Charlotte Gainsbourg, 'Stage Whisper' (Because/Elektra)

Critical Mass
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by Richard Gehr

French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg's voice is small and unaffected (a stage whisper, indeed), but Beck, her producer-songwriter for 2010's celebrated IRM, tends toward the opposite extreme. He completes her, as demonstrated by the mirror-balling "Paradisco," the baroque psychedelia of "White Telephone," and two other tasty IRM leftovers among the eight new tracks here. Better still is "Memoir," by Villagers leader Conor J O'Brien, whose scalding lines about romantic loss transformed into promiscuity are delivered by Gainsbourg with disembodied perfection. Stage Whisper also includes an 11-track sampler of the ingénue's first tour, highlighted by a version of Dylan's "Just Like a Woman."

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