Charlotte Gainsbourg's cool credentials are impeccable. Not only is she the daughter of legendary French pop musicians Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, but the 35-year-old has acted in films like Michel Gondry's "The Science of Sleep" and Alejandro González Iñárritu's "21 Grams." Today's song comes from "5:55," Gainsbourg's first release since 1985's ickily titled "Lemon Incest" -- recorded when she was all of 13 years old. Thankfully, there's nothing off-putting about "The Songs That We Sing," carried as it is by a rolling piano-and-bells riff and Gainsbourg's relaxed, breathy voice. Normally, I don't go for lyrics as self-reflexive as the ones in this song ("All the songs that I sing/ Do they mean anything/ To the people I'm singing them to/ People like you"), but Gainsbourg manages to get away with it. It helps to be glamorous sometimes.
-- David Marchese