Meaning "New Wave" in French and "Bossa Nova" in Portugese, Nouvelle Vague lives up to its loaded moniker in a variety of ways. The brainchild of French multi-instrumentalist Marc Collin and producer Olivier Libaux, this is a great collection of 13 classic songs from the late 1970's / early 1980's post punk / new wave era reworked from the ground up. Essentially, the songs were stripped of everything but the basic chords and remade with a jazz lounge / bossa nova sensability. The vocals, which were sung by 8 females from France, Brazil and the U.S., add to the exotic cocktail flavor heard throughout.
What is most intriguing about this concept is how well it works and how "fresh" the songs sound given this treatment. The choice of songs certainly doesn't detract. Imagine the lounge treatment on classics like "Love Will Tear Us Apart" [Joy Division], "I Just Cant Get Enough" [Depeche Mode], "Guns of Brixton" [The Clash], "(This Is Not) A Love Song" [Public Image Ltd], "A Forest" [The Cure], "Marianne" [Sisters of Mercy] and "I Melt With You" [Modern English]. Although this isn't necessarily a "groundbreaking" idea, it is surprisingly well executed and proves to be a very fun addition to the soundtrack for Fall 2004.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell