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Top Customer Reviews
I noticed that Jarvis Cocker and one of the members of Air were involved in mademoiselle Gainsbourg's album and that provided me with further incentive to hear this recording.
Okay, this album contains some very attractive music. The piano dominates and the instrumental shell around the singer's voice has an beguiling ambient character. The use of a string orchestra with the piano also impressed me.
I like the fact that Charlotte Gainsbourg's voice sits inside the instrumental music, rather than riding over the top. Ms Gainsbourg often singing in a very subdued way, almost a whisper. Normally, I find this approach a little tedious, but it works well here and is perfectly in keeping with the music.
I listened to this album three times today and I bought it.
I wouldn't mind seeing a collaboration between Charlotte Gainsbourg and John Foxx and/or Harold Budd. I can almost imagine her singing "He's A Liquid".
I warmly recommend 5.55 and I am sure that many music lovers will find much to enjoy in this subtle album.
And the family resemblances are unavoidable in Charlotte's album, that voice hesitant, barely a whisper at times, but shimmering with sexiness.
What saves this album from being a lot of Gallic mumblings bound up in its own self-importance is the heavweight help the family name commanded.
The result of Gainsbourg's meeting with Nicolas Godin, one half of French electronica duo Air, at a Radiohead concert in Paris, "5:55", is a carefully crafted gem.
Charlotte's voice is as slight and breathy as her mother's, but lyrics by Jarvis Cocker and the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon create a hazy, Gauloise-inflected intimacy against full, string-rich arrangements by producer Nigel Godrich, those Parisian maestros of wafting electronica "Air" are on board, as is "Radiohead" producer Nigel Godrich and Nigerian percussionist Tony Allen, lauded by Brian Eno as "the greatest musician on the planet".
The title track "5:55" and the first single "The Songs That We Sing stand out", the former haunting and piano-led, the latter carrying an infectiously boisterous chorus.
At times Charlotte's thin voice and finishing-school vowels can grate, but the album as a whole is emotive, rewarding and compelling - a world away from feather-strewn beds and dodgy filial duets.
We get the mildly erotic, such as the teasing "Beauty Mark", and we get something like beat poetry in "AF607105", with its stark lines about air travel.
There's also big helpings of the kind of wistful balladeering only the French can muster.
4 * * * * and 1/2.
...Read more ›
While not possessing the most powerful voice ever captured on an album, Gainsbourg does a brilliant job of blending her vocals in with Dunckel and Godin's Air-ish compositions. She accomplishes this by half-whispering most of her lyrics, but it sounds absolutely perfect. On the title track, "5:55," she sings, "Soon the morning will arrive. Can I begin another day whilst this old day is still alive, refusing to be put away," so beautifully that it feels like she's singing only for you. This brilliant lyric is penned by Cocker, as he and Hannon share most the songwriting duties on the album.
"The Operation" is perhaps the standout track on the album. It utilizes a steady electronic drum beat to accompany a great piano composition and bass line. The highlight of the song comes about half way through when the music drops out to leave Charlotte whispering, "Our love goes under the knife. Nothing is taboo here on the cutting edge of science..." It is yet another fantastic song.
'The Songs that We Sing" is the first time the album crosses into near-pop territory (later revisited in "Everything I Cannot See").Read more ›
I only wished that Charlotte could have reached even further and gone even stronger with her songs and her beautiful voice...to have reached a level just a touch above those that she already touched upon, if only for one song. Even so, in all...a great album!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first CG album I purchased and it was so worth it! She has quite a range, and is amazing - this album is a great example of her...greatness.Published on December 12, 2013 by Geena
As a companion to Charlotte Gainsbourg's 2010 release, Irm, I love this album. 5:55 came a few years before IRM, but the two play very nicely even in shuffle. Read morePublished on August 21, 2010 by Dan Lebryk
Before listening to her third album, IRM, I was first introduced to Charlotte Gainsbourg's singing talents with this album, co-written with the french group AIR. Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by Omnes
This is a lovely collection of her music. The only downside to this CD is that there is an embedded video - which wasn't mentioned in the product description - consequently, I can... Read morePublished on January 17, 2010 by Avery Simcha Leinova
I have really enjoyed this album. Charlotte's voice is sultry, and captivating. I wish I knew French to understand what is being said, nonetheless I am really enjoying it, so... Read morePublished on September 14, 2009 by Amazon Customer
Teaming up with the people who brought you The Divine Comedy, Pulp and Air, Charlotte Gainsbourg delivers a shimmery collection of songs, whispered confessions and savage... Read morePublished on May 3, 2009 by Richard Hine
Gainsbourg's untutored voice and weary, gallicized Brit-English remind me of nothing so much as Nico on her oddball classics of the early 70s, as does the combination of dark... Read morePublished on October 30, 2008 by Arturo DiGenero