Charlotte Gainsbourg, Feature
Charlotte Gainsbourg Feature
It is a measure of the extraordinary esteem in which she is held that Charlotte Gainsbourg, one of the brightest stars of modern French cinema, should make an album in partnership with such luminaries as Jarvis Cocker, the French duo Air, The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and celebrated English producer Nigel Godrich.
The album, called '5:55', represents a return to the studio for an artist who made her recording debut at the age of 13. Indeed, that first album came around the same time Charlotte made her film debut. Perhaps such burgeoning talents were always deeply embedded in her DNA - she is the daughter of legendary French poet and singer Serge Gainsbourg and the English actress Jane Birkin, herself one of France's most cherished celebrities.
Nigel Godrich had produced both Air and Radiohead, so it seemed natural to invite him to supervise the project - Godrich, of course, is the stellar producer whose credits also include Beck, Travis, REM and Paul McCartney as well as Thom Yorke's current global hit album, 'The Eraser'.
Further introductions were made, this time to Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon who, along with Charlotte, contributed the album's lyrics. Air's Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel wrote and played the music while Canadian composer David Campbell was responsible for the string arrangements. The father of Beck, Campbell's previous work credits include not only his son but also such artists as Elton John, Leonard Cohen and Michael Jackson.
The album's line-up was completed with the great Nigerian percussionist Tony Allen, revered for his work with Fela Kuti and recently described by Brian Eno as 'the greatest musician on the planet'.
And so Charlotte Gainsbourg came to make the second album of her career, this time a rare kind of musical entente cordiale which highlights the almost dreamlike intimacy of her voice accompanied by an extraordinary portfolio of songs written and performed by some of the most accomplished talents in modern music. The album, '5:55', is released in the UK by Because Music on Monday 4th September 2006.