5:55 is like listening to an Air record with tracks sung by Charlotte Gainsbourg and lyrics written by Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon. Which is exactly what it is, of course. This might sound a tad demeaning but I assure you it isn't.

Colaborating with such household names in the music business was an excellent bet for Ms. Gainsbourg. And the results show in spades. Air's electronic soundscapes are indeed the leitmotiv that runs throughout the entire record and all for the better: they set up a familiar feeling right from the start and create the perfect background for Ms. G. to lay down her inobtrusive vocals on the songs. She really does sing in a kind of muted way, somewhere between her father's dispirited delivery and her mother's sultry phrasing. Which perfectly suits the sardonic lyrics kindly offered by Cocker and Hannon, by the way.

It's an album that requires multiple auditions to fully appreciate its many qualities. It's also an album that sticks to your skin, which is always a good thing in my book. Listen to 5:55, the album opener.

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