5:55

Studio Album by released in 2006

5:55 review

A zest in Charlotte Gainsbourg’s felt singing

French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in 1971 into the family of two celebrities – singer, actor and scriptwriter Serge Gainsbourg and actress Jane Birkin. At the age of 13 Charlotte sang in a duo with her father, and the song Lemon Incest became a long-time hit, and at the age of 15 the girl had her first film role. Her talent was noticed and Charlotte began acting both in films and on stage and sang a couple of songs exclusively for the films with her starring. This year the 35 year old artist released a new album called 5:55, which has been produced by Nigel Godrich and boasting collaboration with the French duo Air, Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon. Offering a nice collection of interestingly arranged electronic songs the record 5:55 contains only one track performed in Charlotte Gainsbourg’s mother-tongue all the rest being refined by a piquant French accent, adding a zest to her whispering vocals and felt singing. Lyrically the album is filled with romance, life trifles, and melancholy, and piano riffs and simplistic electronic elements make each song stylish and sounding really up-to-date.

5:55 - a strange and beautiful dream

Charlotte Gainsbourg is not the singer to surprise with outstanding vocals or stylistic diversity, nevertheless her feeling of tune and inimitable instrumentation make 5:55 one of the most skillfully made album lately. Opening with the title track 5:55, refined by soulful feedles in the background, it invites the listeners to Charlotte’s mysterious and melancholic world, both cold and breathing with passion. The most unusual song o the record Af607105 amazes with its complicated melody, difficult to imitatte, and triangle adds the feel of mystery, while a faster track The Operation discloses the singer’s secret fantasies. Slow ballad Tel Que Tu Es, the only track in French, is also refined by an iridescent triangle, but this song is more melancholic and reflective. One of the album’s hardest and worrisome compositions is The Song That We Sing: its impetuous melody contrasts with Charlotte’s quiet and calm singing creating a unique disbalance. In the beginning of intimate song Everything I Cannot See the vocals are more like an accompaniment for outstanding piano hooks, but as the track grows, Gainsbourg reveals her ability to sing loudly and almost passes to shouting. The closer Morning Song is devoted to the singer’s reflections on the end of love, and when the songs last sounds fade, you feel like you’ve just woke up from a strange and beautiful dream.

Music for relaxation, thinking and having rest after a busy day

The life of Charlotte Gainsbourg has not been easy: the daughter of famous people she has been very long trying to claim her individuality and prove that she can achieve everything herself. Today she has reached a lot as an actress she has decided to try her hand in music but remained herself and refused to follow the mainstream. Though the producer of 5:55 has tried to make the sounding as modern as possible, Charlotte’s personality is clearly felt in every single track of the album. Listening to the record one can guess of some of the artist’s qualities hidden behind the audio effects: a non-standard mind, ability to surprise and a deep spirituality. The music on 5:55 is mostly meant for relaxation, thinking and having rest after a busy day, that’s why this irreplaceable album with calm and a bit experimental music should definitely be added to your collection. Charlotte Gainsbourg has been keeping silent for almost twenty years and now that she has finally recorded an album, we can only hope that the interval between this and the following creations is going to be shorter, and the French lady is going to present us with another piece of her unusual world soon enough.