Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jan 20th 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
In the hour that separated those tunes, the acclaimed actress and sometime singer was markedly less energetic at her first concert in New York City. Gainsbourg moved slowly and pensively and sang much the same way, whispering songs from her forthcoming third album, 'IRM,' a collection written and produced by Beck.
Gainsbourg, the daughter of French film and music icon Serge Gainsbourg and multi-talented British model Jane Birkin, also revisited selections from her previous album, 2006's '5:55,' and covered 'Just Like a Woman,' a version of which she recorded for the soundtrack of the 2007 Bob Dylan pseudo-biopic 'I'm Not There.'
Tuesday's show was the first of Gainsbourg's three New York City gigs this week -- she'll also appear Friday on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' -- and if she was grateful to have drawn an enthusiastic sell-out crowd, she wasn't quite sure how to express it. She kept her head down and spoke softly, and when fans told her they loved her and threw a bouquet of flowers onto the stage, the stylish 'Science of Sleep' star and 2009 Cannes Film Festival "best actress" winner flashed an embarrassed smile.
She grew more assured whenever the band counted in, leaving her to coo atop acoustic and electric guitars, heavy bass and the occasional electronic beat. The 'IRM' songs bore the obvious stamp of Beck and on 'Master's Hand,' which Gainsbourg dedicated to her collaborator, strummed violin strings and clitter-clatter cowbell coalesced into a three-minute percussive oddity, one of the night's twitchiest and best songs.
Due to her limited vocal range and apparent aversion to volume, Gainsbourg gets by mostly on style, nonchalance and inherent coolness. With her tight waist-length jacket and skinny jeans, she resembled a young Patti Smith, yet another rocker who makes do with a less-than-virtuosic voice. Gainsbourg didn't sing her songs so much as she presided over them, her mere presence providing some missing ingredient.
After singing 'Heaven Can Wait,' a straight-up rock 'n' roll tune that was to be the third of four encore numbers, Gainsbourg thanked fans for attending her first-ever New York performance.
"I think I will remember it," she said.