid-back acoustic riffs are a fitting accompaniment to Gainsbourg's dreamy, almost whispered vocals. The chorus is beautifully sweeping and unexpectedly catchy.

Gainsbourg's sound lends itself very well to electronic music and the four remixes are a case in point. In the XXX Change version, the lead vocals are higher in the mix and accompanied by a driving beat with a decidedly 90s feel. The Matthew Dear remix has a relaxed, Air-like feel to it. In fact, the French duo are a point of comparison throughout - Gainsbourg has the kind of subtly evocative vocals that are perfect for their brand of electronic pop (unsurprisingly, she has worked with them before).

Gainsbourg is garnering more and more critical acclaim with each release. A far cry from her early teenage pop career, her latest work deserves to be taken seriously - very seriously indeed.

See, sometimes it's okay to judge a CD by the cover.

Alexis Somerville

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