After 2009's splendid 'IRM' Charlotte Gainsbourg's 'Stage Whisper' is a
huge disappointment. It's a bit of a rag bag of shabby odds and ends, truth-
be-told, which will only be of interest to the hardest of her die-hard fans.
There are eight studio tracks which seem not to have previously made it into
the main frame and eleven live performances largely culled from her last two
albums. The workmanlike band keep Ms Gainsbourg afloat as best they can but
the limitations of her voice become glaringly apparent under the spotlight.
A stonking version of 'Set Yourself On Fire' is about the best of the bunch
but her take on 'Just Like A Woman' is truly dreadful. Slim pickings I'm afraid.
Of the studio cuts 'Terrible Angels' just about muddles through on the tail end
a raunchy foursquare glam-rock-ish backbeat and the atmospheric 'All The Rain'
could have been a winner with a little less reverb concealing the vocal flaws
but 'Got To Let Go' (a creepy duet with Noah & The Whale's Charlie Fink) really
should have stayed hidden on the dusty basement shelf where it rightly belongs.
This ramshackle release will do Ms Gainsbourg's reputation no favours at all.
At Your Own Risk.