Jane Birkin

Enfants d'Hiver

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2008's Enfants d'Hiver emerged very much the companion piece that 2006's Fictions seemed to be demanding, chilled out and melancholy as Birkin drifts between sweet childhood memories (hence the charming cover photo) and more bitter reflections on age; "Madame," one of the album's manifold highlights, mourns the realization that to the average passerby, she is now an "older woman" deserving of that respectful title. "It broke my heart," she sings, "like a slap...." What might surprise the casual listener is the inclusion of so many Birkin compositions -- she has rarely raised her pen in anger in the past (for obvious Serge Gainsbourg-shaped reasons), but here she writes, and writes well.

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