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Pitchfork review of IRM


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#21 Contra

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:21 PM

stylistically, shes not in the same vein as Brittany spears. but in principle. I say this because her career was handed to her via her father's legacy and her image factor. If she was out writing her own music, playing her shows by her self, marketing herself from day one an working her self from the bottom up over years of touring and fan establishment, I might think different about the whole placement. Music is an extremely difficult career to pursue, and I think it just sort of fosters some sour feelings knowing that someone else in the marketing dept, sort of did all the work; assigned her a band, a website, a distribution team, had videos made, ushered her into rehearsal, and beck's steady place in pop music transfers a security over to her.

I love the album and her work as an actress, but I find myself sort of more upset over the whole of it all, the ideology I guess.

I do know what you are saying, it realy is an artistic collaboration. But I can't help but feel the collaboration would be more meaningful it she had partly written the music, and it was less about image.


I agree, not only is it frustrating that she is fostered into the industry without an iota of talent, she is touted as an "under the radar" artist. She is not an artist. An artist creates something. At best, she could be considered a subpar vocalist and performer. :sign0186:

#22 kanda

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 07:26 PM

stylistically, shes not in the same vein as Brittany spears. but in principle. I say this because her career was handed to her via her father's legacy and her image factor. If she was out writing her own music, playing her shows by her self, marketing herself from day one an working her self from the bottom up over years of touring and fan establishment, I might think different about the whole placement. Music is an extremely difficult career to pursue, and I think it just sort of fosters some sour feelings knowing that someone else in the marketing dept, sort of did all the work; assigned her a band, a website, a distribution team, had videos made, ushered her into rehearsal, and beck's steady place in pop music transfers a security over to her.

I love the album and her work as an actress, but I find myself sort of more upset over the whole of it all, the ideology I guess.

I do know what you are saying, it realy is an artistic collaboration. But I can't help but feel the collaboration would be more meaningful it she had partly written the music, and it was less about image.


I agree, not only is it frustrating that she is fostered into the industry without an iota of talent, she is touted as an "under the radar" artist. She is not an artist. An artist creates something. At best, she could be considered a subpar vocalist and performer. :sign0186:



yea, I mean in a perfect world and everything.. I love the songs beck has written for her, and the way he has (presumably) digitally modified her voice. I understand that her wispery willowy sort of presence, both vocally and aesthetically as a performer is a novelty in todays american-idol saturated landscape, but I just don't see it doing more than that, as being a novelty item.

#23 Thunderpeel

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:21 AM

stylistically, shes not in the same vein as Brittany spears. but in principle. I say this because her career was handed to her via her father's legacy and her image factor. If she was out writing her own music, playing her shows by her self, marketing herself from day one an working her self from the bottom up over years of touring and fan establishment, I might think different about the whole placement. Music is an extremely difficult career to pursue, and I think it just sort of fosters some sour feelings knowing that someone else in the marketing dept, sort of did all the work; assigned her a band, a website, a distribution team, had videos made, ushered her into rehearsal, and beck's steady place in pop music transfers a security over to her.

I love the album and her work as an actress, but I find myself sort of more upset over the whole of it all, the ideology I guess.

I do know what you are saying, it realy is an artistic collaboration. But I can't help but feel the collaboration would be more meaningful it she had partly written the music, and it was less about image.


I agree, not only is it frustrating that she is fostered into the industry without an iota of talent, she is touted as an "under the radar" artist. She is not an artist. An artist creates something. At best, she could be considered a subpar vocalist and performer. :sign0186:



yea, I mean in a perfect world and everything.. I love the songs beck has written for her, and the way he has (presumably) digitally modified her voice. I understand that her wispery willowy sort of presence, both vocally and aesthetically as a performer is a novelty in todays american-idol saturated landscape, but I just don't see it doing more than that, as being a novelty item.

I think she had more to do with writing the music and overall songs than you guys are giving her credit for. Since when does Beck do charity cases? Art comes from something inside you. You have a vision or a sound and want to express that. Sometimes people dont know how to use the tools to create what they see/feel. Maybe Beck was a willing tool in her vision of the album and he wanted to help and be part of it? I do not think that Beck just wrote the songs and she sang them and thats all folks. Just my two pennies.

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#24 Blixa

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:58 AM

'Greenwich Mean Time' was written by Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck Hansen, so that's one for starters which probably Charlotte has written, more than Beck did. Other songs, like Beck said, were inpired by her like 'IRM', 'Masters Hands' and Heaven Can Wait'. A song like 'IRM' was written with her esspecially in mind, with what happened to her.

I really love the album, the total vibe and Charlotte's singing. Just like I liked 5.55. I never really mind Beck's singing since Sea Change, but I can understand that some people find Guero and The Information a bit lackluster albums. Both albums are too long and esspecially Guero tried to remake that Odelay sound. Modern Guilt was a real eyeopener for me that he could still make great records and I see this Gainsbourg record as a more complicated companion to it. This the Beck I love, next to the acoustic Beck and the freaky/cynical Beck from Midnite Vultures.

#25 Contra

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:16 PM

Um. Every single interview I have read, Charlotte states that Beck did everything. She contributed minimally to lyrics in lyrics sessions and gave him some imagery she liked. That is all she says she did.

#26 kanda

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:55 PM

Um. Every single interview I have read, Charlotte states that Beck did everything. She contributed minimally to lyrics in lyrics sessions and gave him some imagery she liked. That is all she says she did.

yea its true

regardless, its a grey area and complicated. But shes definitely the muse and not the master in this scenario.

#27 seacaptain

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:57 PM

yea, he did most everything, but they worked on it together--the direction, the moods, the ideas. i agree with TP, the interviews definitely indicate there was more to the working relationship than is expressed solely by reading the credits.
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#28 Blixa

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 01:29 PM

"'Greenwich Mean Time' was written by Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck Hansen, so that's one for starters which probably Charlotte has written, more than Beck did."

Thats stated in the booklet, so I guess it's true that they wrote it together.

#29 Candy with Strangers

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:31 PM

"'Greenwich Mean Time' was written by Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck Hansen, so that's one for starters which probably Charlotte has written, more than Beck did."

Thats stated in the booklet, so I guess it's true that they wrote it together.

I don't think it necessarily suggests that Charlotte wrote more of it than Beck did. They may have been equal co-writers on that one. Someone has to come first.

If she had co-written any others, I believe she would have been credited. Can you imagine Charlotte and Beck collaborating on the writing of a song, and then her saying, "That's okay, Beck, I didn't really contribute, you take all the credit"--or him accepting it if she did?

I don't doubt that she contributed to the themes and moods of the songs. She probably made suggestions along the way, and may have suggested wording. But there's nothing about the credits that suggests she co-wrote any but Greenwich Mean Time.
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#30 Blixa

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:56 AM

On 5.55 the songs 'Nighttime Intermission' and 'Morning Song' are written by Jarvis Cocker & Charlotte Gainsbourg/Nicolas Godin & Jean Benoît Dunckel (lyrics/music I guess). Jarvis has been stated first and then Charlotte. There are also other songs which are written by more persons, in which Jarvis' place is moving from first to second and back. So, it has nothing to do with the alfabet. So the only other thing that could be it, is the meassure of contribution or just random.

I'm not stating that Charlotte co-wrote anything else, but 'Greenwich Mean Time'. I'm stating that her contribution should not be underrated.

#31 Candy with Strangers

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:51 AM

On 5.55 the songs 'Nighttime Intermission' and 'Morning Song' are written by Jarvis Cocker & Charlotte Gainsbourg/Nicolas Godin & Jean Benoît Dunckel (lyrics/music I guess). Jarvis has been stated first and then Charlotte. There are also other songs which are written by more persons, in which Jarvis' place is moving from first to second and back. So, it has nothing to do with the alfabet. So the only other thing that could be it, is the meassure of contribution or just random.

I don't pretend to know who contributed what. But I do think that how co-written songs are credited is usually determined by the people who wrote them, so it would be what Beck and Charlotte agreed on, for whatever reason.

So...we know she co-wrote one song.
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#32 Blixa

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:56 AM

Yes, she did.

#33 tebe2k

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 09:54 AM

I don't really find any harsh words towards Beck written in the review. Maybe I need to re-read it, but it just sounds like the guy is pointing out that Beck's music has a theme around death and the unknown. It is a bit darker sounding and refers to darker themes at the same time. Plus Beck's voice is really deep.

I also agree that he probably just forgot when Sea Change was released. I make the mistake a lot, I think it's because that's when I graduated though so it is a year that sticks out in my memory more than 2002.

I do think that IRM is a really great album and the only reason I would say it is better than any other Beck album is because generally each of his albums are better than the last.

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