Charlotte Gainsborough 5:55 Album ArtA Light, Fluffy, But Solid Album
Band/Singer: Charlotte Gainsbourg (feat. Air)
Album Title: 5:55
Release Date: 4/18/2007 (in America, via Vice)
Native Release Date: 9/15/2006
Genre: French Pop
Rating:  **** 1/2  out of 5 stars

Rob Thumbnail    French superstar actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams, Jane Eyre) offers up her second album, her debut in America, titled 5:55.  The music for the album was written and performed by the band Air, so if you are an Air fan that makes this a must have.  The lyrics were written by Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy).

    Charlotte’s vocal style is a whispery recitation of the lyrics.  The song “The Operation” is a song about exploring love in a very sexy way, though it is masked in references to medical research.  At one point the music drops out and her voice is left unaccompanied, saying, “Our love goes under the knife, nothing is taboo, here on the cutting edge of science”.

    The opening song “5:55” is very sensual.  This is the style of Charlotte Gainsbourg.  She does not have the strongest voice, so she uses it the best way she can, sounding very seductive.

    The song “AF607105” is about a plane flight that is about to take off, but will later crash.  The song is enriched with very detailed imagery of what the passenger see around her as the plane takes off.

    My favorite song on the album is “The Songs We Sing”.  It is the closest this album is going to get to a pop song.  It is a poignant song, which ponders if anyone truly cares about the songs entertainers sing. She asks the question, “Do the songs we sing really mean anything to the people we’re singing them to?”, a question that not too many bands or artists probably ask themselves.

                       Charlotte Gainsbourg
     Pictured: Charlotte Gainsbourg, known chiefly for her acting, puts up a solid sophomore effort with some help from Air. (Image courtesy of askmen.com)

    I recommend this album highly, especially if you are a fan of Air.  The different styles just work perfectly here.  Includes two bonus tracks, two videos, and an interview.

2007 Vice Records

Tracks:
1.5:55
2.AF607105
3.The Operation
4.Te Que Tu Es
5.The Songs We Sing
6.Beauty Mark
7.Little Monsters
8.Jamais
9.Night-Time Intermission
10.Everything I Cannot See
11.Morning Song
12.Set Yourself On Fire* (Not to be confused with the like-titled song by Stars)
13.Somewhere Between Waking And Sleeping*

*Bonus Tracks

Running Time: 55:23