Sure, the pairing of this superstar French actress with the adventurous electronic duo Air is bound to send novelty lovers and Francophiles into throes of self-lubricating excitement. But they're not the only ones with a hand in 5:55. The presence of famed Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Fela Kuti alumnus Tony Allen (and lyrics by Pulp's Jarvis Cocker) should inspire a moistening twinge of curiosity in discriminating listeners too. So if Gainsbourg doesn't write the words or the music, then what does she do? Well, she gives it voice a dark, passionate voice; listeners have every reason to hope to see the seedy underside of Air. But because the music's sumptuous atmospheres get pushed too far back in the mix, 5:55 comes off like a screen test, with Gainsbourg's whispery, suggestively grim evocations occupying way too much space up front. Meanwhile, Air's contributions dangle like a casually placed backdrop. Had Gainsbourg been presented as part of the scenery, 5:55 might sound suitably lifelike to convey its tangled emotions. Then again, this music does make a perfect soundtrack for seducing suitably frosty and slightly pretentious 20-something girls. Just don't act surprised when you feel empty in the morning.
Recommended For You
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!